May 28, 2024

To this day, Middlesbrough remains the club where Aitor Karanka had his longest managerial stint, overseeing the English team for three and a half years. In a recent extensive interview with Marca reflecting on his decade-long coaching career, a significant portion naturally revolved around his experiences with Boro.

Karanka began by recalling his ambitious approach upon taking charge of Middlesbrough, setting high goals for his first season and shouldering significant responsibility in the role. He reminisced about his initial press conference where he expressed his aim to guide the team to the Premiership, despite their precarious position just a few points away from relegation to League One. While he acknowledged the accomplishment of this goal, he admitted it was a mistake driven by inexperience, resulting in excessive self-imposed pressure.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka signs four-year deal | Football News | Sky  Sports

Reflecting on the strong commitment the club showed him despite his lack of head coaching experience, Karanka shared an anecdote about a pivotal moment early in his tenure. After the fifth game, the owner reassured him of their support and their shared goal of reaching the Premiership. This experience deepened his commitment to the club, exemplified by a dinner with the owner’s family that strengthened their mutual dedication.

Karanka’s managerial journey began with Spain’s U-16 squad, followed by his role as José Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid. Middlesbrough marked his initiation as a first-team manager on November 13, 2013, culminating in a record of 80 wins, 40 draws, and 49 losses in 169 games at Riverside. His tenure concluded in March 2017, after which he continued his coaching career in England with stints at Nottingham Forest and Birmingham. Subsequently, he ventured beyond the country to work with Granada and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Since departing from his position with the Israeli side last summer, Karanka has remained jobless, now at the age of 50.

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