Management Lessons from Spain's Euro 2008 Football Championship Triumph

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Case Details:
Case Code : HROB113
Case Length : 18 pages
Period : 2004-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Not applicable
Industry : Miscellaneous
Countries : Spain, Europe

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Please note:
This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background of Spain's National Football Team

The national football team of Spain is popularly known a 'La Furia Roja', which means 'the red fury' in English. It is governed by the Royal Spanish Federation (known as 'Real Federación Española de Fútbol' or RFEF in Spanish) . RFEF was started in 1908 on the lines of the English Federation and became a part of FIFA in 1909.

Spain began its participation in international tournaments as early as in 1920 in the Summer Olympic Games where it immediately tasted success. As a result, the popularity of football started to grow in Spain. Slowly, more and more teams became part of RFEF...

The Problem

By the 2000s, the underachievement of the Spanish national team had become somewhat legendary. Cesar Menotti, famous Argentine coach and football player, once famously said that Spain would never win anything in the international arena until the team decided if it wanted to be "the bull or the bullfighter"...

Enter Aragonés

Shortly after Spain's debacle in the 2004 Euro Cup, coach Iñaki Sáez was replaced by Aragonés. The veteran Spanish player and coach who was in his mid-60s, was entrusted with the responsibility of rebuilding the team for the 2006 World Cup (Refer to Exhibit I for a note on Aragonés). Aragonés soon realized that the major problem with the team was not lack of talent - in fact, it had some of the best players of the country - it was its lack of unity and positive attitude which were the big stumbling blocks...

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