Javier Aguirre is back in Spanish football after the former Mexico coach agreed to take over from José Aurelio Gay at Liga strugglers Real Zaragoza.
The 51-year-old Aguirre, who was in charge of his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, was unveiled today by rock-bottom Zaragoza after the Aragon outfit decided to part company with coach and former midfielder Gay.
The appointment is Aguirre's first club assignment since his dismissal by Club Atlético de Madrid in February 2009, during his third season at the helm. His predecessor had taken the reins at La Romareda last December, guiding Zaragoza to a 14th-place finish in the Spanish top flight, but the 44-year-old leaves the post with the team bottom of the Liga. Zaragoza, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners in 1995, have just one league victory from 11 games.
It was with the Maños' northeast rivals CA Osasuna that ex-Mexican international midfielder Aguirre first caught the eye as a coach in Europe. He was at Osasuna between 2002 and 2006, leading them to a fourth-place finish. Aguirre replicated that achievement in 2007/08 with Atlético, subsequently taking them into the UEFA Champions League. He stepped down from his second stint as Mexico coach after their World Cup exit in June.
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