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Xabier Azkargorta

Personal information
Full nameFrancisco Xabier Azkargorta Uriarte
Height1.75 m (5 ft 8.9 in)
Playing positionCentre Forward
Club information
Current clubUnnatached
NumberValencia CF

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Francisco Xabier Azcargorta Uriarte (born 29 September 1953 in Azpeitia), usually called Xabier Azkargorta, is a former Spanish football player and manager.

During his playing career he played for Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao. Later he became a manager, coaching club teams such as CD Tenerife, RCD Espanyol, Sevilla FC, Real Valladolid, and Club Deportivo Guadalajara, and national teams including Bolivia and Chile.

He most recently worked as a television pundit for Digital+'s coverage of the South American World Cup qualifiers.

As of July 2008, Xabier Azkargorta has been appointed the "Director Deportivo" of Spanish La Liga side Valencia CF. In Spain, the manager role differs from that which the English Premiereship assigns to it in the sense that the manager is only in charge of the team's training, strategy and lineup. The decision to scout or pursue other players is left to the "Director Deportivo". In England, both job functions are assumed by the manager.

The Valencia move marks a long-awaited return to Spanish football for Azkargorta (Azkargorta regularly features as an expert witness for the Spanish sporting newspaper AS, where he has frequently stated his desire to return-usually at the fans' request). Valencia midfielder (and former Spanish international) Ruben Baraja has stated to the Spanish daily Marca that "Azkargorta is a man of football, with a distinguished career path and discriminating quality as a manager and national side coach. Further, he holds the respect and esteem of the footballing world, which is a difficult claim to make".

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