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Former-Spain's Euro 2008 winning coach Aragones dead at 75

Reuters

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Luis Aragones, who managed Spain to glory at Euro 2008 and sparked the country's recent golden era in international soccer, died on Saturday, the country's football association said.

The 75-year-old passed away at 6.15am in the Centro de Madrid clinic in the Spanish capital, said the RFEF, who expressed their sorrow at the loss of the "Spain national coach at the start of their glorious run of success in world football."

Spain were long regarded as under-achievers but Aragones changed that perception with the 2008 victory which paved the way for further triumphs under Vicente del Bosque at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Aragones realised the need to get rid of old players in the Spain dressing room like Raul and Michel Salgado and create a new playing style based on the short-passing football that was bringing success at Barcelona.

The often eccentric coach was derided in the Spanish press for dropping the established stars before results started to improve.

He chose to stand down after the Euro success and then went on to coach Turkish side Fenerbahce which ended in failure after one season in 2009. (Reporting by Tim Hanlon. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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