Camacho in 2011
|Full name||José Antonio Camacho Alfaro|
|Date of birth||8 June 1955|
|Place of birth||Cieza, Spain|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft in)|
|Playing position(s)||Left back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He spent 15 professional years at Real Madrid, appearing in more than 500 official matches with the team and helping win 19 major titles, including nine La Liga championships. Subsequently, he embarked in a lengthy manager career, which included two very brief spells with his main club.
Camacho earned more than 80 caps with Spain, representing the country in two World Cups and as many European Championships. He also managed the national team for four years, taking them to the quarter-finals in the 2002 World Cup.
Camacho was born in Cieza, Murcia. After playing youth football at Albacete Balompié he moved to La Liga giants Real Madrid at age 18, being almost immediately cast into the first team and its starting XI, his debut being handed by manager Luis Molowny on 3 March 1974 as he played the full 90 minutes in a 0-1 away loss against CD Málaga.
During his spell with Real Madrid, Camacho appeared in nearly 600 official matches (414 in the league alone), forming a proficient left-wing partnership with Rafael Gordillo, who featured mainly as a midfielder. In January 1978 he suffered a serious injury in training, which put his career on hold for nearly two years, but returned strong, being instrumental as the capital side won consecutive UEFA Cups.
Camacho played 81 games for the Spanish national team, making his first appearance at not yet 20. His debut came on 5 February 1975 in a 1-1 draw against Scotland for the UEFA Euro 1976 qualifiers, in Valencia.
For the following 13 years, Camacho was a defensive mainstay for the national side, being selected - and always as first-choice - to the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, as well as Euro 1984 and 1988. After the 0-2 group stage loss to West Germany in the latter competition, he retired from the international scene aged 33.
Following his retirement as a player in 1989, Camacho began coaching, first in Real Madrid's coaching staff. His first professional experiences were spent at Rayo Vallecano and RCD Espanyol, both of which he helped promote to the top division.
Camacho succeeded Javier Clemente as national team manager in September 1998, after a shock 2-3 loss in Cyprus in a Euro 2000 qualifier. The tide quickly turned under the new boss, who led the side to the final stages where they bowed out to eventual champions France in the quarter-finals.
Camacho returned to club action subsequently, being appointed at S.L. Benfica from Portugal on 1 December 2002 in the place of sacked Jesualdo Ferreira. Two years later, his team won the Taça de Portugal against José Mourinho-led FC Porto in extra-time, as well as finishing second in the Primeira Liga.
For the 2004-05 season, Camacho returned to Real Madrid on a two-year contract as a replacement to sacked Carlos Queiroz. However, things quickly went wrong again in his second spell after a 0-3 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and a 0-1 league loss at Espanyol four days later also in September; shortly after, he resigned and was replaced by assistant Mariano García Remón.
Following Fernando Santos' mutual agreement termination of contract with Benfica, after a 1-1 away draw with Leixões S.C. in 2007-08 Portuguese League's opener, Camacho returned to Benfica. However, following a poor string of results, and claiming he was no longer able to motivate the team, he announced he would leave the club minutes after drawing a home match against bottom-placed U.D. Leiria on 9 March 2008.
After working as co-commentator on Spanish TV network Cuatro during Spain's victorious Euro 2008 campaign (he would also work for the channel during the 2010 World Cup, which ended with the national team's triumph as well), Camacho replaced José Ángel Ziganda at the helm of CA Osasuna on 13 October 2008.
On 13 August 2011, Camacho took over the reins of the Chinese national team, signing a three-year deal for a reported annual salary of US$8 million. The Chinese Football Association head Wei Di explained the decision as being part of a long-term plan to help the country catch up with Japan and South Korea. He noted that, "Compared with our neighbours Japan and South Korea, Chinese football is lagging far behind, we need to work with a long-term view and start to catch up with a pragmatic approach. A lot of our fans expect China to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. They are afraid that changing the coach at the last moment may cause bad effect to the team's qualifying prospect. I can totally understand that. But we do not have any time to waste."
Chinese Soccer Administrative Centre vice-president Yu Hongchen added: "The qualifying stage of 2014 World Cup is just a temporary task for him. Even if the task is failed, Camacho will not lose the job. When we started to find a new coach for the national team, we mainly focus on European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. First of all, they have advanced football concepts, and secondly they have a productive youth training system, which we can learn from. We hope he can help us to find a suitable style."
However, China failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after only finishing third in the third qualifying round with three wins and three losses. Camacho was also in charge as a Chinese young squad lost 0-8 to Brazil on 10 September 2012 in a friendly match, the national team's worst-ever defeat which also meant the drop to an all-time low 109th position in the FIFA World Rankings.
In the first game of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign, Camacho and China lost 1-2 against Saudi Arabia. Following a 1-5 shock friendly loss to Thailand on 15 June 2013, he was relieved of his duties.
One reason cited for Camacho's shortcomings in Asia was the limitation of football boots. The Chinese FA ordered that all the national team players were to wear Adidas, whilst most players in the Chinese Super League wore Nike, thus creating discomfort.
Camacho was appointed as Gabon manager 43 days before the start of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations which was to take place in that country, replacing Jorge Costa. The team exited in the group stage, with three draws.
Camacho was relieved of his duties on 12 September 2018, due to poor results.
|Rayo Vallecano||27 January 1992||20 June 1993||59||20||23||16||76||60||+16||33.90|||
|Espanyol||1 July 1993||27 May 1996||138||63||46||29||213||118||+95||45.65|||
|Sevilla||5 June 1996||3 February 1997||25||7||4||14||20||33||-13||28.00|||
|Espanyol||23 June 1997||17 June 1998||40||12||18||10||46||34||+12||30.00|||
|Real Madrid||17 June 1998||9 July 1998||0||0||0||0||0||0||+0||--|
|Spain||15 September 1998||23 June 2002||44||28||9||7||105||37||+68||63.64|||
|Benfica||1 December 2002||25 May 2004||71||47||14||10||133||60||+73||66.20|||
|Real Madrid||25 May 2004||20 September 2004||6||4||0||2||7||5||+2||66.67|||
|Benfica||20 August 2007||9 March 2008||38||18||13||7||57||29||+28||47.37|||
|Osasuna||13 October 2008||14 February 2011||105||30||29||46||107||133||-26||28.57|||
|China||13 August 2011||24 June 2013||20||7||2||11||23||31||-8||35.00|||
|Gabon||2 December 2016||12 September 2018||16||2||8||6||9||16||-7||12.50|||