José Francisco Rojo

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Txetxu Rojo
Personal information
Full name José Francisco Rojo Arroitia
Date of birth (1947-01-28) 28 January 1947 (age 72)
Place of birth Bilbao, Spain
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965 Bilbao Athletic 3 (5)
1965–1982 Athletic Bilbao 413 (48)
1965–1982 Total 416 (53)
National team
1965 Spain U18 1 (1)
1969–1970 Spain U23 3 (0)
1969–1978 Spain 18 (3)
Teams managed
1986–1989 Bilbao Athletic
1989–1990 Athletic Bilbao
1990–1994 Celta
1994 Osasuna
1995–1997 Lleida
1997–1998 Salamanca
1998–2000 Zaragoza
2000–2001 Athletic Bilbao
2001–2002 Zaragoza
2004 Rayo Vallecano

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

† Appearances (goals)

José Francisco 'Txetxu' Rojo Arroitia (born 28 January 1947) is a Spanish retired footballer and coach.

During his career the forward played solely for Athletic Bilbao, in a professional spell which spanned nearly 20 years. He was one of the club's most iconic players,[1] and later also worked as a coach with the team.

Club career

Born in Bilbao, Biscay, Rojo joined local giants Athletic Club de Bilbao's youth ranks at an early age. In 1965 he started playing for its reserves but, after only three appearances, was promoted to the first team, and stayed there until his professional retirement 17 years later.[2][3]

Rojo made his La Liga debut on 26 September 1965 in a 0–1 away loss against Córdoba CF, and helped Athletic to two Copa del Rey trophies. He played a total of 414 games in the Spanish top flight, becoming the player with the second-most appearances in the Basque side's history, only behind José Ángel Iribar.

In 1982, aged 35, Rojo retired from football, beginning a coaching career – a testimonial match was held in his honour, with Athletic Bilbao hosting the English national team. His first manager experience would be with Bilbao Athletic, and he was promoted to first-team duties early into the 1989–90 campaign, being sacked at its closure.

After a four-year spell at Celta de Vigo, achieving promotion to the top level in his second season, Rojo returned to the second division for the next three years, coaching CA Osasuna and UE Lleida. For 1997–98 he was appointed at UD Salamanca, helping the modest outfit retain its first division status, and the following season he joined Real Zaragoza, leading it to the fourth place in 2000 – with the club failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League only because the fifth-placed team, Real Madrid, won the campaign's most important European trophy – which earned him a return to his main team, Bilbao.

After only one season Rojo moved back to Zaragoza, being replaced by Luis Costa on 22 January 2002 after a 2–4 away loss against Sevilla FC,[4] and ultimately being relegated from the top level. He then took a sabbatical year, subsequently joining Rayo Vallecano in division two and again dropping down a category.

International career

Rojo played 18 times for Spain, his debut coming on 26 March 1969 in a friendly with Switzerland held in Valencia. During his nine years as an international he scored three goals, but never took part in any major international tournament.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 22 April 1970 La Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland   Switzerland 0–1 0–1 Friendly
2. 24 November 1971 Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain  Cyprus 7–0 7–0 Euro 1972 qualifying
3. 16 February 1972 Boothferry Park, Hull, England  Northern Ireland 0–1 1–1 Euro 1972 qualifying



Athletic Bilbao



See also


  1. The Lions of Athletic Bilbao; at
  2. "Los cachorros son casi leones" (PDF) (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 May 1975. Retrieved 7 December 2015. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Spanish Cumpleanos: Txetxu Rojo;, 28 January 2010
  4. Luis Costa sustituye a Txetxu Rojo como entrenador del Zaragoza (Luis Costa replaces Txetxu Rojo as Zaragoza manager); ABC, 22 January 2002 (Spanish)

External links