José Francisco Rojo

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Txetxu Rojo
Elftalfoto Athletic de Bilbao (archief), Bestanddeelnr 929-1073 (rojo I).jpg
Rojo in 1977
Personal information
Full name José Francisco Rojo Arroitia
Date of birth (1947-01-28) 28 January 1947 (age 72)
Place of birth Bilbao, Spain
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965 Bilbao Athletic 3 (5)
1965–1982 Athletic Bilbao 413 (48)
1965–1982 Total 416 (53)
National team
1965 Spain U18 1 (1)
1969–1970 Spain U23 3 (0)
1969–1978 Spain 18 (3)
Teams managed
1986–1989 Bilbao Athletic
1989–1990 Athletic Bilbao
1990–1994 Celta
1994 Osasuna
1995–1997 Lleida
1997–1998 Salamanca
1998–2000 Zaragoza
2000–2001 Athletic Bilbao
2001–2002 Zaragoza
2004 Rayo Vallecano
* 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,[1][2] and later also worked as a coach with the team.

Club career[edit]


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.[3][4]

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'.[5]


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.[6][7][8] 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 conclusion.

After a four-year spell at RC 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,[9] 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.

International career[edit]

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.[10]

International goals[edit]


# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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





See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Lions of Athletic Bilbao". FIFA. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "Los cachorros son casi leones" [The pups are almost lions] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 23 May 1975. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  4. ^ Madden, Paul (28 January 2010). "Spanish Cumpleanos: Txetxu Rojo". Goal. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  5. ^ Herrán, Alfonso (18 October 2016). "Muere José Antonio Eguidazu, presidente del Athletic en los 70" [José Antonio Eguidazu, Athletic in the 70s, dies]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  6. ^ Ingunza, Egoitz (6 May 2013). "Históricos de San Mamés VIII: Athletic – Brasil, la fiesta del centenario" [San Mamés Historics VIII: Athletic – Brazil, the centenary party] (in Spanish). Vavel. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Athletic Club 1–1 Inglaterra" [Athletic Club 1–1 England]. Athletic Bilbao. 23 March 1982. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Testimonials, clubs and forces". England Football Online. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Chechu Rojo". European Football. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  12. ^ Rovira, Ramón (26 June 1977). "2–2: Los andaluces remontaron dos ventajas vascas" [2–2: The Andalusians countered Basques' advantage twice]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Athletic 2–1 Juventus". UEFA. Retrieved 6 April 2017.

External links[edit]