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SBD Global/February 3, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Former Spanish Footballer, Coach Luis Aragonés Dies At 75; Tributes Pour In

Atletico de Madrid's supporters display a banner depicting Luis Aragonés Sunday.

Luis Aragonés died at 6:15 this morning at Madrid's Clínica Cemtro, at the age of 75. Nicknamed 'The Wise Man of Hortaleza', the former player and coach managed Spain from 2004 to 2008, winning the 2008 European Championship and paving the way for a golden era in Spanish football, laying the groundwork for the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 victories under Vicente del Bosque.

In club football, Aragonés is best known for his time at Atlético de Madrid, where he spent a decade as a player and returned for three stints in the dugout, leading the 'Rojiblancos' to the 1977 'La Liga' title, three Spanish Cups, a Spanish Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.

The former midfielder earned 11 caps for Spain during his playing days, before going on to manage Atlético de Madrid, Betis, Barcelona, Espanyol, Sevilla, Valencia, Oviedo, Mallorca and Turkish club Fenerbahçe.

Former Spanish footballer and national team coach LUIS ARAGONÉS died Saturday morning in Madrid at the age of 75, according to MARCA. He had been battling Leukemia. Nicknamed "The Wise Man of Hortaleza," the former player and coach managed Spain from '04-08, winning Euro 2008 and "paving the way for a golden era in Spanish football, laying the groundwork for the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 victories" under VICENTE DEL BOSQUE. In club football, Aragonés is "best known for his time" at Atlético Madrid, where he spent a decade as a player and returned for three stints as Atlético's coach. The former midfielder earned 11 caps for Spain during his playing days before going on to manage Atlético, Betis, Barcelona, Espanyol, Sevilla, Valencia, Oviedo, Mallorca and Turkish club Fenerbahçe (MARCA, 2/1). FOOTBALL ESPANA reported former Barcelona coach PEP GUARDIOLA, who currently manages Bayern Munich, said, "Aragonés made the impossible possible. He was the genius we all wanted. He changed the mindset of a country just by changing the generation. He managed the entire nation so we thought that not only we could win, but we should do and not settle for anything less, just the opposite and go for more" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 2/2).

SPAIN TO HONOR ARAGONÉS: In Madrid, Miguel Ángel Lara reported the Spanish national team will wear "an all-black strip for the first time in its history" on March 5. This date "had been pencilled in" for Spain's launch of its new away kit ahead of the World Cup. The script "could not be more perfect." Cloaked in black, a Spain side "still mourning Aragonés' death will take on Italy at none other than" Atlético's Vicente Calderón stadium. The Spanish FA is "determined to make the most of the occasion to celebrate the life of Aragonés at the ground where he attained legendary status as a player and coach" (MARCA, 2/2). INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL's Tom Conn reported Madrid Mayor ANA BOTELLA announced that "at the next city hall meeting, she will put forth a proposal to rename one of the city's streets" in honor of Aragonés. Botella said that the proposal would name a street adjacent to Atlético's new stadium, La Peineta, after "one of the most important athletes Spain has ever had" (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 2/2). In Madrid, Óscar Jiménez reported Marca will create a new honor within the publication's football awards: the Luis Aragonés Award. It will be a tribute to Aragonés that will recognize the most valuable player in the Spanish team each season (MARCA, 2/2).
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