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Herrera covered on Argentine sports magazine
El Gráfico in 1964.
|Full name||Helenio Herrera Gavilán|
|Date of birth||10 April 1910|
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Date of death||9 November 1997(aged 87)|
|Place of death||Venice, Italy|
|1940–1942||Red Star Olympique|
|1953||Deportivo de La Coruña|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).|
Helenio Herrera Gavilán (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈlenjo eˈreɾa ɣaβiˈlan]; 10 April 1910 – 9 November 1997) was an Argentine football player and manager. He is best remembered for his success with Internazionale team known as Grande Inter.
Although born in Argentina, Herrera's parents were both Spanish, his father being a well-known Spanish anarchist in exile. He emigrated at age four with his parents to Casablanca, Morocco where he adopted French citizenship.
The exact date of his birth is unknown, and it is alleged that in the 1950s, he changed his year of birth from 1910 to 1916.
Playing as a defender, in 1932 he earned a transfer from RC Casablanca to mainland France – CASG Paris. Before World War II, Herrera (or H.H. as he was known) played in Stade Français, FCO Charleville (where he was called up for the national team twice) and Excelsior Roubaix. During the war, he played for five years more in Red Star Paris, Stade Français, EF Paris-Capitale and Puteaux, where he started his managing career in 1944 as a player-manager. He retired in 1945, and while his playing career was very short of notable successes, his managing career, coinciding with the early beginnings of UEFA competitions, had a marked effect on the game's tactical definitions.
After his first season in Puteaux, Herrera rejoined Stade Français for a third time now as manager. After three seasons with no trophies collected, the club's president opted to sell the club. Herrera moved to Spain, where he spent the next six years with Real Valladolid, Atlético Madrid, where he won the championship in 1950 and 1951, CD Málaga, Deportivo de La Coruña and Sevilla FC, before entering a two-year tenure with Lisbon side CF Os Belenenses. Later returning to Spain, he managed giants FC Barcelona, but several problems, including disagreements between him and star player Ladislao Kubala forced him to leave the club in 1960.
He immediately emigrated to Italy and signed with Internazionale, winning two European Champions Cup in his stay with the club, where he modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the Verrou (door bolt) to include larger flexibility for counter-attacks – and the Catenaccio was born. During this time he was also coaching Spain (between 1959 and 1962) and Italy (1966–67).
In 1968, Herrera moved to AS Roma where he became the highest paid manager in the world with a contract worth an estimated £150,000 per year. He won the Coppa Italia in his first season but relations with club president Alvaro Marchini had already soured over the tragic death of his centre-forward Giuliano Taccola in the team dressing room at an away game against Cagliari. The following season, 1969–70, erratic results in the League gave Marchini the excuse to sack him.
He returned to management for a one year stint with Inter for the 1973–74 season. Herrera then suffered a heart attack, did not want to coach full-time anymore and retired in Venice where he lived the rest of his life. While inactive between 1974 and 1978, Herrera returned briefly during the end of the decade, managing Rimini Calcio and finally ending his career with a return to FC Barcelona for two half seasons in 1980 and 1981.
He pioneered the use of psychological motivating skills – his pep-talk phrases are still quoted today, e.g. "he who doesn't give it all, gives nothing", "with 10 our team plays better than with 11" (after his team had to face the second half of a game with only 10 players on the field) and "Class + Preparation + Intelligence + Athleticism = Championships. These slogans were often plastered on billboards around the ground and chanted by players during training sessions.
He also enforced a strict discipline code, for the first time forbidding players to drink or smoke and controlling their diet – once in Inter he suspended a player after telling the press "we came to play in Rome" instead of "we came to win in Rome". He also sent club personnel to players' homes during the week to perform '"bed-checks". He introduced the ritiro, a pre-match remote country hotel retreat that started with the collection of players on Thursday to prepare for a Sunday game.
He was also one of the first managers to call on the support of the "12th player" – the spectators. While indirectly, this led to the appearance of the first Ultras movements in the late 60s. While defensive in nature, his understanding of the Catenaccio was slightly different from that practised by other Italian teams and the original Verrou, as he often used the full backs (particularly Giacinto Facchetti) as halfbacks (defensively supported by the libero) to launch faster counter-attacks, a staple of Italian tactics – yet, he never denied the heart of his team relied on defence.
He was also the first manager to collect credit for his teams' performances. Up to that time managers were more marginal figures in a team. All teams were known for their headline-grabbing individual players, exemplified by stars like Di Stéfano's Real Madrid, whereas Inter FC during the 60s is still referred to as Herrera's Inter.
- Atlético de Madrid
- La Liga (2): 1958–59, 1959–60
- Copa del Rey (2): 1958–59, 1980–81
- Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (2): 1955–58, 1958–60
- Serie A (3): 1962–63, 1964–65, 1965–66
- European Cup (2): 1963–64, 1964–65
- Intercontinental Cup (2): 1964, 1965
Helenio Herrera was nicknamed il Mago (the Wizard) and H.H. (from the initials of his name) by Italian sports journalists (who recognized him as one of the finest coaches in Italian football history) because on occasion he would provocatively announce the results of Sunday's games and often his prediction turned out to be correct. He is unrelated with the less famous Heriberto Herrera, another football coach who directed Juventus and Inter in the same years.
- "Obituary: Helenio Herrera – Obituaries, News". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "Fiora Gandofi – books" (in (Italian)). Fioragandolfi.it. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "Herrera's creative engine room: God, Freud and Yoga – Professor Champions League". FourFourTwo. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
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|European Cup Winning Coach
1963–64 & 1964–65