Antonio Camacho (born June 8, 1955 in the village of Cieza,
Murcia) is a former Spanish football (soccer) player and
Camacho joined Real Madrid at age 18, playing left defence
between 1973 and 1989 and taking part in 400 First Division
matches, in spite of a knee injury which put his soccer career
on hold for two years. He also played 81 games for the Spanish
national team, taking part in two World Cups, in 1982 and 1986.
Camacho also played in Euro 84 and Euro 88.
Following his retirement as a player in 1989, Camacho was part
of the Real Madrid coaching team. He later went on to coach
three more Spanish teams, two of which – Rayo Vallecano and RCD
Espanyol – he took into the First Division. He also coached Real
Madrid for a brief 22 days in 1998, but left over disagreements
with the club's management.
In 1998, Camacho took over from Javier Clemente in September
1998 after Spain were humiliated 3-2 by Cyprus in a Euro 2000
qualifier as the coach for Spain's national football team.
Honest, forthright and firm, he was a refreshing change from
Clemente, whose arrogant manner and mishandling of the media had
been compounded by a long losing streak on the Spanish side.
The tide quickly turned under Camacho, who has signed up to
coach the Spanish team up to the 2002 World Cup. Spain secured a
spot at the 2000 European Championship, where Spain started off
as one of the favourites (Spain reached the quarter finals, but
was eliminated after a 2-1 defeat against France).
Two years later, Camacho's team suffered an even bigger
disappointment by losing out to South Korea on penalties in the
quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup. This lead to his
resignation of the national team which will be taken over by
After that, Camacho was appointed the new coach of Benfica on
November 29, 2002. He would replace Jesualdo Ferreira, who was
sacked after a poor start of his team. Two years later, his team
won the Portuguese Cup and the runners-up of the Portuguese
Camacho went on to coach Real Madrid again, he signed a two year
contract after a disappointing forth-place finish in the
2003/2004 Spanish Primera Liga which led to the sacking of
Carlos Queiróz. But things started to go wrong again, after his
side suffered a 3-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA
Champions League and had a 1-0 defeat at Espanyol four days
later. Shortly after that he resigned and was replaced by his
assistant Mariano Garcia Remon.
As of 2006, Camacho is unemployed.