The Real Federación Española de Fútbol communicated the passing of Luis Aragonés early on Saturday morning, he was 75 years old. Aragonés was a Liga BBVA and Liga Adelante player and coach and he managed the Spanish national side between 2004 and 2008, winning Spain's second UEFA European Championship in 2008, 44 years after its first.
'El Sabio de Hortaleza' or 'Zapatones', as he was known in the world of football, has a prominent role in the history of the Spanish game, above all with Club Atlético de Madrid, the team he played with for ten years (1964-1974) and later managed for as many as four spells (1974-1980, 1982-1987, 1991-1993 and 2001-2003). In addition, Aragonés played for Getafe CF and Real Madrid CF in his early days as a player, and RC Recreativo de Huelva (1958-59), Hércules CF (1959-60), Real Oviedo (1961) and Real Betis Balompié (1961-64).
After hanging up his boots, Luis Aragonés stayed in football as a manager. For more than 35 years, the coach from Madrid managed Atlético de Madrid, Real Betis (1981-82 and 1997-98), FC Barcelona (1987-88), RCD Espanyol (1990-91), Sevilla FC (1993-95), Valencia CF (1995-97), Real Oviedo (1999-2000), RCD Mallorca (2000-01 and 2003-04) and the Spanish national team (2004-08). His last appointment was at Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü in Turkey (2008-09).
His prolific career in football led to numerous titles with Atlético de Madrid: 3 Liga BBVAs, 2 Copa del Reys and an Intercontinental Cup as a player, and 1 Liga BBVA, 1 Liga Adelante, 4 Copa del Reys (one of them with FC Barcelona) and a Supercup of Spain as a coach. In addition, Luis Aragonés earned a number of individual accolades such as a Gold Medal from the Royal Order of Sports Merit in 2001 and the award for the Manager of the Year from the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) in 2008.
Aragonés also played for Spain on 11 occasions. Years later he became the national coach for the 2006 World Cup, where Spain reached the last sixteen, and Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, where he lifted the trophy with the team more than 40 years after their first European triumph.
He was well-loved by Atlético de Madrid fans as well as Spanish football supporters in general, having been at the forefront of the national game for more than fifty years. The Liga de Fútbol Profesional offers its heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.