Javier Aguirre

For the film director, see Javier Aguirre (director).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Aguirre and the second or maternal family name is Onaindía.
Javier Aguirre

Aguirre at a press conference in 2006
Personal information
Full name Javier Aguirre Onaindía
Date of birth (1958-12-01) 1 December 1958
Place of birth Mexico City, Mexico
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Al-Wahda (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1980 América 9 (1)
1980–1981 Los Angeles Aztecs 30 (4)
1981–1984 América 128 (31)
1984–1986 Atlante 31 (3)
1986–1987 Osasuna 13 (0)
1987–1993 Guadalajara 181 (17)
Total 392 (56)
National team
1983–1992 Mexico 59 (14)
Teams managed
1995–1996 Atlante
1998–2001 Pachuca
2001–2002 Mexico
2002–2006 Osasuna
2006–2009 Atlético Madrid
2009–2010 Mexico
2010–2011 Zaragoza
2012–2014 Espanyol
2014–2015 Japan
2015– Al-Wahda

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Javier Aguirre Onaindía (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈβjeɾ aˈɣire]; born 1 December 1958), popularly nicknamed El Vasco (The Basque), is a Mexican former footballer and current manager of Al-Wahda F.C..

As a player, Aguirre was a member of the Mexico national team and later became coach on two separate occasions, but resigned after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Playing career


Aguirre began his career as a youth product of Club América in 1979, though he was sold to Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. Club América later bought him back, where he established himself as a midfielder. He played an integral part in their various title winning seasons, most notably during the 1983–84 season where América reached the league finals against arch-rivals Guadalajara, managing to score a goal in a 3–1 win at the Estadio Azteca. Aguirre also played outside Mexico, signing with Osasuna in Spain in 1986. In 1987 he transferred to Guadalajara, where he made over 100 appearances up until his retirement in 1993.


Aguirre made 59 appearances for the Mexico national team between 1983 and 1992, scoring 13 goals.[1] He played in the FIFA World Cup in 1986, and was sent off in the quarter-final defeat to West Germany.

Managerial career

Early years

After retiring as a player, he took up managing, first with Atlante and then Club Pachuca, where he won the Invierno championship in 1999.


In 2001, he replaced Enrique Meza as the manager of Mexico due to poor results. That same year, he managed them in the 2001 Copa América, but lost 0–1 in the final against host nation Colombia. In 2002, he managed them in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Mexico, commanded by Aguirre, were placed in Group G with Croatia, Italy, and Ecuador. Mexico were later eliminated from the World Cup, after losing 0–2 to the United States in the second round.


Aguirre was then hired to coach CA Osasuna replacing Miguel Angel Lotina departed to Celta de Vigo, club for which he played for, of the Spanish La Liga, where he has been one of the most consistent coaches in the past years, mostly due to the achievement of all the goals he sets. After being hired to save Osasuna in 2002, he did so and stayed with the team until 2006, when he earned them a spot in the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Phase after a fourth-place finish during the 2005–06 season, culminating in entry to the UEFA Cup.

Atlético Madrid

The overwhelming success Aguirre achieved with a small budgeted team earned him the spot on Atlético Madrid's bench. In the first season (2006–07), his task was to get the team back in a European competition and he did so by putting Atlético in the UEFA Cup. The second year's goal (2007–08) was a more ambitious one: the Champions League. After an irregular season, Atlético earned a ticket to the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League under Aguirre's command.

On 2 February, Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported that Aguirre would be replaced by ex-Atlético goalkeeper and CD Castellón manager Abel Resino. The club cited Atlético's recently lacking performance in the new year as reasons for Aguirre's dismissal (Atlético had not won a single game in 2009, up to that point). While most of the club felt his dismissal was necessary, some see his departure as unfair since Aguirre elevated the club to a level it had not seen in almost 14 years.

Return to Mexico

On 3 April 2009, Aguirre was officially appointed as the new manager of the Mexico national team after the poor performance of Sven-Göran Eriksson. Many believe that Eriksson was the scapegoat to be blamed because of Mexico's recently weak team, but brought average results for Mexico. He was officially presented as Mexico manager in a press conference on 16 April 2009. At the press conference, he stated: "I add, gentlemen, that I want the player who comes, come with pride, to recover the identity that comes with our love for the shirt" and that a call-up "is a reward and not a punishment, that we're all here because it is a prize for our careers." His annual salary was US$1,635,000.[2]

On 6 June 2009, Aguirre debuted in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against El Salvador, losing 2–1. However, he rebounded four days later with a 2–1 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

On 9 July 2009, Aguirre was ejected in an incident during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup match versus Panama. During a play along the sideline, Aguirre kicked Panamanian player Ricardo Phillips, triggering Phillips to push Aguirre, causing ejections for both Aguirre and Phillips and delaying the match for over 10 minutes due the refusal of the player from Panama to leave the field.[3] Aguirre apologized to the Mexican fans, media, football players and staff, but never extended such courtesy to Philips or the Panamanian team. He was suspended for three games and the Mexican Football Federation was fined USD $25,000 by CONCACAF.[4]

On 26 July 2009, Aguirre led Mexico to its fifth Gold Cup title and its first win against the United States outside of Mexico since 1999.[5] He then led Mexico to a comeback win over the same opposition at the Estadio Azteca on 12 August 2009 and followed it up by winning 3–0 in Costa Rica, putting Mexico closer to a qualifying spot for the World Cup that seemed to be an impossible task at the time when Eriksson was sacked. On 10 October 2009, Mexico beat El Salvador in the Estadio Azteca 4–1, qualifying Mexico for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

After that, in their last hexagonal game against Trinidad and Tobago, they tied 2-2, ending the World Cup qualifying journey.

On 30 June 2010, Aguirre resigned as coach of Mexico following their failure to reach the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Mexico finished second in Group A, ahead of hosts South Africa and France, but their progress was halted in the second round where they were defeated 3–1 by Argentina.[6]

Real Zaragoza

Aguirre was named manager of Real Zaragoza on 17 November 2010, he was presented in a press conference the following day.[7] He was sacked on 29 December 2011 for putting the team in the relegation zone, the club owner quoted that the team has never done so bad in their club history .[8]


On 28 November 2012, Aguirre was named manager of RCD Espanyol, at that point 20th in the La Liga table. He kept them up in the 201314 season by three points. Aguirre announced he was leaving Espanyol on 16 May 2014,[9] and was replaced 11 days later by former player Sergio.[10]


In August 2014, Aguirre was named as new manager of the Japan national team, replacing Alberto Zaccheroni, who had resigned following the World Cup.[11] At the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Japan won all three of its group matches, scoring seven goals and conceding none, though was knocked out in the quarter final by the United Arab Emirates.

On 3 February 2015, the Japanese Football Association announced they had annulled the contract with Aguirre, after they confirmed that Spanish anti-corruption investigators had indicted Aguirre, who they alleged was involved in an ongoing match-fixing investigation over Real Zaragoza's 2–1 win over Levante on the final day of the 2010–11 season, while Aguirre was manager of Zaragoza.[12]

Al Wahda

On June 18, 2015, Aguirre was hired as new manager of the Al-Wahda FC from United Arab Emirates.[13]


Aguirre's decision-making during the qualifying stages and especially during the World Cup grew increasingly controversial, with the ESPN broadcaster José Ramón Fernández calling him the worst coach in the World Cup after France's Raymond Domenech.[14] In particular, his insistence on playing team-less striker Guillermo Franco while keeping Manchester United striker Javier Hernández on the bench bewildered many fans and commentators.[15] The 33-year-old Franco played poorly and failed to score a goal, while the 22-year-old Hernández scored two goals, once off the bench in the 2–0 victory over France and another as a starter in the 3–1 second-round loss to Argentina.

Aguirre came under criticism for his refusal to explain his personnel decisions.[16] This has led to the proliferation of rumors in Mexico concerning Aguirre's and others' various ulterior motives. These rumors referenced the financial interests of the two major Mexican TV stations, Televisa and TV Azteca, as well as those of various soccer promoters and of the owners of Mexico's first-division teams, all of which wield enormous influence over the Mexico national team. Another questionable topic for Aguirre was the role played by Aguirre's assistant Mario Carrillo, who was supposedly in charge of Mexico's tactical work, but whose real role was never fully explained to the public. During the run up to the World Cup Aguirre expressed his desire to coach in the Premier League in England but received no offers.[17]

In January 2015, it has been reported by Spanish media that a Valencia court has accepted a claim filed by Spanish prosecutors alleging some 40 people, including Aguirre, were involved in fixing a match between his former club Real Zaragoza and Levante UD in 2011, followed by court proceedings expected to start in February, when Aguirre could be asked to appear in court to defend himself, although he denied the accusations at the press conference held in December 2014.[18]

Managerial statistics

As of 28 November 2016
Team Nation From To
G W D L Win % GF GA GD
Mexico Mexico July 2001 July 2002 32 18 4 10 56.25 48 30 +18
Osasuna Spain July 2002 July 2006 177 66 49 62 37.29 206 221 –15
Atlético Madrid Spain July 2006 February 2009 120 52 33 35 43.33 182 139 +43
Mexico Mexico April 2009 June 2010 32 19 7 6 59.38 59 23 +36
Real Zaragoza Spain November 2010 December 2011 47 14 10 23 29.79 47 72 –25
Espanyol Spain November 2012 May 2014 100 36 29 35 36.00 136 133 +3
Japan Japan July 2014 February 2015 10 7 1 2 70.00 18 8 +10
Al-Wahda United Arab Emirates July 2015 Present 50 22 15 13 44.00 93 62 +31


Champion: 2015-16 Al-Wahda FC (Abu Dhabi)


  1. "Mexico record international footballers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  2. ""Vasco", la Azul te espera" ["Vasco", the blue awaits you]. La Prensa Grafica (in Spanish). 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2010. "Vengo a sumar, señores, quiero de alguna manera que el jugador que venga, venga con orgullo, que recupere la identidad, que venga con el amor a la camiseta" y que la convocatoria "sea un premio y no un castigo, aquí estamos todos porque es un premio para nuestras carreras", declaró
  3. Orozco, Ivan (10 July 2009). "Perez gives Panama 1–1 draw with Mexico". CONCACAF. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  4. "Mexico coach Javier Aguirre suspended after brawl in Panama match". The Guardian. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  5. Lewis, Michael (26 July 2009). "U.S. kicking self after 5–0 blowout loss to Mexico in CONCACAF Gold Cup". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  6. "Aguirre quits Mexico job". ESPN Soccernet. ESPN. 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  7. "Javier Aguirre presentado" [Javier Aguirre became manager]. realzaragoza.com (in Spanish). 18 November 2010. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012.
  8. "El Real Zaragoza rescinde contrato con Javier Aguirre" [Real Zaragoza terminated contract with Javier Aguirre]. La Jornada (in Spanish). 29 December 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  9. Marshall, Tom (16 May 2014). "Former Mexico manager Javier Aguirre is set to leave his post in La Liga". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  10. "Espanyol: Sergio Gonzalez is named new coach". BBC Sport. 27 May 2014. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  11. Fielding, Gus (11 August 2014). "Aguirre embraces 'massive challenge' as Japan's new soccer boss". The Japan Times. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  12. Hongo, Jun (3 February 2015). "Japan fires soccer coach Javier Aguirre". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  13. Cerezo, Hugo (June 18, 2015). "Javier Aguirre ficha por el Al Wahda". Marca (in Spanish).
  14. ""El peor técnico del Mundial después de Raymond Domenech es Javier Aguirre": José Ramón Fernández".
  15. Georgina González Ontiveros (23 June 2010). "Pequeña teoría sobre Guille y compañía" [Small theory Guille and Co.]. ESPN. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014.
  16. "Javier Aguirre es un necio y terco: Carlos Albert" [Javier Aguirre is stupid and stubborn: Carlos Albert]. 22 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  17. Guillermo Fadanelli (21 June 2010). "La sordera de nuestro Führer". El Universal. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  18. "Court accepts match-fixing claim involving Japan manager Aguirre". The Japan Times. 2015-01-14. Retrieved 2015-01-14.

External links

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