Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough name ex-Real Madrid man as boss

 

Middlesbrough have named former Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka as their new head coach on a contract until 2016.

Karanka, 40, worked under Jose Mourinho for three years at the Bernabeu, but has no previous managerial experience.

The former Real and Spain defender left the nine-time European champions when Carlo Ancelotti replaced Mourinho as Madrid manager in the summer.

Who is Aitor Karanka?

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka (left) working as assistant to Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho
  • Born in Vitoria, Spain in 1973
  • A defender, he won one cap for Spain and played primarily for Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid whilst also having a spell with Colorado Rapids
  • Served as Jose Mourinho's assistant at the Bernabeu from 2010 to 2013

He becomes Middlesbrough's first ever non-British boss.

"This is a very important day for me and I'm delighted to join a club with such big facilities and support," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"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."

Former manager Tony Mowbray departed the Riverside last month and since then his deputy Mark Venus has been in temporary charge.

Middlesbrough are currently 16th in the Championship table, eight points adrift of the play-off positions and five points above the bottom three.

Just seven years ago Middlesbrough reached the Uefa Cup final, losing to Sevilla in what was Steve McClaren's final game before becoming England manager.

Gibson wanted 'big change' at Boro

Gareth Southgate took over at the Riverside and three years later Boro were relegated to the Championship.

Southgate left the club in October 2009 and both Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray have since come and gone having failed to secure a play-off place.

"There are no easy answers and I think I could've been accused of being 'a little Englander' with my previous appointments," explained chairman Steve Gibson.

"There were 100 applications and it was about finding a first-class coach, regardless of nationality, and I believe we have.

"Football is a global business now and we must move with it."