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Former Spain coach Aragones dies

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-1 16:56:37

Former Spain football team coach Luis Aragones died on Saturday aged 76 after a short illness.

The former midfield player went on to become one of the most celebrated coaches in Spain and ended the countries long wait for a major trophy when he led the Spanish national side to success in the 2008 European Championship.

Known as a battling and talented midfielder, Aragones made his name at Atletico Madrid who he joined in 1964, although he also played for Oviedo and Betis.

On retiring as a player, he began a long career as a coach which saw him coach Atletico Madrid on four separate occasions, leading them to the 1977 league title and three Copas del Rey.

He also coached the majority of Spain's most important clubs, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Betis, Espanyol, Oviedo and Mallorca, who he led on two occasions, before being offered the Spain job in 2004.

At times a controversial figure, Aragones was captured on camera making a racist comment about Arsenal striker Thiery Herny to winger Jose Antonio Reyes, but rather than resigning or being sacked, he was able to ride out the storm and four years later came his defining moment as a coach when a goal by Fernando Torres, who he had coached at Atletico Madrid, gave Spain victory over Germany in the 2008 European Championship final.

It was Spain's first title since 1964 and paved the way for the Spanish side's incredible run of success which saw them win the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship under his successor, Vicente Del Bosque.

After leaving Spain, Aragones had a short spell working with Turkish club Fenerbache, but left in 2009 and had not worked as a coach since.

He had been troubled by ill health in recent months, but had always denied that he had retired from coaching.
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