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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Meet Egypt's new coach Javier Aguirre

The Mexican tactician says he wants to make Egypt the best team in the world

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Aug 2018
Aguirre
Mexico's Javier Aguirre speaks during a press conference in the capital Cairo on August 2, 2018. The Egyptian Football Association presented today Aguirre as the new national team's coach. (AFP PHOTO)
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Javier Aguirre is a 59-year-old accomplished Mexican footballer and coach.

He played in both the Mexican League and the North American League, and represented his country in the 1986 World Cup.

After retirement, he was the tactician for several Spanish clubs, including Atletico Madrid, Espanyol and Osasuna. He won domestic titles with Mexico's Pachuca and United Arab Emirates club Al-Wahda.

The highlights of his coaching career came as tactician for Mexico and Japan.

Career as a player

Aguirre started his football career in1979 at Club America in Mexico City as a midfielder. 

He was then sold to Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League, before returning to Club America in 1981, where he played till 1984, helping them win the league title in 1984.

He then played for the Mexican side Atlante before joining the Spanish La Liga side Osasuna.

Finally, he returned home to play at Guadalajara until he retired in 1993.

On the international level, Aguirre featured 59 times for Mexico, scoring 13 goals. He helped Mexico reach the 1986 World Cup quarter finals.

Coaching career

Atlante (1995-1996) and Pachuca (1998-2001)

Aguirre took over Mexican side Atlante in 1995 before moving to heavyweights Pachuca in 1998, where he led them to the Invierno title (short tournament champions) in 1999. 

Mexico first spell (2001-2002)

In 2001, he led Mexico to the Copa America final, but lost 0-1 in the final against Colombia. He then led his countrymen to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, but was knocked out by USA in the round of 16.

Osasuna (2002-2006)

He took over Spanish La Liga side Osasuna where he hit fame after managing to save the team from relegation, before leading them to their first ever Copa del Rey final in 2005. The team peaked under his helm in 2005/2006, finishing fourth in the league to qualify for the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid (2006-2009)

He was hired by an ailing Atletico Madrid to restore the team's pride, which he did. He achieved all of his targets as he qualified the team to the UEFA Cup in 2007/2008 and then the Champions League in 2008/2009.

However, after failing to win a single game in 2009, the team replaced him with ex-Atletico goalkeeper Abel Resino.

Mexico second spell (2009-2010)

In April 2009, he was appointed again as Mexico coach. 

However, during the 2009 CONCACAF, Aguirre was suspended for three games due to a physical clash with Panama player Ricardo Philips, causing the Mexican Football Federation to be fined.

He won Mexico its fifth Gold Cup title in 2009 and qualified them for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa despite a difficult start.

Mexico reached the round of 16 in South Africa but lost to Argentina 3-1 to end their World Cup journey and Aguirre's spell.

Real Zaragoza (2010-2011)

He took over Real Zaragoza in 2010 for one year as the team seemed on a downward trend following an early exit from the Copa del Rey and falling in the relegation zone in the league.

Espanyol (2012-2014)

In November 2012, he assumed a rescue mission at Espanyol, who were then 20th in the league, helping them escape relegation at the end of the season. He then left the team to take over Japan.

Japan (2014-2015) and match-fixing controversy

At the 2015 Asian Cup, Japan won their first three matches before the United Arab Emirates knocked them out.

However, in 2015 Aguires was implicated in a match-fixing case in the Spanish La Liga dating back to 2010/2011 and involving Real Zaragoza's 2-1 win over Levante on the last day of 2010-2011 season, thus prompting Japan to sack him.

Spanish prosecutors claimed that Levante players were paid total of 965,000 euros to deliberately lose the game.

"I have heard many questions about the issue of Spanish league manipulation. The case was six years ago and nothing has happened and it has been completely closed," Aguirre said during a presser in Cairo on Thursday.

Al-Wahda (2015-2017)

His last destination before Egypt was at Al-Wahda, UAE, where he won the President's Cup before leaving in May 2017.

Egypt 2018

Aguirre needs to achieve several objectives with Egypt. He must qualify for the 2019 and 2021 African Cup of Nations as well as reach the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

The Mexican vowed to help the team improve until it becomes the best team in Africa and the whole world.

 

* This report was compiled by Loay Wael

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