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Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Aragones to quit despite Spanish backing

MADRID, June 28 (Reuters) - Spain coach Luis Aragones is likely to step down from the post despite the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) wanting him to continue.

A 3-1 defeat against France in the last 16 on Tuesday ended Spain's interest in the tournament.

'I said if we didn't finish among the top four I would go, and today I still think the same,' Aragones told radio station Cadena Ser when he arrived back in Madrid on Wednesday.

RFEF president Angel Maria Villar had told radio Marca: 'We are very happy with the work Luis has done and we hope he will continue to lead the team as they prepare for the next European Championship.

'He has renovated the team, introduced young players with a lot of enthusiasm and we want him to continue with the project. It hasn't been a failure.

'After we qualified for the World Cup we told him we wanted him to continue after the tournament. We haven't changed our minds.'

Aragones, 67, had been non-committal as to his future when pressed as the team left Dortmund.

'I got up this morning angry with myself because we didn't achieve what we set out to do. But I have a clear conscience,' Aragones told reporters.

'I am going to continue coaching but I don't know where. It depends on a lot of things and we'll have to see how they want to do things but now is not the time to talk about it.'

The defeat to France was Aragones's first in 26 matches since taking over from Inaki Saez after Spain's first-round exit at Euro 2004.

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