José Antonio Camacho

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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 63)
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
1998–2002 Spain
2002–2004 Benfica
2004 Real Madrid
2007–2008 Benfica
2008–2011 Osasuna
2011–2013 China

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

José Antonio Camacho Alfaro (born 8 June 1955) is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a left back, and a current manager.

He played for 15 professional years with Real Madrid, appearing in more than 500 official games with the team and helping it to 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 gained more than 80 caps with Spain, representing it in two World Cups and as many European Championships. He also managed the national team during four years, taking it to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup.

Playing career

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 01 away loss against CD Málaga.

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.[1]

Camacho also 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.[2]

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

Coaching career


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.

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.[1]


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

Two years later Camacho's team lost in the same stages to South Korea, now in the 2002 World Cup; following the controversial defeat[4] he announced his resignation, being replaced by Iñaki Sáez.

Benfica and Real Madrid / Osasuna

After that Camacho returned to club action, being appointed at Portugal's S.L. Benfica on 29 November 2002 in the place of sacked Jesualdo Ferreira. Two years later, his team won the Portuguese Cup against José Mourinho-led F.C. Porto in extra-time, as well as finishing second in the league. A tough tackler in his playing days, he also showed a very human side when he deeply cried after Miklós Fehér died on the pitch, shortly after entering Benfica's match at Vitória de Guimarães.[5]

For the 2004–05 season Camacho returned to Real Madrid on a two-year contract, as a replacement to sacked Carlos Queiroz. However, things quickly went wrong again in his second spell after a 0–3 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the campaign's UEFA Champions League, and a 0–1 league loss at Espanyol four days later, in September; shortly after, he resigned and was replaced by assistant Mariano García Remón.[6]

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.[7] 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 União de Leiria on 9 March 2008.[8]

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 also ended with the national team's triumph), on 13 October 2008, Camacho replaced José Ángel Ziganda at the helm of CA Osasuna.[9]

On 14 February 2011, following a 0–1 away loss against Real Sociedad that placed the Navarrese inside the relegation zone, Camacho was fired.[10] The club eventually finished in ninth position.

Chinese national team

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.[11] 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."[12]

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."[12]

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.[13]

In the first game of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign, Camacho and China lost 1–2 against Saudi Arabia.[14] Following a 1–5 shock friendly loss to Thailand on 15 June 2013, he was relieved of his duties.[15]




Real Madrid





  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography at Real Madrid Fans (in Spanish)
  2. José Antonio Camacho Alfaro – International Matches; at RSSSF
  3. "España cae ante Chipre, un equipo repleto de aficionados" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 23 April 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ghandour sees red; BBC Sport, 21 July 2002
  5. "Camacho lloró por Miklos Feher en el patíbulo de Guimaraes" (in Spanish). ABC. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Camacho quits Real". BBC Sport. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Benfica bring back Camacho;, 21 August 2007
  8. Camacho hands in Benfica notice;, 9 March 2008
  9. Osasuna destituye a Ziganda y su sustituto será Camacho (Osasuna fires Ziganda, Camacho will be his replacement); Marca, 13 October 2008 (in Spanish)
  10. "Osasuna sack Camacho". ESPN Soccernet. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Camacho to be new coach of China national football team; The China Times, 9 August 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jose Antonio Camacho's appointment is part of a long-term revival plan: China Football Association head Wei Di;, 15 August 2011
  13. Brazil 8–0 China: Neymar nets hat-trick in crushing victory;, 11 September 2012
  14. Asian Cup Qualification: Group C; Soccerway, 6 February 2013
  15. China part ways with Camacho; China National News, 24 June 2013

External links