Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has paid tribute to Luis Aragones, crediting the Euro 2008-winning Coach as a history-maker.
Aragones passed away on Saturday and Casillas, part of Aragones’ squad for the victorious tournament in Austria and Switzerland, spoke of his relationship with Aragones at a Press conference prior to Madrid’s game against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
“Luis was hearty and honest,” Casillas said.
“My relationship with him was lovely. He influenced many of my generation, especially the internationals.
“This is hard to take for those of us who spent a lot of time with him.”
Casillas described Aragones as one of the founding fathers of the success enjoyed by La Roja over the last few years, thanking Aragones for starting the ball rolling.
“He changed the history of Spanish football,” Casillas said.
“Everyone has to thank him. Vicente del Bosque thanked him repeatedly.
“It’s worth saying that he had a lot of decisions to make, gambles.
“Some were good and some were bad but I’m sure he did it always for the good of Spanish football.
“Euro 2008 changed all the events that have come since.”
Casillas also shared a story of his first interaction with Aragones, not long into the first training session for the national team taken by the man known as the ‘sage of Hortaleza’.
Aragones picked Santiago Canizares rather than Casillas, who was first choice under Aragones’ predecessor, Inaki Saez.
In a phrase Casillas said he had never forgotten, during a training session Aragones advised Casillas not to watch Canizares ‘like cows watch a passing train.’