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More on Atlético and their horifying 2000 season. And the best manager in Spanish football (5th July, 2017)

27th May, 2000

It could not have been more different. Espanyol were facing Atlético Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey, and their runs to the final couldn’t have been more different. Espanyol had beaten Celta Vigo and Real Madrid; Atlético Madrid had beaten Rayo on away goals in the quarters and Barcelona forfeited the semifinals.

At the end of a crazy league season, where Atlético Madrid were relegated, the notion was that the Copa del Rey would be their consolation.

Boy, were they wrong.

Goalkeeper Toni Jiménez, who was in his first season at Atlético Madrid after having won the 1998 Zamora with (ironically) Espanyol, served as backup to José Francisco Molina. He was having a treacherous season, and only played cup games. And he was about to have a moment that would haunt him for ever.

The ball was in his hands. He was about to throw it in the air to kick it. And he did.

But Tamudo’s head beat him to the ball, and he scored into the open net. Tamudo had made his former teammate look silly, and in just the second minute of the game, Espanyol had quite literally snatched a goal.

And any last hope in Atlético Madrid’s season.

Funnily enough, he would also score in the second minute against Zaragoza in the 2006 Copa del Rey final, against César Sánchez, a Champions League winning keeper.




Forget Pep Guardiola, it's Ferdinand Daučík.

I mean, he coached what was arguably the greatest Barcelona side in history. A team consisting of Nicolae Simatoc, Kubala, Velasco, Ramallets and Joan Segarra took Barcelona to win 5 different trophies in 1952 - La Liga, the Copa del Generalísimo, the Copa Latina, the Copa Eva Duarte, and the Copa Martini Rossi. Barcelona would also win consecutive La Liga-Copa del Generalísimo doubles in 1952 and 1953.

Ferdinand left in 1954 after clashes with players, and joined Atlético Bilbao (yes, that's what it was called), where he would go on to win the 1955 Copa del Generalísimo, as well as another La Liga-Copa del Generalísimo double in 1956. They even reached the quarterfinals of the European Cup in 1957 - losing 6-5 on aggregate to Manchester United.

In 1957, Ferdinand would join Atlético Madrid, lead them to second place in La Liga - qualifying for the 1958-59 European Cup - reach the semifinals of the Cup, draw 2-2 on aggregate after two legs and lose a replay 2-1 (they would have gone through if away goals was a thing then). He left in 1959.

And later on, he showed that he could be a success with big teams and small teams, with newly relegated teams and newly promoted teams. He would:


  • Take Real Betis to the semifinals of the Copa in 1961. 
  • Take newly promoted Real Murcia to a 12th place finish in the 1963-64 La Liga.
  • Keep Sevilla in mid-table the following season. 
  • Win the Copa for a fifth time with Real Zaragoza in 1966 while at the same time come fourth in the league.
  • Take an Elche side that was bottom of the league after 15 games under Di Stéfano and guide it to a quarterfinal place in the Cup as well as an 11th place finish in 1968. 
  • Take newly relegated Real Betis to a 7th place finish in the 1968-69 Segunda. 
  • Take newly promoted Sant Andreu to a surprise 8th place in the 1969-70 Segunda. 
  • Take newly promoted Espanyol to an 11th place finish in the 1970-71 La Liga. 
  • Take Sant Andreu to another eight place in the 1973-74 Segunda. 
  • Lead newly relegated Levante to the promotion playoffs of the 1974-75 Tercera (losing 2-1 on aggregate to Alavés).
And the only blip in his career will be the time he took charge of Sant Andreu for a third time in 1977, and get relegated from the Segunda. And even that was only because they lost on the final day to Calvo Sotelo 2-1, a match that would directly decide which team went down, which meant Sant Andreu dropped from 16th to 19th.





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