The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) put the kabosh on rumors that El Viejo Luis Aragonés would be leaving the Spanish national side before Euro 2008.
Angel Maria Villar, president of RFEF who according to the FIFA website likes ‘history, music and hiking’ (WTF?) said
“The national team coach is determined to continue in his job until the end of Euro 2008 and he knows that the RFEF has full confidence in him”
Yeah yeah yeah, that’s what they all say. Villar and the RFEF are backing Aragonés in the hope they do not become the perennial underachievers yet again in an international tournament.
His stay as Spain’s gaffer has been marred with several incidents, most notably the racist remarks against Thierry Henry to Jose Antonio Reyes during a training session in 2005. Now, the whole not playing Raul and Guti thing isn’t helping his cause any.
I’ve let my thoughts been known about el viejo before, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to waste my time badmouthing him. Rather, I want to take a look and see who is waiting in the wings to take over La Furia Roja.
Two of the names floating around are Vicente del Bosque and Jose Antonio Camacho.
Vicente del Bosque joined Real Madrid from Valladolid in 1989 where he won five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles as a player. In 1999 he took over after John Toshack was sacked at Real Madrid and in four years led the team to win:
UEFA Champions League: 1999-00, 2001-02 (Real Madrid)
Intercontinental Cup: 2002 (Real Madrid)
European Supercup: 2002 (Real Madrid)
Spanish Liga Primera: 2000-01, 2002-03
Spanish Supercup: 2001 (Real Madrid)
Not too shabby in four years huh? Since getting the shaft after Madrid won their 29th La Liga title, del Bosque has bounced around in several jobs in La Liga and even was the manager for a season at Beskitas in Turkey.
Judging by his success in Madrid, del Bosque would be a solid choice to take over La Furia. I’m not sure about his specific coaching style, but I’ll be taking a look to see what more he can bring to the table.
The other name floating around is Jose Antonio Camacho, another former Madridista both as a player and a coach. Camacho took over in 1998 after Javier Clemente was sacked.
Camacho led Spain to Euro 2000, only to lose to eventual winner France on penalties. In the 2002 World Cup, Spain was one of the favorites (what else is new) but they bowed out to South Korea in the semi-finals. Camacho was sent packing, heading to Benfica, then back to Madrid for a quick, unsuccessful spell. After coming back home to Spain, he left for Benfica yet again where he continues to coach.
When Aragonés goes, Spain will need someone with a little more personality and people skills than the less then cordial Aragonés. Sure, this isn’t a popularity contest, but in a country like Spain where people live and die by their fútbol the coach needs to be able to sweet talk the media once in a while.
As Euro 2008 gets closer, I’m sure we will here more rumors as to who will take over La Furia. Until then, its Camacho v del Bosque. Who gets your vote?