Luis Aragones Biography

Wed 28 July 2021 | 15:00

One of the best coaches of his time and the one who changed Spanish football for good. In this article, we will take a look at Luis Aragones biography.

Luis Aragones, born in Hortaleza, Madrid (28 July 1938, 1 February 2014), was a Spanish football player and football coach. He was manager of the Spanish national team from 2004 to 2008, and won the European Championship in 2008. He has been regarded as one of Atlético de Madrid's greatest legends.

He was among the most effective offensive midfielders in the Spanish league. He began his playing career at Getafe CF and was also a Real Madrid player for three seasons, however, the club's directors failed to recognise his talent and would not allow him to make his debut for the first team.

He spent most of his playing career at Atlético Madrid, where he also served as a coach and was their star player in the late 1960s to early 1970s. He won La Liga four times, reached the final of the European Cup in 1973/1974 and won the Intercontinental Cup. He made 265 league appearances for the club, scoring a total of 123 goals.

While he has managed eight different teams from the La Liga in a coaching career that has spanned more than 30 years, he is best known for his work at Atlético Madrid. With the club he served as a manager six times, winning all the most important national laurels.

In addition, in 1986 he brought the club to its first European cup final since 1974 (0:3 defeat against Dynamo Kiev in the Cup Winners' Cup), and in 2002, he brought the club back to the first division after a two-year break. He was also the coach of FC Barcelona, with whom he won the Spanish Cup. He has also coached Real Betis on three occasions, RCD Espanyol, Sevilla FC, Valencia CF, Real Oviedo and, most recently, RCD Mallorca twice.

All You Need to Know About Luis Aragones Biography

Aragones was named coach of the Spanish national team in August 2004. He declined to include Raúl González Blanco in his squad for the 2008 European Championship, even though Raúl had scored 18 goals that season in the Primera Division. With the Spanish national team, he became the European champion in 2008. In the final, Spain defeated Germany 1-0.

It was announced in June 2008 that Aragones had signed a two-year contract with Turkish side Fenerbahçe. He was eventually sacked on 14 May 2009 due to disappointing results.

Luis Aragones Information

Now that we know the Spanish coach much better, in this section of

Luis Aragones biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Luis Aragones nationality

to let you know him even better.

Luis Aragones Bio

  • Full Name: José Luis Aragones Suárez Martínez

  • Nickname: Zapatones

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Luis Aragones Physical Stats

  • Weight: 77 Kg

  • Height: 1.8 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Luis Aragones Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 8

  • Professional Debut: 1957

Luis Aragones Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 28 July 1938

  • Birth Place: Hortaleza, Madrid, Spain

  • Zodiac Sign: Leo

  • Nationality: Spanish

Now stay tuned to this section of

Luis Aragones biography

as we want to share some info about

Luis Aragones childhood


Luis Aragones Early Life

Born in the Ortales neighbourhood of Madrid, Luis Aragones started playing football as a youth player at the Jesuit Hamartin College. The young footballer was discovered by the scouts of

FC Getafe

Deportivo, a club in which the talented player began his professional career.

Soon the talented player was noticed by Real Madrid, and already in 1958 Aragones was wearing the white uniform of the Royal Club. However, the future star of the Primera failed to play a single match for the first team of "Blancos", and the next few seasons Aragones spent on loan playing in clubs such as Recreativo from Huelva, FC Ercules from Alicante and, in fact, in the reserve team Real Madrid.

In the middle of the season 1960/61, precisely on December 11, 1960, in the match between Mallorca and Oviedo (1:0) Aragones debuted in the Primera Division in the team Real Oviedo, though, again as a loaned player.

Real Betis

In the following season, he terminated his contract with the royal club from Madrid, a partnership with which failed to yield fruit for the ambitious player, and started a successful career for another royal club,

Real Betis

from Sevilla. This young midfielder played in the main team of Betis for three consecutive seasons (1961-1964), appearing in 82 matches and scoring 33 goals against the opposition.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Luis Aragones biography

as we want to share some info about his playing career at Atletico.

Atletico Madrid

Aragones moved to the club with which his subsequent career as a player and future coaching career was firmly linked - becoming a player for the Rojo Blancos, Atlético de Madrid in 1964. In the history of that club, Luis Aragones made his mark as the organiser of the sharpest attacks, the axis and leader of the Rojo Blancos' attack, and without a doubt, the unbeatable performer of set-pieces.

His first season with the new striker in charge, Atlético de Madrid won a hard-fought Spanish Cup (also known as the Real Cup) and came in a creditable second in the league standings. In the following year, with Aragones still in the lead, Atletico enjoyed a victorious first-place finish in the league table. During the following years, together with the "red-whites" Aragones twice won the Spanish championship and became the champion of the National Cup.

Aragones was awarded the Trofeo Pichichi in the 1969/70 season, the trophy given to the top scorer of the league - he scored 16 goals, and shared the title of most talented goal-scorer with Amancio and fellow

Real Madrid

team-mate Jose Eulogio Garate. At the peak of his Atlético career, Aragones was nicknamed Zapatones, literally meaning "big boots".

Luis Aragones ended his career as a player, also at

Atlético Madrid

, in 1974 following his memorable display in the European Cup final against

Bayern Munich

. The Spanish team were just seconds shy of victory in the final (1-1, with Aragones being the author of the goal against Bayern), and the Germans won the second leg match with a confident 4-0 win, clinching the trophy.

Altogether, Luis Aragones played 360 games in La Liga and scored 161 goals. He scored most of his goals (15) against Valencia. He has only been red-carded three times during his playing career. In European Champions Cup matches, Aragones played a total of 22 matches, scoring a goal in eight of them; he also scored nine goals (in 18 games) in UEFA Cup/Fair Carnival Cup encounters.

Spain National Team

Luis Aragones played for


in 11 matches and scored 3 goals. He made his debut match in the squad on 8 May 1965 in an away match in Glasgow against Scotland which ended 0-0. In his last match for the national team Aragones played on 12 January 1972 in a game in Madrid against Hungary (1-0). In the matches featuring Aragones, the Spanish national team never lost, drawing 4 matches and winning 7 of them.

Luis Aragones Profile

Luis began the 1974/1975 season as a player and featured in nine league games. At the time, Juan Carlos Lorenzo was dismissed because of a poor start to the season and Atletico management asked Aragones to take over as head coach. He accepted the offer and ended his playing career.

Atletico Madrid

He sat on the bench of Atletico Madrid for the first time on 1 December 1974, in a 1-1 away match against Valencia. The first success of Aragones as a coach was winning the Intercontinental Cup in the spring of 1975 against Argentina's Independiente. Participation in this match was made possible for the Rojo Blancos after the winner of the European Champions Cup, Bayern, had declined to take part in this tournament.

It was the only time in history when the Intercontinental Cup was won by the finalist of a continental tournament, not by the winner. In addition, Atletico reached the Spanish Cup final but lost on penalties to Real Madrid. Although his performance in the Spanish league was not the best (6th place overall), the young coach's work was considered positive and he continued to work with the team.

In the following season, Atletico Madrid was knocked out of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup made it to the Round of 16 after defeating FC Basel 3-2 on aggregate, only to drop out of the competition by losing 3-1 on aggregate against the German side Eintracht Frankfurt. That season, Atlético finished third in the Spanish league and won the National Cup, in the deciding game against Real Zaragoza 1-0.

And finally, in the 1976/77 season, the Spanish team under the leadership of Aragones won their first league title in four years, a feat which would eventually become the only one for the coach. In the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, under Aragones’ leadership, Atletico Madrid made it to the semifinals after having defeated Rapid Vienna, HNK Hajduk Split and Levski Sofia respectively.

In the first leg of the semifinal on 6 April 1977, Atletico Madrid defeated the German club Hamburger SV at home with a score of 3-1. However, in the second leg match at Germany, they were defeated 3-0 and thus failed to make it to the final.

In the spring of 1978, the coach stepped down, after spending a not very brilliant season when they finished in 6th place. Yet, in the autumn of that same year, Aragones briefly rejoined the team and coached them for four games. During that season’s European Champion Clubs' Cup campaign, Atletico Madrid made it to the quarterfinals but lost to the Club Brugge KV.

In the course of the 1979/1980 season, Luis for the third time took charge of Atlético, but it was an unsuccessful arrival. Atletico Madrid finished the league in 13th place which was the worst during Aragones’ Atletico Madrid coaching career. Due to unsatisfactory results, he was forced to leave his post before the end of the season.

Now stay tuned to this section of Luis Aragones biography as we want to share some info about his coaching career at Betis.

Real Betis

Real Betis became the first club in Aragones' coaching career after his hometown club Atlético Madrid. But the Whites only played the first round of the Primera Division under him. The match against Racing Santander was a 0-2 defeat, after which the coach and club decided to end their partnership.

Return to Atletico Madrid

Nevertheless, in the spring of 1982, Aragones was welcomed back as Atletico Madrid coach again. In this period, the Spanish side never fell below fifth place in the standings. The most successful season was 1984/1985 when Aragones managed to become the runner up in La Liga, and also won the Spanish Cup (this time Athletic Bilbao were beaten 2:1 in the final), and the first Spanish Super Cup in the history of the club when they beat FC Barcelona in a two-match clash.

The Cup triumph allowed Atletico to reach the Cup Winners' Cup final the following year. Unfortunately, in the final match, Aragones' side lost by a wide margin (0-3) to Valeriu Lobanovskiy's

Dynamo Kyiv

. After that, Aragones again left Atlético de Madrid but, as it turned out, not for long again - in 1987 the new club president, Jesus Gil, brought the coach back to the team.


Aragones' success with Atlético de Madrid prompted him to come to the attention of


, which at the time was in crisis. Aragones succeeded Terry Venables, but he was unable to achieve outstanding results: the side was unstable and finished the season in 6th place.

During the 1987/88 season, made it to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, after having knocked out Portuguese side Belenenses SAD, Russian club Dynamo Moscow and Albanian team Flamurtari FC, however in the quarterfinals they lost against Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-0 on aggregate, thus failing to make it to the semifinals.

The situation was somewhat improved by winning the Spanish Cup (Aragones won it four times in total), however, it was not enough for the club's management to keep trusting the coach and he left the club at the end of the season.


Following his rather unsuccessful spell at Barcelona, Aragones was inactive for a season, before making a return to coaching in the 1989/90 season to take charge at another Catalan club, Espanyol. He managed his debut match on 1 September 1990, against his previous team Barcelona and the match ended in a 0-1 home defeat for them.

Things were going well for Aragones and the team in

La Liga

, however between 16 December 1990 and 27 January 1991, Espanyol lost six consecutive league matches and this in turn, made them go down in the La Liga table. At the end of the season, Espanyol finished 16th in the league table.

During that season’s

Copa Del Rey

, Espanyol was knocked out in the Round of 16 by losing 3-2 on aggregate against Real Valladolid CF. After an unsuccessful season, Luis Aragones left the Catalan club at the end of the season.

Return to Atletico Madrid

Aragones took charge of Atlético in the summer of 1991 for the sixth time in his career. He managed to finish third in the La Liga with the club this time, and won the Copa del Rey, the third time during his time with the Rojo Blancos. This victory came against bitter rivals Real Madrid at home. Nevertheless, after the devastating defeat at the hands of Barcelona (0-5), he was fired as the head coach of Atletico Madrid.


In the summer of 1993, Luis Aragones was appointed as the new head coach of


. His first match in charge of Sevilla was on 2 September 1993 when they defeated CP Cacereño in the 3rd round of Copa del Rey with a score of 0-3.

His first La Liga match as the new head coach of Sevilla came on three days later as they were able to win their away match against Real Zaragoza by 1-2. The team’s first La Liga defeat came on 17 October 1993, when they lost 1-0 to Racing Santander.

That season, Sevilla finished six in the league standings with 15 wins, 12 draws and 11 defeats. In the Copa del Rey, Sevilla made it to the quarterfinals, before being defeated by Real Zaragoza by a score of 3-2 on aggregate. Satisfied with the performance of their new coach, the Sevilla management renewed Aragones’ contract for a further season.

The following season started for Sevilla with a disappointing 1-4 home defeat against Real Madrid on 3 September 1994. That season, Sevilla managed to improve their place in La Liga and were finished 5th in the league. In the Copa del Rey, Sevilla was knocked out in the 4th round by Sporting Gijón. At the end of the season, Aragones left Sevilla after failing to win any silverware.


For the 1995/96 season, Luis Aragones was appointed as the new head coach of the


football club. Although he did not manage to win any titles with Valencia, but he managed to achieve something much more important: to bring enthusiasm back to the club and the fans by playing until the last gasp.

A lesson that the Wise Man of Hortaleza taught the football world was his time on the bench in the 1995-1996 season, in which he finished runner-up in the league - having the chance to win the title on the last matchday - after his beloved Atlético de Madrid.

The Mestalla club was coming from a period of instability with Carlos Parreira on the bench and it was Aragones who gave the team the character they needed to get back in front of their strongest rivals. Valencia was on the verge of completing a historic comeback in La Liga had Albacete beaten Atlético on the final day of the season, only for the latter to celebrate the title in Neptuno.

Having not been national champions since 1971, Aragones took charge of a top-class squad to try to put an end to that long journey through the wilderness. There were few better names to fill the goalkeeping position than Andoni Zubizarreta.

He was a media star, an international and a sure thing in goal. Ahead of the Basque, there were Otero, Romero, Ferreira and the legendary Paco Camarasa. The central defender even played in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

In midfield, the muscle and quality were provided by Mazinho, Engonga, a young Mendieta and the illustrious Fernando Gómez Colomer with the number 10 on his back. He was the player with the most games played in the history of the club. Up front, Gálvez and Viola accompanied another player who left his mark at Mestalla, Mijatovic.

Aragones and Paco Roig, Valencia's president at the time, clashed on several occasions. Ultimately, the conflict cost the club the manager's resignation in the 1996-1997 season. The Madrid-born coach felt that his ambitious project at Mestalla had been left unfinished. 200 million pesetas were largely to be blamed for Aragones' departure just over a year after signing him.

Return to Real Betis

For the 1997/98 season, Aragones made a return to Real Betis. The previous year, under Serra Ferrer, Betis had been finalists in the Copa, and expectations were high of Luis. That season went with some disappointment because Betis were already aiming very high, but they finished qualifying for the UEFA Cup. However, the problem came in the following pre-season. The club boss Lopera visited the players at their hotel in Sancti Petri on 28 July and revealed that Luis had resigned. It was a huge surprise.

Real Oviedo

On 1 July 1999, Luis Aragones, who had played for Real Oviedo in the 1960-61 season, was presented as Real Oviedo's coach. He coached Real Oviedo in the 1999-2000 season, in which the team managed to stay in the First Division after finishing the league in sixteenth position.

RCD Mallorca

At the end of the 1999/2000 season, RCD Mallorca had the option of hiring Luis Aragones and did not hesitate. The contract of Fernando Vázquez, who had one year left to run, was terminated, although the Galician had not had a bad season as he took the team second to last and put it tenth, always close to UEFA places, reached the quarter-finals of the competition, eliminating Ajax and Monaco among others, and gave debuts to many youth players, including Diego Tristán, Álvaro Novo, Dani Güiza and Riera.

The hiring of Luis was the right decision. Despite important departures such as Diego Tristán, Lauren and Jovan Stankovic in January, Luis assembled a magnificent team, got the best out of each player and with hardly any signings (Marcos, who came from 2nd division, the return of Luque from his loan spell at Málaga and above all Finidi, whom he had coached at Betis) he was able to get the team to play an attractive and effective game which was enough to finish in 3rd position, tying Mallorca's best-ever finish in the league.

As an unforgettable moment during his tenure, it is always remembered that he grabbed Samuel Eto'o by the chest after replacing him in a match at La Romareda. From then on, the Cameroonian said that "grandfather" is the best coach he has ever had.

However, although


offered him a renewal and the chance to play in the

Champions League

, Luis was clear about what his next challenge would be: to rescue Atlético de Madrid from the 'inferno' of the second division. Ultimately, he did not accept the renewal offer and headed to the Manzanares for his future spell in charge, this time starting in the Spanish second division.

Final Return to Atletico Madrid

Obviously, he achieved promotion and also began Atleti's climb back to the top of First Division, but the team did not perform as well, they were far from Europe all year and ended up fighting with Jesús Gil, who terminated his contract at the end of the league.

Return to Mallorca

During the 2003-04 season, he spent the rest of the season on the sidelines, until Mallorca dismissed the Portuguese Jaime Pacheco. Luis Aragones replaced him, and even Eto'o called to encourage him to return to Mallorca. Following many ups and downs, and after a long time close to relegation, the season finished in 11th position, as well as reaching the round of 16 in the UEFA Cup.

The Mallorca team renewed his contract, knowing that with time Aragones would be able to put together a first-class team. He decided to renew Nadal at the age of 36 or 'Petete' Correa, who missed the first half of the season due to a doping ban... until the disastrous 2004 European Championship led to the departure of Iñaki Sáez as national team coach. The press asks for Luis... and Luis seems to want to accept the Spain national team job.

Spain National Team

In July 2004 Luis started his career with Spain. He took over a broken and depressed national team after its thrashing at the Euro finals (on that occasion not even in the quarter-finals, but in the group stage) and started to build a team that was tailor-made for him.

Then came the 2006 World Cup, where after a brilliant group stage, they were knocked out in the Round of 16 by a veteran France side. Luis had renewed his contract until the European Championship, although certain sections of the press criticised him. The doubts intensified after a bad start with a defeat in Northern Ireland, and even more with another defeat in Sweden when he decided to do without Raúl.

The fact that the Real Madrid player was not called up would be a major source of disagreement throughout this period. The press (mostly Madrid supporters) did not forgive their captain for not being included in the plans, the pressure was constant and Luis did not find support even from the Federation. He thus decided to turn his attention inwards.

The qualification process ended brilliantly with Spain coming out on top, playing a great game and beating teams like


and England in friendlies. Nevertheless, Luis was constantly criticised. The only time he managed to silence this criticism was when the national team he had created was crowned European Champion and laid the foundations for future successes.


Despite his undoubted success, the Federation did not renew his contract and Luis decided to leave to coach in Turkey, where he was not as fortunate. From July 2008 to June 2009 he coached Fenerbahçe, which led to a fourth-place finish in the league and the Turkish Cup final (lost 4-2 to Beşiktaş).

For the last year, and despite rumours linking him to Sevilla, the Portugal national team and even a return to Atlético de Madrid, he has never coached again. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 75 due to leukaemia. Now stay tuned to this section of Luis Aragones biography as we want to share some info about his coaching style.

Style of Play

During his coaching days, especially at Spain national team, we saw him use the versatile 4-1-4-1 system, which at many moments would be a 4-3-3-3, simply by dropping the two inside midfielders close to the centre and opening up the flanks for the other two more open players. In the course of a match, and if necessary, this formation can be adapted to a 3-4-3.


Many experts that as a player he was a very good footballer, and as a coach we are sure that he was a great one, albeit his attitude towards the press and his controversial nature have earned him a bad image that makes it difficult to give him the recognition he deserves. He was an incredible personality who has been linked to football from his childhood to the day he passed away.

He was a coach capable of fighting with journalists, but also with presidents and players, who did not shake his hand to not include Romario in Valencia, to not call Raúl in the national team or to grab Eto'o by the chest in the middle of a match. Without a doubt, he is one of the best coaches Spain has ever produced.

Luis Aragones outside Football

According to his friends and family, Aragones slept little and read magazines, especially scientific ones all of the time. The only thing he doesn't talk about was politics. He only admitted his admiration for the King saying: "We're of the same family". He was very pleasant with the people he met at social gatherings. He was fond of the world of show business and telling anecdotes.

Luis Aragones Personal Life

In this section of Luis Aragones biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Luis Aragones life story


Luis Aragones religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

His personal life was shielded and little was known about it on the media. He married Pepa, with whom he declared himself to be deeply in love, and they have five children and 11 grandchildren. Pepa is a person who carries a lot of weight in all the decisions Luis made, such as his decision to go to Turkey.

He never talked about his children, but he talked about his grandchildren. "They would send me messages on my mobile phone. And they touched me more than once". They were all in the stands on the day of the Euro 2008 final against Germany.


Aragones was always associated with the different charity projects and we saw him many times in charity matches. Even after he retired from the world of football, he was seen attending many charity matches like the 'Partido Por la Ilusion' which took place in Madrid in December of 2011.

Legal Issues

Luis Aragones was fined by the Spanish football federation for giving bad comments about Thierry Henry during a training session of the national team. However, he later was able to successfully overturn the fine by appearing in court.

Luis Aragones Career Statistics

In this section of Luis Aragones biography, we will take a deeper look into his career stats, both as an international and club player.


During his playing days, Aragones made around 400 league appearances for many Spanish teams, most notably with Atletico Madrid between 1957 and 1974.


Between 1964 and 1972 he played a total of 11 matches with the Spanish national team, scoring 3 goals.


Aragones has a win ratio of 49.26 percent by winning 567 matches, drawing 262 and losing on 322 matches in a total of 1151 games as manager of many different teams.

Luis Aragones Honors

As a player, he had won La Liga and Copa del Rey on several occasions with Atletico Madrid and were runner-up in the 1974 European Cup.

During his coaching days, he won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, Segunda División with club teams and the 2008 European Championship with Spain.

His personal awards and titles include Pichichi Trophy, Don Balón Award and IFFHS World's Best National Coach among others.

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source: SportMob