Nobody believed in the Spanish national team.
But Luis Aragonés did. He was sure we would win the European Championships in 2008.
It was also he who convinced us all – the players and the coaching staff – that it was possible. In his own way, he did so just by being Luis.
The same Luis that I met for the first time when I was just 17, and only a kid. It was September 9 1984 – the day of the football strike.
The players were fighting for their rights. Atlético Madrid’s first team (including Mendiondo, below), like all of the others, decided not to play.
La Liga didn’t stop. The club demanded that the juniors played, against Osasuna at the Vicente Calderón.
There’s an image from that day that I will never forget. We got to the dressing room and there was Luis, right in the middle of it, waiting for us.