Football

Reaction to Luis Aragones' death

MADRID (AP) — Reaction and quotes following the death of former Spain coach Luis Aragones:

"Luis Aragones changed the history of Spanish football. And for that we will always be thankful." — Spain and Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas.

"Without a doubt, our current run of success is a result of his legacy. He had a long history of coaching experience and he had a special appreciation for the game." — Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who succeeded Aragones after the 2008 European Championship triumph.

"To me he's the most important person from Spanish football, the person who changed the style of 'La Roja.' He was a valiant, decisive person, a great human. It's a great loss for football, and for life and I think Spanish football owes him an enormous homage." — Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

"Thank you coach, I can never thank you enough for everything you did for me. RIP Luis Aragones." — Spain and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who scored the lone goal in the 1-0 Euro 2008 final win against Germany.

"It's a very sad day. One of the greats has left us. Thank you for making me a great part of what I am today." — Spain and Atletico Madrid striker David Villa, the country's all-time leading scorer.

"It was an honor to be 'one of yours,' like you enjoyed to say. We'll never forget you!! Thank you for everything! Simply a great, a genius. SO WISE. So many memories!!" — Spain and Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

"Luis Aragones was a father, a brother, a friend, an idol, a myth in football. All of us who knew you and admired you are very sad." — Former Spain midfielder Marcos Senna, a Brazil-born naturalized Spaniard who was given a key role in the Euro 2008 team by Aragones.

"Luis Aragones was a great player and coach, but before all that a great person and friend. He was Atletico above all." — Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo.

"We lament the loss of Luis Aragones, one of football's greats. A sage who leaves us with an empty void. We remember him today at the Camp Nou." — Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"Luis Aragones always showed immense personality and gigantic passion for football. This sport will always thank him and all Spanish fans everywhere owe him gratitude and respect." — Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

"He rebelled against and broke through the difficulties that always kept Spain from winning. He showed the path, he showed it was possible. Spain stopped being a possibility and turned into a reality." — Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.

"When we take to the field, we take it with the aim to win. All of the teams here are very good and we are as good as any of them. As a coach, I want to win, I want to win that European championship. And you all have the talent to do it. If I don't reach the final with this team, I'm a useless coach." — Luis Aragones to Spain's players before the start of Euro 2008.

"Finalist? That's a worthless title. Let's stay positive and go out and at them. No one remembers the finalist." — Luis Aragones to his players ahead of the Euro 2008 final, which Spain won 1-0 against Germany.

"Me, a racist? I have friends of that race. I have Gypsy friends. I have Japanese friends. I have a friend who determines the sex of chickens. I don't know if you know what that is? A chick sexer determines whether they are male or female, and he only makes two mistakes in every thousand." — Luis Aragones defending himself from accusations of racism following a jibe he made about Thierry Henry, a black player, to motivate one of his own players.

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