Luis Aragones, coach who launched Spanish football's golden age, retires at 75

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Luis Aragones, Spain's Euro 2008-winning coach and often credited for the country's recent golden era in international football, has confirmed his retirement from coaching.

Spain were long regarded as under-achievers in world football but Aragones changed that perception with the 2008 victory which paved the way for further triumphs under Vicente del Bosque at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

"It is difficult for me now to train and so now you can talk about Luis Aragones in the past. I won't train again," the 75-year-old told online newspaper Vozpopuli.

Aragones realised the need to get rid of old players in the Spain dressing room like Raul and Michel Salgado and create a new playing style based on the short-passing football that was bringing success at Barcelona.

The often eccentric coach was derided in the Spanish press for dropping the established stars before results started to improve.

He chose to stand down after the Euro success and then went on to coach Turkish side Fenerbahce which ended in failure after one season.

He had been without a club since 2009.

"Age is one of the reasons and it is not hard for me to make the decision," Aragones added. "When I left Turkey, I knew it was going to be difficult to continue and now it is definite."

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