Jose Antonio Camacho Alfaro is a Spanish ex-soccer player and coach who began his career as a coach at the age of 37 and later held the position of Spain's national coach from 1998-2002.
He was born in Cieza
, Murcia on June 8, 1955 to Antonio Camacho and Gregoria Alfaro. When he was just six years old, he moved with his family to Albacete. His sports training began in the courtyards and streets, where he stood out among the other young people who shared his passion. The family decided to stay in the city of La Mancha, where his concern for sport was still alive.
With the support of his parents, he passed tests to enter the lower categories of Real Murcia. However, the club's technicians felt that he needed to grow and excused themselves by saying that Jose Camacho was narrow-chested.
At 16 years old, he had the opportunity to fulfil his dream and join the Atlético Jarapeño team in Villanueva de la Jara, in the province of Cuenca. Some time later, he was a left-winger on the Albacete Balompié youth team.
Camacho's technical quality aroused interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the young promise leaned towards the white team, having a prosperous year under the direction of Luis Molowny from March 1973.
Unfortunately, he suffered a serious knee injury during training, having to undergo two operations and rest for 20 months. However, he was able to return to the pitch, becoming a legend for the white club until 1989, when he retired.
He is the seventh player in the history of Real Madrid with the most games played, a total of 578 games. He became a player of international stature with the national team, participating in 81 international matches, two World Cups (1982 and 1986) and two European Championships (1984 and 1988).
Jose Antonio Camacho stood out in his soccer career for his virtues in marking, speed, anticipation and spirit of dedication on the field. He scored nine goals and on only one occasion was he sent off the pitch. His teammates described him as a player with charisma who liked teamwork and had a great desire for victory.
A successful coach
He began his journey on the bench as Alfredo Di Stefano's second at Real Madrid in the 1990-1991 season. A year later, he would take charge of Rayo Vallecano, achieving promotion to the First Division and remaining the following year in the honour category.
In the 1993-1994 season, he signed for Espanyol, achieving promotion and national recognition. He had two spells with the team, 1993-1996 and 1997-1998.
He fulfilled his dream of being coach of Real Madrid in the summer of 1998, but due to a series of inconveniences, he resigned a month later.
Later, he was named to the national team and debuted in the Spain-against-Russia match, achieving a result in favour of a goal for zero. He led the national team in 44 games and reached the quarterfinals at the European Championship. After three years and nine months in office, in 2000, he announced his resignation.
He had an important performance in 2003 as coach of Benfica, winning the Taca de Portugal. On May 25, 2004, he was announced at a press conference as Real Madrid's new coach for the next two seasons. However, Jose Antonio Camacho put an end to his participation as coach of Real Madrid on September 20, 2004, having played only three league days, due to differences with the team president.
He later became coach of Club Atlético Osasuna during the 2008-2009 season, managing to keep the team in the top flight. On February 14, 2011, Club Atlético Osasuna dismissed Jose Camacho after a poor run of results.
In 2011, he signed a contract in Beijing for three years with the Chinese team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a goal that he failed to achieve. His last work as a coach was in the 2016-2018 season, when he coached the Gabon soccer team.