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Coach | RFEF - Jose Emílio Santamaria

The September 15, 1966 held my retirement from soccer competition. The Real Madrid kindly marked this milestone by organizing a fantastic tribute match against one of the best teams of the era, the Hamburg of Uwe Seeler. I remember that night lineup made up of my colleagues in my last stage: Betancort; Pachín, De Felipe, Sanchis; Felix Ruiz, Zoco; Serena, Amancio, Grosso, Velázquez and Gento. The time I spent in the field has been etched in my memory for the affection that led me the numerous fans that attended.

Coach of youth ranks of Real Madrid

Shortly after my retirement as a player, the club invited me to direct the youth level. Thus inaugurated my time as a soccer coach. This was the way I started this activity, as director of amateur and youth sections, responsible from 66 to 68 for all the activities in the base football in Real Madrid.

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During this stage we were Amateur Champions in the 66-67 and Youth Champions in the 67-68 season.

Spanish Football Federation

My period of collaboration with the Spanish Football Federation started in 1968, being coach of the Amateur and Youth categories from 68 to 70. We managed to become the European Champions of the European Amateur Championship, that was held in 1970 in Italy.

We participated in the Olympics in Mexico in 1968, Moscow in 1980 and the University Games in Yugoslavia where we reached the silver medal.

Real Club Deportivo Español

In 1970 I was called by the Real Club Deportivo Español to lead the first team. This started a fruitful stage of seven years, which I am very proud. Among these years I lived in Barcelona I keep good memories of the city, the squad of players that I was lucky to coach, the great directors with whom I worked and different people I met and with whom I maintain a great friendship.

I think, without falling into the sin of immodesty my stage coach in this Club matches one of his best sports periods. When I entered, the circumstances were difficult. The training field was dirt and was located under the stands, getting a lot of dust that bothered players. Moreover the relationships between players and fans did not pass through its best. However we got our team of players overcome such adverse circumstances, improving sports scores, and regaining the popularity and appreciation of them to his followers. We pioneered publicize the Club internationally starting this stage with a tour of the countries of Eastern Europe playing against teams of Ukraine and the former USSR. We got thus the goal that our team was talked outside our borders. In sports we could keep the team comfortably in the top of the table becoming third in the Championship League, participating twice in the UEFA tournament and being champions of two summer tournaments like “La Linea” and “Ramón de Carranza”.

Second stage Royal Spanish Football Federation

In 1978 began my second stage in the Royal Spanish Football Federation dedicating myself to two activities:

First of all as Coordinator of Spanish Football Base from 1978 to 1982. The president of the Spanish Federation called me an idea to discover and prepare new players would be those who defend the national colors. I had the idea to create different categories of players by age: SUB 15, 16, 17, 19 and SUB 20 as at this time there was only a SUB 18 category. I think this organization by ages helped to improve the preparation of promising young players, who were allowed to gain experience in international competitions and experience different styles of play, what I think, laid the foundations for future success of Spanish football. It was a job that gave me great satisfaction and I think we gave to our sport and our future men a basis and an extraordinary experience.

Secondly as a professor at the National High School Coaches and from 1979-1982, as Director of the school.

Appealing to my coaching experience, especially at the stage that I have just related, I would express some recommendations to young people who wish to engage in this sport. Above all remember that before the specific training as athletes the objective is to be formed as people, so we should not neglect their education and acquire the skills to perform a job. Do not forget that in the world of sports and specifically in football, few come to the elite and the maximum performance period is short.

With regard to training as footballers we need to mention that together with the necessary ambition and passion for the sport, we must add the virtues of sacrifice, perseverance, discipline and the ability to overcome the setbacks that are inevitably included in all human activities and especially competitive sports.
For the few who reach the top and the circumstances that accompany today to elite sport, popularity and high economic status, try to remember that these circumstances are reached during a stage of life where they are probably still maturing . Therefore we must unite to keep a cool head and be advised by people you trust and can bring that experience and common sense that only time can provide.

National team

In 1980 I was named National Coach of the national team with the aim of preparing the world championship of 1982. While it is well known that we only passed to the second phase, with hindsight and without inadvertently evade personal responsibility __ it is known that in the world of football more than in any other, coach is primarily responsible __ what I remember most is the preparation and the environment that surrounded us at that time.

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Regarding the preparation phase I think we did an intense and positive work with an excellent group of players with whom we had the feeling we could have aspirations to win.

Regarding the environment, remember that the time was convulsed in Spain. We had from the kidnapping of a player, to a coup attempt in the country, not to mention the atmosphere of concern that existed. An example of this is the fact that we lived with members of the security forces we did not know and the players, puzzled, asked who they were.

The results were as they were and had to endure criticism, which I accept. As in sport and politics, the media were in a time of great uncertainty and change, and the journalists themselves fighting to find their place in a highly competitive sector and to present the news about the sport from angles diverse and relevant to the consumer of sports content. However I remember an anecdote from the preparation phase which gave me a big disappointment. The training program included a match against England at Wembley Stadium held the same day as Quini was released of his abduction. Three hours before the game a press conference had been called with numerous journalists who wanted to know how we were going to play. I looked at the by then president of the Federation but he said nothing, and then I went on to explain the characteristics of each of the teams, and how we were going to play for us to use our strengths and minimize our  defects.

We won the game 1-2 and everything worked as it was explained. I think I am one of the few to explain a game before they play. But the next day, to my surprise, no media published anything about the press conference the day before. Only a journalist of Radio Nacional told me word: “Pepe, what a lesson you gave us.”

So the World Cup is over and I retired from professional football, going to the activity in the business world and dedicate myself to my family.

In the business world at that time we founded a bread factory, Ariete S.L., in which we bet for a high quality product with Toast brand that was very successful. In 1992 we sold the company to Fierro Group retiring from business.

Currently I maintain a close contact with football participating in the Veterans Association of Real Madrid and collaborating with the “Sports School for Social Integration” of Uruguay I have the honor to bear my name.