Javier Aguirre

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Javier Aguirre
Javier Aguirre in Moscow.jpg
Aguirre as Atlético Madrid manager in 2007
Personal information
Full name Javier Aguirre Onaindía
Date of birth (1958-12-01) 1 December 1958 (age 63)
Place of birth Mexico City, Mexico
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Monterrey (Manager)
Youth career
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
2015–2017 Al-Wahda
2018–2019 Egypt
2019–2020 Leganés
2020– Monterrey
Men's football
Representing  Mexico (as manager)
Winner 2009 United States
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Javier Aguirre Onaindía (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈβjeɾ aˈɣire]; born 1 December 1958), nicknamed El Vasco (The Basque), is a Mexican former professional footballer and current manager of Liga MX club Monterrey.

Aguirre played for Mexico at the 1986 World Cup, and was twice manager of the team, taking them to the World Cup in 2002 and 2010. He also led them to the final of the 2001 Copa América, and later managed Japan and Egypt.

At club level, Aguirre led five clubs in Spain's La Liga. He finished fourth with Osasuna in 2006 and Atlético Madrid in 2008, and also took the former to the 2005 Copa del Rey Final.

Playing career[edit]


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[edit]

Early years[edit]

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


On 22 June 2001, Aguirre was appointed manager of Mexico when Enrique Meza resigned; the team were fifth in their qualifying group for the 2002 FIFA World Cup after losing 3–1 away to Honduras, in a run of one win in 12 games.[2] In his first game on 1 July, El Tri beat rivals the United States at home with a single Jared Borgetti goal.[3] The Mexicans qualified in second place behind Costa Rica after a 3–0 win at the Estadio Azteca against the Hondurans on 11 November.[4]

Also in July 2001, Aguirre led Mexico at the 2001 Copa América in Colombia. They defeated Brazil, Chile and Uruguay before losing the final by a single goal to the hosts.[5] A year later at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, his side won their group at Italy's expense before losing 2–0 to the US in the second round.[6]


On 6 June 2002, while leading Mexico at the World Cup, Aguirre joined Spanish La Liga club CA Osasuna when Miguel Ángel Lotina quit for RC Celta de Vigo; he had previously played for the Navarrese club.[7] In his first season in Pamplona, the club reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, losing 4–2 on aggregate to Recreativo de Huelva.[8]

In 2004–05, Aguirre went one better, guiding Osasuna to the cup final, where they lost 2–1 after extra time to Real Betis.[9] In the following league season, the Rojillos beat Sevilla FC to a joint-best 4th place and their first qualification to the UEFA Champions League, having led the table after 11 games.[10]

Atlético Madrid[edit]

On 24 May 2006, days after Osasuna finished the season in fourth, Aguirre signed a one-year contract to replace Pepe Murcia at Atlético Madrid.[11] After a fourth-place finish in 2008 confirmed a place in the Champions League, he extended his deal by another year.[12]

Aguirre was dismissed from the Vicente Calderón Stadium on 2 February 2009, after a run of two points from five games. He was replaced by the team's former goalkeeper Abel Resino, who arrived from CD Castellón.[13]

Return to Mexico[edit]

On 3 April 2009, Aguirre was officially appointed as the new manager of the Mexico national team, replacing Sven-Göran Eriksson. 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 reported to be US$1,635,000.[14]

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 to the refusal of the player from Panama to leave the field.[15] 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 US$25,000 by CONCACAF.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

Aguirre's decision-making during the qualifying stages and during the World Cup garnered criticism, with ESPN broadcaster José Ramón Fernández calling him the worst coach at the World Cup after France's Raymond Domenech.[19] His insistence on playing team-less striker Guillermo Franco, while keeping Manchester United striker Javier Hernández on the bench bewildered many fans and commentators.[20] Aguirre came under additional criticism for his refusal to explain his decisions.[21]

During the run up to the World Cup Aguirre expressed his desire to coach in the Premier League in England, but did not receive any offers.[22]

Real Zaragoza[edit]

Aguirre was named manager of Real Zaragoza on 17 November 2010, he was presented in a press conference the following day.[23] 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.[24]


Aguirre managing Espanyol in December 2013

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 2013–14 season by three points. Aguirre announced he was leaving Espanyol on 16 May 2014,[25] and was replaced 11 days later by former player Sergio.[26]


In August 2014, Aguirre was named as new manager of the Japan national team, replacing Alberto Zaccheroni, who had resigned following the World Cup.[27] 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.[28]

Al Wahda[edit]

On 18 June 2015, Aguirre was hired as new manager of the Al-Wahda FC from United Arab Emirates.[29] On 21 May 2017, after leading Al Wahda to the President's Cup championship victory, Aguirre decided to step down as manager.[30]

Egypt national team[edit]

In July 2018, Aguirre was on a four-man shortlist for the vacant Egyptian national team manager job.[31] He was appointed manager in August 2018.[32] During the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which was hosted in Egypt, the national team was eliminated by South Africa in the Round of 16. As a result, Aguirre was sacked along with the whole technical and administrative staff of the national team for the disappointing result.[33][34]


In November 2019, Aguirre returned to La Liga, taking over a CD Leganés team after the dismissal of Mauricio Pellegrino. He signed to the end of the season, with the option of another.[35] The team were relegated on the final day of the season in July 2020,[36] and he left.[37]


In December 2020, Aguirre returned to the Mexican league for the first time since 2001, signing a two-year deal at C.F. Monterrey.[38]


In January 2015, it has been reported by Spanish media that a Valencia court had 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. Court proceedings were expected to start the following month. Aguirre had previously denied the accusations at a press conference held in December 2014.[39]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 15 January 2022
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Mexico 21 June 2001 1 July 2002 27 17 3 7 40 19 +21 062.96 [40]
Osasuna 1 July 2002 19 May 2006 177 66 49 62 207 221 −14 037.29 [41]
Atlético Madrid 23 May 2006 2 February 2009 131 61 31 39 206 147 +59 046.56 [42]
Mexico 3 April 2009 30 June 2010 32 19 7 6 60 24 +36 059.38 [43]
Zaragoza 18 November 2010 29 December 2011 45 13 10 22 43 68 −25 028.89 [44]
Espanyol 28 November 2012 27 May 2014 69 22 18 29 79 88 −9 031.88 [45]
Japan 24 July 2014 2 February 2015 10 6 2 2 19 10 +9 060.00 [46]
Al-Wahda 18 June 2015 20 May 2017 78 34 21 23 154 108 +46 043.59 [47]
Egypt 1 August 2018 7 July 2019 12 9 1 2 25 7 +18 075.00 [48]
Leganés 4 November 2019 20 July 2020 30 9 11 10 30 36 −6 030.00 [49]
Monterrey 7 December 2020 present 48 22 16 10 70 37 +33 045.83
Total 659 278 169 212 933 765 +168 042.19











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  2. ^ Goff, Steven (22 June 2001). "Mexican Coach Meza Resigns". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Borgetti keeps Mexican hopes alive". BBC Sport. 2 July 2001. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
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  12. ^ "Aguirre committed to Atlético project". UEFA. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Aguirre makes way for Resino at Atletico". CNN. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  14. ^ ""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
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  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ 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.
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  19. ^ ""El peor técnico del Mundial después de Raymond Domenech es Javier Aguirre": José Ramón Fernández". Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ Guillermo Fadanelli (21 June 2010). "La sordera de nuestro Führer". El Universal. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  23. ^ "Javier Aguirre presentado" [Javier Aguirre presented]. realzaragoza.com (in Spanish). 18 November 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012.
  24. ^ "El Real Zaragoza rescinde contrato con Javier Aguirre" [Real Zaragoza terminate contract with Javier Aguirre]. La Jornada (in Spanish). 29 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
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  26. ^ "Espanyol: Sergio Gonzalez is named new coach". BBC Sport. 27 May 2014. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
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  28. ^ Hongo, Jun (3 February 2015). "Japan fires soccer coach Javier Aguirre". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  29. ^ Cerezo, Hugo (18 June 2015). "Javier Aguirre ficha por el Al Wahda". Marca (in Spanish).
  30. ^ "'I'll be a Wahdawi forever': Out-going Al Wahda manager Javier Aguirre says farewell". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Egypt announces four-man coaching shortlist to replace Cuper". BBC Sport. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Egypt appoint Mexican Javier Aguirre as their new manager". BBC. 1 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Egypt sack Javier Aguirre after defeat to South Africa in Africa Cup of Nations last 16". Sky Sports. 7 July 2019.
  34. ^ "Africa Cup of Nations: Egypt sack head coach Javier Aguirre after last-16 exit". BBC Sport. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  35. ^ Kostapoulos, Panos (4 November 2019). "Leganes set to appoint Javier Aguirre as their new head coach". Marca. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  36. ^ "Real Madrid dumped out of Copa del Rey by Leganés at Bernabéu". The Guardian. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  37. ^ Carrasco, Javi (20 July 2020). "Javier Aguirre no seguirá en el Leganés" [Javier Aguirre will not continue at Leganés]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  38. ^ Marshall, Tom (7 December 2020). "Javier Aguirre returns to Liga MX as Monterrey head coach". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
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    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2003–04". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2004–05". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2005–06". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  42. ^ "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2006–07". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2007–08". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2008–09". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  43. ^ "Mexico: Matches". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  44. ^ "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2010–11". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2011–12". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  45. ^ "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2012–13". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
    "Aguirre: Javier Aguirre Onaindia: Matches 2013–14". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  46. ^ "Japan: Matches". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  47. ^ "Al Wahda FC: Matches". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
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External links[edit]