Spanish FA dismiss Aragones-to-quit talk

February 13, 2008

MADRID, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has quashed speculation that Luis Aragones might not coach Spain at Euro 2008 by announcing that the 69-year-old will remain in his post until the end of the tournament.

'The national team coach is determined to continue in his job until the end of Euro 2008 and he knows that the RFEF has full confidence in him,' the federation said in a statement issued after its president Angel Maria Villar met Aragones on Wednesday.

'In today's meeting there was complete agreement over the team's objectives and a renewed determination to achieve the success we all want for Spanish football.'

Spanish media had reported that Aragones might leave his post before his contract expires at the end of Euro 2008 after he voiced dissatisfaction about leaks from the federation about the identity of his possible successor.

'Maybe it is best for them to sack me,' Aragones told reporters before last week's 1-0 win over France in a friendly.

Aragones has come in for heavy criticism from the Madrid-based sports media for his decision to omit Real Madrid striker Raul and midfielder Guti from his recent squads, but he has shown no sign of submitting to the pressure.

Spain qualified for Euro 2008 as group winners ahead of Sweden and are unbeaten in 13 matches. Their last defeat was against Romania in a friendly international in November 2006.

Former Real Madrid coaches Vicente del Bosque and Jose Antonio Camacho, who was in charge of the national team from 1998 to 2002, are reported to be the favourites to take over from Aragones after Euro 2008, which runs from June 7-29.