José Francisco Rojo
Rojo in 1977
|Full name||José Francisco Rojo Arroitia|
|Date of birth||28 January 1947|
|Place of birth||Bilbao, Spain|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
José Francisco 'Txetxu' Rojo Arroitia (born 28 January 1947) is a Spanish retired footballer and coach.
During his career the forward played solely for Athletic Bilbao, in a professional spell which spanned nearly 20 years. He was one of the club's most iconic players, and later also worked as a coach with the team.
Born in Bilbao, Biscay, Rojo joined local giants Athletic Bilbao's youth ranks at an early age. In 1965 he started playing for its reserves but, after only three appearances, was promoted to the first team, and stayed there until his professional retirement 17 years later.
Rojo made his La Liga debut on 26 September 1965 in a 0–1 away loss against Córdoba CF, and helped Athletic to two Copa del Rey trophies. He played a total of 414 games in the Spanish top flight, becoming the player with the second-most appearances in the Basque side's history, only behind José Ángel Iribar; for several seasons he shared teams with younger brother José Ángel, with the pair being thus referred to as 'Rojo I' and 'Rojo II'.
In 1982, aged 35, Rojo retired as a footballer and began a coaching career – a testimonial match was held in his honour, with Athletic Bilbao hosting the England national team. His first managerial experience would be with the former's reserves, and he was promoted to first-team duties early into the 1989–90 campaign, being sacked at its closure.
After a four-year spell at Celta de Vigo, achieving promotion to the top level in his second season, Rojo returned to the second division for the next three years, coaching CA Osasuna and UE Lleida. For 1997–98 he was appointed at UD Salamanca, helping the modest club retain its first division status, and the following season he joined Real Zaragoza, leading them to the fourth place in 2000 – with the team failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League only because the fifth-placed side, Real Madrid, won the campaign's most important European trophy – which earned him a return to Athletic.
After only one season, Rojo moved back to Zaragoza, being replaced by Luis Costa on 22 January 2002 after a 2–4 away loss against Sevilla FC, and ultimately being relegated from the top level. He then took a sabbatical year, subsequently joining Rayo Vallecano in division two and again dropping down a tier.
Rojo played 18 times for Spain, his debut coming on 26 March 1969 in a friendly with Switzerland held in Valencia. During his nine years as an international he scored three goals, but never took part in any major international tournament; both siblings appeared in a friendly with Turkey on 17 October 1973, in José Ángel's sole cap.
|1.||22 April 1970||La Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland||Switzerland||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|2.||24 November 1971||Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain||Cyprus||7–0||7–0||Euro 1972 qualifying|
|3.||16 February 1972||Boothferry Park, Hull, England||Northern Ireland||0–1||1–1||Euro 1972 qualifying|
- Copa del Generalísimo: 1969, 1972–73; Runner-up 1965–66, 1966–67, 1976–77
- UEFA Cup: Runner-up 1976–77
- The Lions of Athletic Bilbao; at FIFA.com
- "Leyendas del Athletic Club de Bilbao – 'Txetxu Rojo' o 'Rojo I'" [Athletic Club de Bilbao legends – 'Txetxu Rojo' or 'Rojo I']. El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- "Los cachorros son casi leones" [The pups are almost lions] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 23 May 1975. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Spanish Cumpleanos: Txetxu Rojo; Goal.com, 28 January 2010
- "Muere José Antonio Eguidazu, presidente del Athletic en los 70" [José Antonio Eguidazu, Athletic in the 70s, dies]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 18 October 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "Luis Costa sustituye a Txetxu Rojo como entrenador del Zaragoza" [Luis Costa replaces Txetxu Rojo as Zaragoza manager]. ABC (in Spanish). 22 January 2002. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "0–0: España se defendió sin ahogos ante Turquia" [0–0: Spain had no problem fending off Turkey]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 18 October 1973. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "2–2: Los andaluces remontaron dos ventajas vascas" [2–2: The Andalusians countered Basques' advantage twice]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 26 June 1977. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "Athletic 2–1 Juventus". UEFA.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017.