UEFA Champions League contenders Club Atlético de Madrid have parted company with coach Javier Aguirre and hired former goalkeeper Abel Resino to take the Mexican's place.
No hard feelings
"This club has helped me to grow and it is one that I will always keep in my heart," said Aguirre. "I'm sure that this step the club is taking will be a beneficial one. I wish the new manager all the luck in the world; I've told him that personally. I'm convinced that come the end of the season the team will have completed its objective of qualifying for the Champions League."
Los Rojiblancos have endured a miserable run of form since the turn of the year and last Sunday's 2-1 home defeat against Real Valladolid CF saw the team drop to seventh position in the standings after picking up just two points from their last five Liga games. The club were also eliminated from the Copa del Rey by FC Barcelona.
The 50-year-old Aguirre enjoyed the highlight of his two-and-a-half year period at the Vicente Calderón at the start of the current campaign when he led the team from the Spanish capital back into the UEFA Champions League after an eleven-year absence. Atlético qualified for the first knockout round of this season's tournament – where they will face FC Porto – during a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions prior to the Christmas break.
Aguirre added: "It's been a source of huge pride for me to have managed here and in no way do I see it as a step back. Being here every day has helped me to learn a lot. It's a club that is among the top 12 in the world. At the moment I'll stay in Madrid as my children are still in school and university and they have to finish their courses. I'll be here until June watching a lot of football and relaxing."
Stepping into the Mexican's shoes is 49-year-old Abel Resino who arrives from Spanish second division team CD Castellón on an initial six-month deal. An Atlético goalkeeping legend, he spent 13 years at the club and the Toledo-born coach still holds the Liga record for most minutes without conceding a goal, 1,275, after going 14 games unbeaten during the 1990/91 season. "It's an honour and a dream to be Atlético's trainer," Resino said. "I come here eager to get the best out of the squad. I have Atlético in my heart and I hope that all of my wishes here can be fulfilled." Resino began his managerial career with CF Ciudad de Murcia in 2005 before going on to take the reins at UD Levante. He leaves Castellón fighting for promotion to the Spanish top flight.
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