ⓘ Xabier Azkargorta

                                     

ⓘ Xabier Azkargorta

Born in Azpeitia, Gipuzkoa, Azkargorta spent five years under contract to Athletic Bilbao after arriving in 1971 from neighbouring Real Sociedad and completed his formation at the former, but failed to appear in any official games with the first team due to injury. He retired at only 23 years of age.

Azkargorta started working as a manager one year after retiring, his beginnings being in lower league football mainly in his native Basque Country. In the summer of 1982, the 28-year-old was appointed at Gimnàstic de Tarragona in Segunda Division B and, the following season, moved straight into La Liga after signing for RCD Español.

After two more years in Catalonia, Azkargorta continued to coach in the top flight until 1991, being in charge of Real Valladolid, Sevilla FC and CD Tenerife, and being fired by the last two clubs before the respective campaigns ended.

Still in the decade, Azkargorta worked with the national teams of Bolivia and Chile. He led the former to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, thus marking the first time the country reached the tournament through the qualification process. In 1997, he returned to club duties after signing with Yokohama F. Marinos, and eight years later he took charge of Mexicos C.D. Guadalajara; in between, he spent two years with Real Madrid as head of its academies in Central and South America.

In March 2006, Azkargorta was appointed director of football at Beijing Guoan F.C. in the Chinese Super League. In the 2008 summer he returned to his homeland, joining Valencia CF in the same capacity.

Azkargorta was again chosen as Bolivian national side manager on 17 July 2012, replacing Gustavo Quinteros six games into the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. He was relieved of his duties on 9 March 2014, after it was revealed he had signed with Club Bolivar.