Aitor Karanka named Boro boss

Middlesbrough have confirmed the appointment of Aitor Karanka as their new head coach.

Last Updated: 13/11/13 at 11:46 Post Comment

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Middlesbrough have confirmed former Real Madrid assistant boss Aitor Karanka as their new head coach.

Karanka was widely expected to succeed Tony Mowbray at the Riverside after Boro called a press conference for Wednesday morning.

The club said on their official Twitter feed: "Boro today announced that leading Spanish coach Aitor Karanka has been appointed as the club's new Head Coach."

The former Real Madrid defender brings a wealth of experience having worked under Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu for three years from 2010.

Karanka left the club this summer following Mourinho's departure from the Spanish giants.

He had been linked with the vacant job at Barclays Premier League outfit Crystal Palace but has instead opted to move to join the Teesside club on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Boro chief executive Neil Bausor said: "We are delighted that Aitor has decided to further his coaching career with Middlesbrough as our Head Coach.

"He brings with him some fantastic experience as a player and as a talented young coach. We are all excited about working with him."

The Spaniard takes charge of his first club with Boro just five points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone, with Mark Venus standing down following his caretaker manager stint.

"It is a very important day for me," said Karanka at his unveiling.

"This is my first job and it is the best thing that I can do because I have found a club like a family with big facilities with a big stadium, with big supporters, it's a very important day for me.

"It is my time. I have been, for three years, with Jose Mourinho and I think he supported me every day. I learned with him and his staff and I'm ready (now)."

Karanka spoke in glowing terms of Mourinho, who persuaded the 40-year-old to coach Middlesbrough.

"You can learn everything on the pitch and off the pitch and the changing room. He's the one," Karanka added.

"He's the person who's supported me for months. He recommended me to come here because he believes in this project, like me."

Avoiding the drop will clearly be the priority but by looking abroad, owner and chairman Steve Gibson has shown ambition in appointing Boro's first non-British coach.

The local businessman admitted looking for a successor to Mowbray meant searching far and wide, but he is convinced he has made the correct decision.

"Football isn't foreign anymore, it's global, we're all one," said Gibson.

"In the past I've been accused of being a little Englander but football has become global and we were searching for a first-class coach.

"Where that search takes us can't be in our backyard, can't be in the north-east and can't be in England, it's got to be global.

"We set down a clear template of what we were looking for and Aitor was the outstanding candidate."

Aitor Karanka factfile

1973: Born, September 18, in Vitoria, Spain.

1993: September 15 - Makes debut for Athletic Bilbao against Las Palmas.

1995: April 16 - Wins only senior cap for Spain in a 2-0 European Championship qualifying victory over Armenia.

1996: Part of the squad for the Atlanta Olympics where the Spanish lose in the quarter-finals.

1997: Leaves Bilbao to join Real Madrid and wins his first silverware in the Spanish Supercup.

1998: Part of the Madrid squad that wins the Champions League under former Bilbao boss Jupp Heynckes and the Intercontinental Cup under Guus Hiddink.

2000: May 24 - Plays the full 90 minutes as Real beat Valencia at the Stade de France to claim their eighth European Cup

2001: Part of the Real squad that wins the Primera Division for the first time in four seasons and goes on to win the Supercup at the start of the following season.

2002: Claims a third Champions League winners medal as an unused substitute as Real win the title for the third time in five seasons.

2002: Returns to first club Athletic Bilbao after five trophy-laden years in the the Spanish capital.

2006: Joins the Colorado Rapids of the MLS and plays a single season in North America before announcing his retirement.

2008: Appointed coach of Spain Under-16s.

2010: Returns to Real Madrid as assistant manager to Jose Mourinho.

2011: Real win the Copa del Rey for the first time in 18 years.

2012: Real win the Primera Division with a record 100 points and claim the Supercup at the start of the following season.

2013: July - Services are not retained by Real after Mourinho leaves the Bernabeu to return to former club Chelsea.

November 13 - Appointed Middlesbrough manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract, replacing Tony Mowbray.

Middlesbrough 8/1 to win their next three Championship matches!

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