Javier Clemente He returns at the age of 68 to direct another team, but this time it is more sentimental than football. After his last adventure in Libya, after having passed through Cameroon, Serbia and the long journey with Spain, the Bizkaian coach takes the reins of the selection of Euskadi, in which he replaces the tandem formed by Mikel Etxarri and José Mari Amorrortu. The latter, left the position of coordinator of Lezama, after the arrival to the presidency of the Athletic of Aitor Elizegi, although already it planned his retirement for June, a decision that possibly has precipitated the change in the direction of the Basque combined one. The federation has limited itself to thanking them both, in a brief way, "the great work done and the commitment shown at the head of the national team".
Clemente, who will be presented on Thursday, will face his first commitment to the Basque team in the match against Panama, which the Central American federation has announced for May 29, at the Rommel Fernández stadium in the Panamanian capital. At that time, the Spanish league will be finished, between 18 and 19 of the same month, but the Basque clubs have given their approval to the players selected to act with the combined. Panama, the team run by Julio Dely Valdés, considers it a test for the Gold Cup, which takes place in June.
On December 12, the Basque Football Federation decided by means of a vote to formally request UEFA and FIFA the recognition of an independent federation of the Spanish Federation as part of the path towards the participation of the Basque national team in official competitions. Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, said that this claim is "totally unrealizable" and asked Luis María Elustondo, the president of the Basque Government, to present his resignation at the RFEF. "Only for dignity I ask you to present the resignation right now," Rubiales told Elustondo, although the Basque leader, three months later, has not done so.
Javier Clemente has been training for 44 seasons. In 1975 he took the reins of the Arenas Club, which amounted to Third Division. Since then he has led thirteen teams and four national teams, in a total of 950 matches, of which he won in 392. His greatest successes came with Athletic, with which he won two leagues, a Cup and a Super Cup. With Spain, between 1992 and 1998, he qualified the team for two World Cups and one European Championship.