Football

Middlesbrough appoint ex-Real Madrid player as manager

Aitor Karanka next to chairman Steve Gibson (©GettyImages)
Aitor Karanka next to chairman Steve Gibson (©GettyImages).

English club Middlesbrough have announced that former Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka will take over as their head coach.

Aitor Karanka has been unveiled as the new manager of Middlesbrough. The former Real Madrid player has signed a two-and-half year contract at the club.

The 40-year-old has previously worked under Jose Mourinho while in charge of Real Madrid. Karanka spent three years as the Portuguese's assistant and left once the new regime was brought in under Carlo Ancelotti.

Karanka had this to say: "This is a very important day for me and I'm delighted to join a club with such big facilities and support.

"It is my time, I know I am ready. I've worked for three years with Jose and he was supporting me every day and I learned so much.

"I spoke to him and he recommended me to come here - he too believes in this project."

Karanka has had no previous first team management experience but comes in heavily backed by Mourinho.

"I know him very, very well. I think the club that gets him, whether in England or another country, will be a lucky club," Mourinho was reported saying.

This move move sees Karanka making history by becoming Middlesbrough's first ever non-British boss.

"There were 100 applications and it was about finding a first-class coach, regardless of nationality, and I believe we have," explained Middlesbrough's chairman Steve Gibson.

The last manager in charge of Middlesbrough was Tony Mowbray who departed the club just last month. Mowbray's former assistant, Mark Venus, had been placed in charge temporarily.

Previous mangers in charge of the club included Steve McClaren, who took the club all the way to the final of the UEFA cup in 2006 and former player Gareth Southgate.

Middlesbrough are currently plying their trade in the Championship and are 16th on the log, just five points above the relegation zone.

Karanka's first objective in charge will be to get the club into the play-offs and back into the Premier League.

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Topics:
Football
Middlesbrough
Championship
Real Madrid

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