Tiki-taka founder Luis Aragones dies aged 78
Published 01/02/2014 | 14:35
Founder of tiki-taka who laid foundation for success at 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, Luis Aragones will be remembered fondly by the Spanish public.
Luis Aragones, who was manager of the victorious Spain team at Euro 2008, has died aged 75. The former Real and Atletico Madrid player had been suffering from a serious illness.
Aragones will be remembered fondly by all Spaniards for leading the team to their first major trophy at an international tournament for 44 years, laying the foundations for the subsequent successes at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
After Spain lost to France in the second round of the 2006 World Cup, Aragones introduced the new style of tiki-taka football to the national team. It was to prove hugely successful, with Spain deserved winners of Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, Fernando Torres scoring the winning goal in the final against Germany.
Aragones, born in the Spanish capital, began his playing career at Getafe in 1957 before transferring to the Bernabeu. But it was at Atletico where he really made his name.
He scored 172 goals in 372 games for the club - acquiring the nickname "Zapatones", or "Big boots", for his free-kick prowess - and won the La Liga title on three occasions.
He scored in the 1974 European Cup final with Bayern Munich but Atletico lost the replay 4-0.
He went on to manage Atletico for six years, winning La Liga in 1977, and had a nomadic coaching career at many of Spain's major clubs, returning to Atletico on three further occasions under owner Jesus Gil.
In 2004 he was involved in a serious controversy when he was filmed 'motivating' his player Jose Antonio Reyes by making offensive references to Thierry Henry: "Tell that 'negro de mierda' you are much better than him." Aragones denied he was a racist.