A lower-League striker for the likes of Eibar and Athletic Bilbao’s B team, Bilbao Athletic, in the 1990s, Asier Garitano went straight into coaching after he hung up his boots, becoming No 2 at Alicante in 2003.
He was then promoted to No 1 for only three games, before heading to Castellon in 2009 – again as an assistant – and seeing through their relegation to Segunda B as a caretaker that season.
However, the 47-year-old’s big break came in the third tier with Orihuela and Alcoyano, both of whom he guided to the playoffs. His work convinced Leganes to take him on, and he guided Los Pepineros to Segunda in his first campaign at the helm.
A comfortable, mid-table finish was secured in Lega’s first season back in the second division, before Garitano became the first Coach in the club’s history to achieve promotion to La Liga the following year.
Twelve months later, he steered the side to safety in the top flight, courtesy of a 1-1 draw at former team Athletic, and was subsequently awarded the Miguel Munoz Trophy for La Liga’s best Coach after he picked up the same accolade in the Segunda the season before.