Jorge Valdano

Jorge Alberto Francisco Valdano Castellanos (born 4 October 1955) is an Argentine former footballer, coach and the former general manager of Real Madrid. He was born in Las Parejas, Santa Fe Province, and played as a forward throughout his footballing career. He is currently working as a commentator for BeIN Sports (Spain).He had a major influence in Argentina's 1986 World Cup victory, including a goal in the final.

Jorge Valdano
Valdano in 1985
Personal information
Full name Jorge Alberto Francisco Valdano Castellanos
Date of birth (1955-10-04) 4 October 1955 (age 65)
Place of birth Las Parejas, Argentina
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1975 Newell's Old Boys 49 (12)
1975–1979 Alavés 105 (21)
1979–1984 Real Zaragoza 143 (47)
1984–1987 Real Madrid 85 (40)
Total 340 (120)
National team
1975–1990 Argentina 23 (7)
Teams managed
1991–1992 Real Madrid (youth)
1992–1994 Tenerife
1994–1996 Real Madrid
1996–1997 Valencia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

With the Argentina national team, Valdano took part at the 1975 Copa América as well as the 1982 and 1986s FIFA World Cups, the latter of which Argentina won. He scored four goals in the 1986 tournament, including Argentina's second goal against West Germany in the final. In total, he earned 23 caps for his nation between 1975 and 1990, scoring seven goals.

Although he initially played for Newell's Old Boys, Alavés and Real Zaragoza, his most successful period at club level was at Real Madrid, where he won La Liga twice, the Copa de la Liga and two UEFA Cups. As a manager, he coached Spanish sides Tenerife, Real Madrid and Valencia. Considered a benchmark for the way he addressed various football clubs, Valdano participated in 2013 at the World Leadership Forum and in the World Business Forum in Mexico City, where he associated the world of sports and business behind it, where he listed the 11 powers of leadership, based on his last book.


Valdano is sometimes nicknamed "The Philosopher of Football".[1] He was part of the Argentine team that won the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico (he scored Argentina's second goal in their 3–2 victory over West Germany), a starter for La Liga giants Real Madrid, and later became sporting director of the Spanish club.

Playing careerEdit

Valdano started playing when he was 16 years old for Rosario's club Newell's Old Boys, where he also started playing professionally, as well as with the Argentina national football team, in 1972.

In 1975, he was transferred to Alavés of the Spanish Segunda División, where he played until 1979. In that year, he moved to Real Zaragoza of the Primera División, and then to Real Madrid in 1984, playing with the Quinta del Buitre. He helped them win the UEFA Cup in 1985 and 1986, scoring once in the 1985 final and twice in the 1986 final.

Stricken by hepatitis, he decided to retire in 1988 and became a sports commentator

Management careerEdit

Valdano began his management career as the Real Madrid youth team coach. In April 1992, just before the end of the 1991–92 season, he became head coach of Tenerife, replacing fellow Argentinian Jorge Solari.[2] He helped Tenerife avoid relegation at the end of 1991–92, and then the following season helped them qualify for the UEFA Cup. He also twice led Tenerife to final day victories that denied his former club Real Madrid winning the La Liga title (Barcelona winning it instead on both occasions).[3] He then returned to Real Madrid in 1994, now as a coach, and led them to the 1994–95 Liga title.

He finally coached Valencia in 1996–97 before becoming Real Madrid's sporting director until his resignation in June 2005. In June 2009, he again returned to Real Madrid as director general and presidential aide. He was sacked from the position on 25 May 2011, however, after his relationship with the coaching staff, particularly head coach José Mourinho, had deteriorated.

International careerEdit

Valdano played 23 times for the Argentina national team between 1975 and 1990, scoring seven goals, four of them in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, including one against West Germany in the final. Other than the 1986 triumph, he also took part in the 1975 Copa América and the 1982 World Cup, but missed most of the latter tournament after being injured in Argentina's second game, against Hungary.

Writing careerEdit

Valdano also wrote the book Sueños de fútbol ("Dreams of football") and edited the book Cuentos de fútbol ("Football short stories") by diverse authors. Real Madrid's former captain Raúl named his first-born son in honour of Valdano.[4]

Career statisticsEdit



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1973 Newell's Old Boys Primera División
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
1975–76 Alavés Segunda División 24 3 - - - - - - 24 3
1976–77 30 8 - - - - - - 30 8
1977–78 26 4 8 1 - - - - 34 5
1978–79 25 5 5 0 - - - - 30 5
1979–80 Real Zaragoza La Liga 34 9 6 4 - - - - 40 13
1980–81 17 3 - - - - - - 17 3
1981–82 29 9 9 9 - - - - 38 18
1982–83 34 17 4 3 - - - - 38 20
1983–84 29 8 4 5 - - - - 33 13
1984–85 Real Madrid La Liga 26 17 2 0 2 2 10 4 40 23
1985–86 32 16 4 1 0 0 11 7 47 24
1986–87 27 7 2 1 - - 4 1 33 9
Total Argentina 49 11
Spain 291 107
Career total 340 118


Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1975 2 2
1982 5 0
1985 5 1
1986 8 4
1987 1 0
1990 2 0
Total 23 7



Newell's Old Boys

Real Madrid





Real Madrid


  • Football is beginning to be a lie well documented by the media.
  • [Diego] Maradona has no peers on the pitch, but he has turned his Life into a show, and is now living a personal ordeal that should not be imitated.
  • The coach proposes and the player disposes, but the limits that the tactics impose on us are every day obfuscating more the expression of new talents. A pity.
  • Every team that is good to the ball, is also good to the whole public.
  • The bacillus of efficiency has also attacked football, and some dare to ask what's the point in playing well. I feel tempted to tell about the time they dared to ask Borges what is poetry for, to which he answered: "What is a sunrise for? What are caresses for? What is the smell of coffee for?" Each question sounded like a sentence: they are for pleasure, for emotion, for living.
  • Football is made up of subjective feeling, of suggestion - and, in that, Anfield is unbeatable. Put a stick with shit hanging from it in the middle of this passionate, crazy stadium and there are people who will tell you it's a work of art. It's not: it's shit hanging from a stick [...] if football is going the way Chelsea and Liverpool are taking it, we had better be ready to wave goodbye to any expression of the cleverness and talent we have enjoyed for a century.[6]
  • Football is an excuse to make us happy.


  1. ^ Gorris, Lothar; Hüetlin, Thomas (30 June 2006). "Interview with Football Philosopher Jorge Valdano: "The Pitch Is a Jungle"". Spiegel. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Se cumplen 26 años del debut de Valdano en el banquillo insular". 19 April 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Barcelona and Real Madrid set for more last day drama in La Liga". 10 May 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2006-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Jorge VALDANO
  6. ^ "English teams are robbing game of skill, says Valdano" - The Guardian

Further readingEdit

  • Martin, Carmelo (1996). Valdano: Sueños de fútbol [Valdano: Football Dreams] (in Spanish). p. 179. ISBN 84-03-59703-7.
  • Valdano, Jorge. Cuentos de fútbol [Football Tales] (in Spanish).
  • Valdano, Jorge. Cuentos de fútbol II [Football Tales II] (in Spanish).
  • Valdano, Jorge. Los cuadernos de Valdano [Valdano's Notebooks] (in Spanish).
  • Valdano, Jorge. El miedo escénico y otras hierbas (in Spanish).

External linksEdit