A well-worn saying assures about someone who recovers from his falls over and over again that "he has more lives than a cat".
Perhaps we should start by saying that more lives than Javier Aguirre, not even the most seasoned feline seems to have.
The former world player (he was as a player and coach) had been fired from the Rayados del Monterrey, his most recent club in Mexican soccer, just on February 26.
The poor results and the burden of the team's poor performance in the Club World Cup last year, in which he finished fifth when much more was expected, decided his dismissal.
The Monterrey fans repudiated him in the stands and on the nets.
Aguirre left the north of the country and just a month later, on March 24, he was announced as coach of Mallorca, a team from the Spanish first division that was in serious risk of relegation.
And this Sunday he got the vermilion to certify their permanence on the last day of the league.
In his own way, with effort and a hint of miracle.
This new resurrection, achieved in a few weeks and thanks to the strength of character and motivation that Aguirre manages to inject into his squad, shows, once again, that this coach is, above all else, a survivor.
A guy who, like the hero of a boxing movie, is able to get up from the canvas even if they consider him already knocked out and who continues in the fight.
Everyone knows him as
, because his parents were, but Javier Aguirre Onaindia was born in Mexico City on December 1, 1958. From a young age he prepared himself to be a footballer, and he knew how to be a midfielder with remarkable qualities of sacrifice and vision of the game.
His career as a player was more than brilliant.
He left the basic forces of America (with that team he won his only title as a player) and paraded through Atlante and Chivas, before going to Spanish soccer, after his good performance in the Mexican team that played in the 1986 World Cup. Osasuna de Pamplona at a time when Hugo Sánchez was one of the top figures in the Spanish league.
Everything announced that El Vasco would triumph, but a fractured tibia and fibula left him out of action for months.
He returned to Mexico to stay with Chivas, a team with which he retired in 1993.
The journalists who covered him as a player bet that he would dedicate himself to the technical direction.
Aguirre was always charismatic, talkative, understood the game well and showed natural leadership in all of his teams.
The prophecy was quickly fulfilled.
Miguel Mejía Barón took him as an assistant to the national team at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. He was also an assistant on the Pan-American team that competed in the 1995 games, directed by Guillermo Vázquez.
He passed, already as a coach, by Atlante, Pachuca, Osasuna (back), Atlético de Madrid, Zaragoza, Espanyol, Al Wahda (in the United Arab Emirates), Leganés and the aforementioned, Monterrey and Mallorca.
He won league titles with Pachuca and Al Wahda and in the Concachampions with Monterrey.
In the midst of that, he led the Mexican team in two periods, in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, reaching the round of 16 in both (as has happened with the team, on the other hand, in each of the tournaments since 1994). .
The investigation into accusations of match-fixing when he was in charge of Zaragoza had no legal repercussions for him, but it did cost him his position as Japan coach in 2015, a position in which he lasted less than a year.
He was also unsuccessful with Egypt, which he coached between 2018 and 2019. He may be remembered more, in recent years, for his participation as a commentator on the 2018 World Cup on television, with his renowned folksy and fun demeanor.
In general, he has been a hard-working and quarrelsome guy, who has led medium-sized teams with decent results.
Time and again the specialized press has given him up for dead, when he adds some failure.
But he time and time again he has come back.
And this Sunday he did not win a title, of course, but for the fans of Mallorca, a team that had not repeated in any category for six years, between promotions and relegations, they can at least presume that they achieved the objective for which they hired him.
He is alive again.
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