Former Athletic Coach Javier Clemente Named New Manager Of Euskal Selekzioa

Javier Clemente

Javier Clemente is the new manager of Euskal Selekzioa (AS)

A lot has changed since the Basque National Team played their last match. Back in October Euskadi defeated Venezuela 4-2 at Mendizorrotza and since then they have been taking massive steps forward. Just two months ago the Basque Football Federation, Euskadiko Futbol Federakundea, announced their intention to apply for international recognition from FIFA and UEFA.

In another move to prepare for the future, the EFF recently announced that Euskal Selekzioa will be traveling to Panama on 29 May for a friendly against the Panama National Team. The Basques had to get permission from the Spain Federation to do so and the match is now official. However, there was one major issue that needed to be addressed. Euskadi needed a new manager.

Back when Athletic Club and Real Sociedad were the only two teams in the Primera, Euskadi were led by a coaching duo from both clubs working together. Mikel Etxarria has continued to represent La Real despite leaving the Anoeta a few years ago, but Athletic have always been represented by someone currently working for the club. José María Amorrortu was the last Euskadi coach from Athletic, but he is no longer with the club after Rafa Alkorta became the new Sporting Director in December.

With other Basque clubs now well represented in La Liga there have been many conversations going on within the EFF to change the coaching situation. The decision was made to hire one traditional manager and the Federation immediately set their sights on legendary coach Javier Clemente. The former Athletic manager was approached a few weeks ago and, after considering the offer, accepted the position.

The Basque Federation officially announced Javier Clemente as the new manager on Wednesday. He will be formally presented at the Palacio Euskalduna on Thursday at 1:00pm and will also be giving a press conference. Clemente was a one club man for Athletic as a player and became one of the most successfully coaches in club history, winning the league title twice and the Copa del Rey while serving from 1981-1986.

Clemente returned to coach Athletic two more times in 1990 and again in 2005. He also served as the manager of Espanyol, Atlético Madrid, Real Betis, Real Sociedad, Marseille, Tenerife, Murcia, Real Valladolid, and Sporting Gijón. Clemente has experience on the international level as well having coached Spain from 1992-1998, Serbia, Cameroon, and most recently Libya where he was dismissed in October of 2016. Now Clemente returns to the sidelines where he will be tasked with leading Euskadi during this important time of growth.

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