August 5, 2021

Luis Aragonés and the foundational epic of tac-tac-tac | sports

Luis Aragonés and the foundational epic of tac-tac-tac | sports

It's June 18, 2008 in the small stadium in Salzburg. It's a sunny spring afternoon in the Danube valley and the air smells of chestnut blossom and grilled sausages. It is the break of the final game of the group stage of the European Championship and Spain is losing 1-0 to Greece. Inside the dressing room Luis Aragonés moves between the agitation of players and assistants addressing the goalkeeper to stop taking out long because the Greek central always win in the passing game. The coach asks the goalkeeper to start the play down, with Sergio Ramos and Capdevila.

-Queen! Above no. Above we can not; We are not taking any. The sides come to the position of the ball and we go out with them.

It is June 26 and Spain is playing the final pass to Russia at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna. The semi-final is 0-0 at halftime and the team's wardrobe is a hive. The voices of Xavi Hernández and Luis Aragonés prevail.

-We are going to press them up and play in the opposite field! – says Xavi, who is standing, Cesc and Iniesta, who look at him from a stool.

-The line of four midfielders has to be five meters beyond the midfield line, at most three. We risk more [con pases más verticales]. At a high rhythm of the ball. Tac-tac-tac! – shouts Luis, in the middle of the room.

Each culture has a myth that is reborn every day. The foundational epic, The Quijote of Spanish football, was the 2008 European Championship. There was developed the magnum opus of an inspired man, the coach Luis Aragonés, and a company of young passionate about the possibility of creating something completely new that gave meaning to the game to which they dedicated their lives . The adventure is collected with certainty in the documentary Luis, the Sage of Success, which was presented on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Spanish football federation, in Las Rozas, in the course of a tribute to Luis Aragonés when it is a decade of the tournament where the Spanish national team revolutionized itself and revolutionized football world.

The work is the result of editing the 50 hours of footage from the film that was recorded by Xavi Enríquez. Member of the body of assistants of the selection of 2008, Enríquez registered the parties and the training for his later analysis, and -between means- he let his cameras pick up the daily life of the team. From the changing rooms to the bus, passing through the halls of the hotels where the talks were held and the conspiracies were celebrated. He was the physical trainer of Luis, the venerable Jesús Paredes, who kept the digital copies of all the material and put it in the hands of a federation to edit it and produce it.

The senior team, veterans, managers and family of Luis Aragonés attended a presentation full of meaning for Spanish football. The event had an overwhelming point. Luis's harangues again provoked vibrations in the new ones and in the old players gathered, and their jokes and their occurrences unleashed laughter.

Sergio Ramos and Raúl Albiol.
Sergio Ramos and Raúl Albiol. EFE

In the midst of the debate that has emerged in recent months about the effectiveness of touch and possession, the words of Luis Aragonés work as a reminder. It never was Tiki Taka, pass the ball to pass, but tac-tac-tac. Put in the mouth of Aragones, a man who at that time was 70 years old and who had been able to live almost everything in football, charge another relief: that of a coach who took care of his players to the detail and embarked them without trying pleasant atmosphere and almost continuously hilarious. The teacher who talks with the group before the quarterfinals with Italy knows that laughter works the magic of communion.

– Yesterday I crossed with Cassano. I told him if he had done his manicure. He looked at me with the face of "this guy wants to find me the ruin". If I played tomorrow, I would go for him and seek expulsion. I will not ask you for that. I am going to ask you not to enter any of the provocations of the Italians.

Spain defeated its old demon of the quarterfinals in the penalties and then it would win the Eurocopa. The triumph did not change Luis's decision to leave office.

-I leave because nobody told me anything about staying and these things are like that. You are the best group of players I have ever had. You have conjured.

Sergio Ramos: "I would put
this obligatory documentary "

After the Eurocopa 2008 documentary was broadcast, the lights of the pavilion were lit up and Luis Aragones son, the president of the federation, Luis Rubiales, and the captain of the national team, Sergio Ramos, took the floor before an audience as excited as they.

"I would put this obligatory documentary for anyone who wants to know the history of football," said Ramos. "Because it reflects very well the game philosophy that we create and implement, humility, work, dedication, team concept … Many values ​​that our sport treasures and that sometimes people forget. I think Luis reflected it very well. Personally, I learned a lot because Luis needed a day to instill the values ​​that he demanded. He made us believe. He convinced us that you could win. It has been a privilege to participate in all that. Reliving it has been a very exciting time. This documentary is a relic. It was the beginning of an era that made us win and I hope we can offer many more moments like that. "

Rubiales, who in 2008 was still a professional player, seemed on the verge of tears when he spoke in defense of an ideological heritage that continues to inspire the national team. "Luis was someone very difficult to define," said the president. "You do not know in your life a person who inspires so much respect and admiration and at the same time so much tenderness. I believe that it is in the nobility of his way of being, in that simplicity, in how he transmitted things, that he came like an arrow and pierced you. For me he has left a legacy. "

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