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José Antonio Camacho

José Antonio Camacho Alfaro (Spanish pronunciation: [xose anˈtonjo kaˈmatʃo]; born 8 June 1955) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a left back, and is a manager.

José Antonio Camacho
Camacho in 2011
Camacho in 2011
Personal information
Full name José Antonio Camacho Alfaro
Date of birth (1955-06-08) 8 June 1955 (age 64)
Place of birth Cieza, Spain
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1973 Albacete
1973–1974 Castilla
1974–1989 Real Madrid 414 (9)
National team
1973 Spain U18 3 (0)
1975–1976 Spain amateur 2 (0)
1975–1988 Spain 81 (0)
Teams managed
1992–1993 Rayo Vallecano
1994–1996 Espanyol
1996–1997 Sevilla
1997–1998 Espanyol
1998 Real Madrid
1998–2002 Spain
2002–2004 Benfica
2004 Real Madrid
2007–2008 Benfica
2008–2011 Osasuna
2011–2013 China
2016–2018 Gabon
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He spent 15 professional years at Real Madrid, appearing in more than 500 official matches with the team and helping win 19 major titles, including nine La Liga championships. Subsequently, he embarked in a lengthy manager career, which included two very brief spells with his main club.

Camacho earned more than 80 caps with Spain, representing the country in two World Cups and as many European Championships. He also managed the national team for four years, taking them to the quarter-finals in the 2002 World Cup.

Playing careerEdit


Camacho was born in Cieza, Murcia. After playing youth football at Albacete Balompié he moved to La Liga giants Real Madrid at age 18, being almost immediately cast into the first team and its starting XI, his debut being handed by manager Luis Molowny on 3 March 1974 as he played the full 90 minutes in a 0–1 away loss against CD Málaga.[1]

During his spell with Real Madrid, Camacho appeared in nearly 600 official matches (414 in the league alone), forming a proficient left-wing partnership with Rafael Gordillo, who featured mainly as a midfielder. In January 1978 he suffered a serious injury in training, which put his career on hold for nearly two years, but returned strong, being instrumental as the capital side won consecutive UEFA Cups.[2][3]


Camacho played 81 games for the Spanish national team, making his first appearance at not yet 20. His debut came on 5 February 1975 in a 1–1 draw against Scotland for the UEFA Euro 1976 qualifiers, in Valencia.[4]

For the following 13 years, Camacho was a defensive mainstay for the national side, being selected – and always as first-choice – to the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups,[5] as well as Euro 1984 and 1988. After the 0–2 group stage loss to West Germany in the latter competition, he retired from the international scene aged 33.

Coaching careerEdit


Following his retirement as a player in 1989, Camacho began coaching, first in Real Madrid's coaching staff. His first professional experiences were spent at Rayo Vallecano and RCD Espanyol, both of which he helped promote to the top division.[6][7]

In the summer of 1998, Camacho took over Real Madrid's first team, but left after only 22 days over disagreements with the club's management.[2][8][9]

Spain national teamEdit

Camacho succeeded Javier Clemente as national team manager in September 1998, after a shock 2–3 loss in Cyprus in a Euro 2000 qualifier.[10] The tide quickly turned under the new boss, who led the side to the final stages where they bowed out to eventual champions France in the quarter-finals.

Two years later, Camacho's team lost in the same stages to South Korea, now in the 2002 World Cup. Following the controversial defeat[11] he announced his resignation, being replaced by Iñaki Sáez.


Camacho returned to club action subsequently, being appointed at S.L. Benfica from Portugal on 1 December 2002 in the place of sacked Jesualdo Ferreira.[12] Two years later, his team won the Taça de Portugal against José Mourinho-led FC Porto in extra-time, as well as finishing second in the Primeira Liga.[13]

A tough tackler in his playing days, Camacho also showed a human side when he cried profusely after Miklós Fehér died on the pitch, shortly after entering Benfica's match at Vitória de Guimarães.[14]

Real Madrid / Benfica returnEdit

For the 2004–05 season, Camacho returned to Real Madrid on a two-year contract as a replacement to sacked Carlos Queiroz.[15] However, things quickly went wrong again in his second spell after a 0–3 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and a 0–1 league loss at Espanyol four days later also in September; shortly after, he resigned and was replaced by assistant Mariano García Remón.[16]

Following Fernando Santos' mutual agreement termination of contract with Benfica, after a 1–1 away draw with Leixões S.C. in 2007–08 Portuguese League's opener, Camacho returned to Benfica.[17] However, following a poor string of results, and claiming he was no longer able to motivate the team, he announced he would leave the club minutes after drawing a home match against bottom-placed U.D. Leiria on 9 March 2008.[18][13][19]


After working as co-commentator on Spanish TV network Cuatro during Spain's victorious Euro 2008 campaign (he would also work for the channel during the 2010 World Cup, which ended with the national team's triumph as well),[20][21] Camacho replaced José Ángel Ziganda at the helm of CA Osasuna on 13 October 2008.[22]

On 14 February 2011, following a 0–1 away loss against Real Sociedad that placed the Navarrese inside the relegation zone, Camacho was fired.[23] They eventually finished in ninth position.

China national teamEdit

On 13 August 2011, Camacho took over the reins of the Chinese national team, signing a three-year deal for a reported annual salary of US$8 million.[24] The Chinese Football Association head Wei Di explained the decision as being part of a long-term plan to help the country catch up with Japan and South Korea. He noted that, "Compared with our neighbours Japan and South Korea, Chinese football is lagging far behind, we need to work with a long-term view and start to catch up with a pragmatic approach. A lot of our fans expect China to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. They are afraid that changing the coach at the last moment may cause bad effect to the team's qualifying prospect. I can totally understand that. But we do not have any time to waste."[25]

Chinese Soccer Administrative Centre vice-president Yu Hongchen added: "The qualifying stage of 2014 World Cup is just a temporary task for him. Even if the task is failed, Camacho will not lose the job. When we started to find a new coach for the national team, we mainly focus on European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. First of all, they have advanced football concepts, and secondly they have a productive youth training system, which we can learn from. We hope he can help us to find a suitable style."[25]

However, China failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after only finishing third in the third qualifying round with three wins and three losses. Camacho was also in charge as a Chinese young squad lost 0–8 to Brazil on 10 September 2012 in a friendly match, the national team's worst-ever defeat which also meant the drop to an all-time low 109th position in the FIFA World Rankings.[26]

In the first game of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign, Camacho and China lost 1–2 against Saudi Arabia.[27] Following a 1–5 shock friendly loss to Thailand on 15 June 2013, he was relieved of his duties.[28]

One reason cited for Camacho's shortcomings in Asia was the limitation of football boots. The Chinese FA ordered that all the national team players were to wear Adidas, whilst most players in the Chinese Super League wore Nike, thus creating discomfort.[29][30]

Gabon national teamEdit

Camacho was appointed as Gabon manager 43 days before the start of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations who was to take place in that country, replacing Jorge Costa.[31] The team exited in the group stage, with three draws.[32]

Camacho was relieved of his duties on 12 September 2018, due to poor results.[33]



  1. ^ "1–0: Un precioso gol de Guerini decidió" [1–0: Guerini wonder goal the decider] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 4 March 1974. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b Biography at Real Madrid Fans (in Spanish)
  3. ^ "El espectáculo y el buen juego rubricaron el nuevo título del Real Madrid" [Brilliance and good display signed new Real Madrid title] (in Spanish). ABC. 24 June 1989. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  4. ^ José Antonio Camacho Alfaro – International Matches; at RSSSF
  5. ^ "Del utillero falangista al positivo de Calderé: nuestro Mundial 86 en diez episodios" [From the falangista kit man to Calderé's positive: our 86 World Cup in ten episodes] (in Spanish). El Confidencial. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Los siete ascensos a Primera del Rayo Vallecano" [Rayo Vallecano's seven promotions to Primera] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Se cumplen 25 años del último ascenso a Primera del Espanyol" [Twenty-fifth anniversary of Espanyol's last promotion to Primera] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Camacho presenta su dimisión y el Real Madrid negocia con Guus Hiddink" [Camacho presents his resignation and Real Madrid negotiate with Guus Hiddink] (in Spanish). El País. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Se cumplen 15 años del primer plante de Camacho al Madrid" [Fifteen years from when Camacho first slammed door on Madrid] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  10. ^ "España cae ante Chipre, un equipo repleto de aficionados" [Spain fall against Cyprus, team filled with amateurs] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  11. ^ Ghandour sees red; BBC Sport, 21 July 2002
  12. ^ "Benfica resistiu mais de uma década até à saída de Rui Vitória" [Benfica held their own for more than one decade until departure of Rui Vitória] (in Portuguese). O Jogo. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Spaniard Camacho quits as Benfica coach". ESPN Soccernet. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Camacho lloró por Miklos Feher en el patíbulo de Guimaraes" [Camacho cried for Miklos Feher in gallows of Guimaraes] (in Spanish). ABC. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Camacho elegido, Queiroz cesado" [Camacho chosen, Queiroz sacked] (in Spanish). Cadena SER. 24 May 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Camacho quits Real". BBC Sport. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  17. ^ Benfica bring Camacho back; UEFA, 21 August 2007
  18. ^ Camacho hands in Benfica notice; UEFA, 9 March 2008
  19. ^ "Camacho resigns as Benfica coach". France 24. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Camacho y Quique fichan por Cuatro" [Camacho and Quique sign for Cuatro] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Las cadenas se vuelcan en la cobertura del Mundial de Sudáfrica 2010" [Networks at full blast in coverage of South Africa's 2010 World Cup] (in Spanish). Europa Press. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  22. ^ Osasuna destituye a Ziganda y su sustituto será Camacho (Osasuna fire Ziganda, Camacho will be his replacement); Marca, 13 October 2008 (in Spanish)
  23. ^ "Osasuna sack Camacho". ESPN Soccernet. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  24. ^ Camacho to be new coach of China national football team; China Times, 9 August 2011
  25. ^ a b Jose Antonio Camacho's appointment is part of a long-term revival plan: China Football Association head Wei Di; Goal, 15 August 2011
  26. ^ Brazil 8–0 China: Neymar nets hat-trick in crushing victory; Goal, 11 September 2012
  27. ^ Asian Cup Qualification: Group C; Soccerway, 6 February 2013
  28. ^ China part ways with Camacho; China National News, 24 June 2013
  29. ^ 国足已放开球鞋限制,将自主选定新赞助商; Hupu, 2 January 2015 (in Chinese)
  30. ^ 莱曼用擦鞋换自由; JF Daily (in Chinese)
  31. ^ "Gabon appoint Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho as new coach". BBC Sport. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  32. ^ "Cameroon 0–0 Gabon". BBC Sport. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Español José Antonio Camacho deja de ser entrenador de Gabón" [Spaniard José Antonio Camacho is no longer Gabon manager] (in Spanish). 20 minutos. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Marcelo, entre los jugadores con más títulos en la historia del Real Madrid" [Marcelo, amongst the most decorated players in the history of Real Madrid] (in Spanish). Goal. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  35. ^ Mentruit, Imma (13 April 2016). "1984: Los 'bleus' se coronan tras el error de Arconada" [1984: ‘Bleus’ crowned after Arconada's mistake] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Benfica vence Taça de Portugal (2–1)" [Benfica win Portuguese Cup (2–1)] (in Portuguese). Público. 16 May 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2018.

External linksEdit