Aragones died in Madrid this morning, at the age of 75. He had suffered a short illness, and his passing took many by surprise. His loss will be particularly felt by fans and former players of Atletico Madrid. He managed Atleti on four occasions, winning them the La Liga title and lifting the Copa Del Rey three times. Atletico will be holding an emotional minute’s silence before their game against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
As a player, Aragones made nearly 400 appearances for Atletico. A prolific striker, he notched 172 goals for them. He also played for Oviedo and Betis.
Aragones is best known to modern generations for coaching the Spanish team. He managed them for four years until 2008. Aragones gave his players belief and under him they shed their ‘nearly men’ tag to win the 2008 European Championships. It was their first ever victory in a major championship, and a platform for their World Cup success two years later.
Aragones was a controversial figure in Britain. His off the record comments about Thierry Henry were pounced upon by the media. Friends and former players rushed to defend his reputation. Aragones insisted until the end that he wasn’t a racist. Today we remember a great footballer and a great manager. Luis Aragones, RIP.