Former Spain coach Aragones dies, aged 75
MADRID (Reuters) - Former coach Luis Aragones, the man who ended Spain's 44-year wait for a major international trophy by winning Euro 2008 and sparking a golden era for the team, has died at the age of 75.
He passed away on Saturday morning in the Centro de Madrid clinic in the Spanish capital after a battle with leukaemia, his family said in a statement.
The RFEF, the country's soccer federation, expressed its sorrow at the loss of the "Spain coach that started their glorious run of success in world football".
Spain lifted the European Championship trophy in 1964 but for several decades after they were regarded as under-achievers.
Aragones changed that perception with his victory in 2008, creating the platform for more triumphs under Vicente del Bosque at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the final in Vienna six years ago, Fernando Torres scoring the winner in the 33rd minute.
"Without doubt he paved the way for this latest period that has been so successful. He had a lot of experience as a coach and personally I had a special affection for him," said Del Bosque.
"I knew he had a health problem but I never imagined it would come to this. We will remember this day with a lot of sadness."
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