Javier Clemente

Javier Clemente

Clemente in 2008
Personal information
Full name Javier Clemente Lázaro
Date of birth (1950-03-12) 12 March 1950
Place of birth Barakaldo, Spain
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1966–1968 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1973 Athletic Bilbao 47 (6)
1973–1974 Bilbao Athletic 7 (0)
Total 54 (6)
National team
1968 Spain U18 2 (0)
1969–1970 Spain U23 2 (1)
Teams managed
1975–1976 Arenas Getxo
1976–1978 Basconia
1980–1981 Bilbao Athletic
1981–1986 Athletic Bilbao
1986–1989 Español
1989–1990 Atlético Madrid
1990–1991 Athletic Bilbao
1991–1992 Espanyol
1992–1996 Spain U21
1992–1998 Spain
1998–1999 Betis
1999–2000 Real Sociedad
2000–2001 Marseille
2002 Tenerife
2002–2003 Espanyol
2005–2006 Athletic Bilbao
2006–2007 Serbia
2008 Murcia
2010 Valladolid
2010–2011 Cameroon
2012 Sporting Gijón
2013–2016 Libya

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Clemente and the second or maternal family name is Lázaro.

Javier Clemente Lázaro (born 12 March 1950) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a midfielder, and a current manager.[1]

In a manager career which began before his 30th birthday, he was in charge of several club and national teams, including Athletic Bilbao which he also represented as a player, Espanyol and Spain. He won the La Liga championship in 1983 and 1984 with the latter.

Nicknamed El rubio de Barakaldo (The blond from Barakaldo) per his origin,[2] Clemente coached the Spanish national side in two World Cups and Euro 1996.

Playing career

Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, Clemente joined Athletic Bilbao's youth system at the age of 16, from local Barakaldo CF.[3] He was propelled to the first team at only 18 by manager Agustín Gaínza, making his official debut against Liverpool for the season's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (2–1 home win, 3–3 aggregate triumph).

Clemente's best La Liga output with his first and only club consisted of 18 games in the 1969–70 campaign. On 23 November 1969, during a league match against CE Sabadell FC, he suffered a serious leg injury (fibula and tibia) from which he never fully recovered; after four unsuccessful operations, he retired aged just 24.

Manager career

Beginnings / Athletic

Clemente started coaching immediately after retiring. His first stops were with local Arenas Club de Getxo, CD Basconia and Athletic's reserves.[4]

In the 1981 summer, 31-year-old Clemente was appointed at Athletic Bilbao. He led the side to back-to-back national championships in his second[5] and third years[6][7] but, during this timeframe, also began a bitter rivalry with César Luis Menotti and his FC Barcelona – the Argentine criticized his playing style as authoritarian and his teams as defensive and destructive, and the Spaniard in turn dismissed Menotti as an ageing hippy and womanizer; the culmination of this was the 1984 final of the Copa del Rey, which ended in a massive brawl between the two sets of players.[8]

Clemente left the Lions midway through the 1985–86 season, after a run-in with star player Manuel Sarabia.[9] He was subsequently appointed at fellow league team RCD Espanyol, leading them to a best-ever third place in 1987 and the final of the UEFA Cup the following year, but being relieved of his duties in March 1989 after questioning his squad's desire – the campaign eventually ended in relegation for the Catalans.

In the following years, Clemente had incomplete top flight spells with Atlético Madrid,[10] Bilbao and Espanyol.

Spanish national team

In 1992 Clemente was appointed manager of Spain, replacing Vicente Miera after the nation had failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 1992. His first game in charge was a 1–0 friendly win over England on 9 September,[11] and he led the country to the following three major international tournaments, the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and Euro 1996, being eliminated in the group stage of the second competition[12] and having a run of 31 matches without defeat.

Clemente's last game in charge was on 5 September 1998, a 2–3 defeat in Cyprus for the Euro 2000 qualifiers.[13]

La Liga / France

Clemente returned to club action after his national team dismissal, working in the main division with Real Betis, Real Sociedad, CD Tenerife,[14] Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao. He helped the latter avoid relegation in the 2005–06 season but, shortly before the new campaign started, was fired after a disagreement with chairman Fernando Lamikiz.[15][16] interspersed with this, he had a one-season spell in Ligue 1 with Olympique de Marseille.


Clemente became manager of the Serbian national team on 21 July 2006, being brought in on initiative from Serbian Football Association president Zvezdan Terzić. According to local media his salary was 30,000 per month on a two-year contract, worth €720,000 in total – also, he was eligible for a €400,000 bonus if the country qualified for Euro 2008, and an additional €150,000 bonus for every round passed at the tournament; in an interview given to Serbian daily Politika, he claimed his current was the lowest wage he had earned in the last 20 years.[17]

Clemente made his debut on 16 August 2006 in a 3–1 away friendly victory with Czech Republic. New players introduced into the squad included Danko Lazović, Marko Pantelić, Vladimir Stojković and Aleksandar Trišović, while previous mainstays such as Predrag Đorđević, Dragoslav Jevrić, Mateja Kežman, Savo Milošević and Albert Nađ were dropped. The continental qualification campaign started with three home wins, over Azerbaijan, Belgium and Armenia, and a draw in Poland from the first four matches; however, things started to go wrong with a 1–2 defeat in Kazakhstan in March 2007, and the nation eventually trailed Poland and Portugal in Group A, with the manager questioning the side's mental approach in the process.[18]

Following the failure to qualify, Clemente was released from his contract on 6 December 2007.[19]

Cameroon / Back to Spain

On 17 August 2010, following spells in his country with Real Murcia (top level and Segunda División)[20] and Real Valladolid (eight games in charge, top flight relegation),[21] Clemente was named as the new coach of Cameroon, taking over from Paul Le Guen who stepped down after three losses in as many games in the 2010 World Cup.[22] He made his debut with the Lions Indomptables on 4 September in a 3–1 away win against Mauritius in the first match of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. However, the nation finished second behind Senegal and thus failed to reach the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and he was dismissed on 25 October 2011.[23][24]

On 13 February 2012, Clemente signed as the new manager of Sporting de Gijón, with a contract running until the end of the season.[25] He left the Asturians in May, following their relegation;[26] in the process he celebrated his 500th game in the Spanish first division, a 1–2 away loss to Granada CF.[27]


On 20 September 2013, Clemente was named manager of Libya, taking over from Abdul-Hafeedh Arbeesh who was fired after a 0–1 defeat to Cameroon for the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.[28]

Managerial statistics

As of 4 May 2016
Team Nat Year Record
Arenas Getxo Spain 1975–1976 38 20 9 9 52.63
Basconia Spain 1976–1978 76 26 11 39 34.21
Bilbao Athletic Spain 1980–1981 38 17 11 10 44.74
Athletic Bilbao[29][30][31][32][33] Spain 1981–1986 213 117 44 52 54.93
Español[34][35][36] Spain 1986–1989 124 41 27 56 33.06
Atlético Madrid[37] Spain 1989–1990 32 15 8 9 46.88
Athletic Bilbao[38] Spain 1990–1991 31 11 3 17 35.48
Español Spain 1992 22 10 4 8 45.45
Spain U21 Spain 1992–1996 12 4 4 4 33.33
Spain Spain 1992–1998 62 36 20 6 58.06
Betis Spain 1998–1999 36 15 15 6 41.67
Real Sociedad Spain 1999–2000 37 10 13 14 27.03
Marseille France 2000–2001 27 8 5 14 29.63
Tenerife[39] Spain 2002 12 4 2 6 33.33
Espanyol Spain 2002–2003 35 9 14 12 25.71
Athletic Bilbao[40] Spain 2005–2006 31 11 3 17 35.48
Serbia Serbia 2006–2007 16 7 7 2 43.75
Murcia[41][42] Spain 2008 31 6 6 19 19.35
Valladolid[43] Spain 2010 8 3 3 2 37.50
Cameroon Cameroon 2010–2011 8 4 3 1 50.00
Sporting Gijón[44] Spain 2012 16 5 3 8 31.25
Libya Libya 2013–2016 13 3 6 4 23.08
Career Total 918 382 221 315 41.61



Athletic Bilbao


Athletic Bilbao
Spain U21



  1. "Clemente, el "Bobby Charlton" español" [Clemente, Spain's "Bobby Charlton"] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 10 December 1969. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. "Me encanta ser el rubio de Barakaldo" [I love being the blond from Barakaldo] (in Spanish). Deia. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. "Javier Clemente: "Barakaldo lleva mucho tiempo abandonado"" [Javier Clemente: "Barakaldo has been abandoned for a long time"] (in Spanish). Deia. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. "Clemente, de niño prodigio a entrenador en Tercera" [Clemente, from wonderkid to coach in Tercera] (in Spanish). El País. 28 January 1977. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  5. "Otro alirón vasco" [Another Basque victory song] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 2 May 1983. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  6. "Clemente, o la maestría del 'patadón y tente tieso'" [Clemente, or how to be a master of ‘long ball and grab your balls’] (in Spanish). Medio Centro. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  7. "Clemente, 25 años después" [Clemente, 25 years after] (in Spanish). Canarias Ahora. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. "La guerra dialéctica Clemente-Menotti pone tension en el Español-Atlético de Madrid" [Clemente-Menotti war of words tenses Español-Atlético de Madrid up] (in Spanish). El País. 3 January 1988. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  9. "El enfrentamiento Clemente-Sarabia reúne dos días seguidos a la directiva del Athlétic [sic]" [Clemente-Sarabia run-in has Athletic board of directors in two-day meeting] (in Spanish). El País. 21 January 1986. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  10. "Gil destituye a Clemente por no lograr éxitos" [Gil fires Clemente for failing to win] (in Spanish). El País. 28 February 1990. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. "La nueva etapa se abre con victoria" [New era gets started with win] (PDF) (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 10 September 1992. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  12. "Spain beats Bulgaria 6–1 but fails to qualify". CNN. 24 June 1998. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  13. "España cae ante Chipre, un equipo repleto de aficionados" [Spain falls against Cyprus, team filled with amateurs] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  14. "El Tenerife despide a Mel y ficha a Javier Clemente" [Tenerife fires Mel and signs Javier Clemente] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 19 February 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  15. "Clemente, destituido tras criticar la política de fichajes" [Clemente, fired after criticizing signing policy] (in Spanish). 20 Minutos. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. "Clemente: "Lamikiz me ha vendido vilmente"" [Clemente: "Lamikiz sold me with a vengeance"] (in Spanish). Marca. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  17. Поносим се радом у Србији [I'm proud of my work in Serbia] (in Serbian). Politika. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  18. "Klemente: "Problem je u glavi"" [The problem is in the head] (in Serbian). B92. 14 October 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  19. "End of the road for Clemente". UEFA.com. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  20. "El Murcia ficha a Javier Clemente como nuevo entrenador" [Murcia signs Javier Clemente as new manager] (in Spanish). Marca. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  21. "Javier Clemente, entrenador del Real Valladolid" [Javier Clemente, Real Valladolid manager] (in Spanish). El Norte de Castilla. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  22. "Former Spain coach Clemente takes over Cameroon job". BBC Sport. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  23. "Cameroon sack coach Javier Clemente". BBC Sport. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  24. "Camerún destituye a Clemente como técnico en su enésimo fracaso en el banquillo" [Cameroon dismisses Clemente as coach in his umpteenth failure on the bench] (in Spanish). El Confidencial. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  25. "Javi Clemente, nuevo entrenador rojiblanco" [Javi Clemente, new red-and-white coach] (in Spanish). Sporting de Gijón. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  26. "Javier Clemente concluye su relación con el Sporting; le sustituye Manolo Sánchez" [Javier Clemente concludes relation with Sporting; Manolo Sánchez his replacement] (in Spanish). Sporting de Gijón. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  27. "Clemente llega a 500 partidos en Primera" [Clemente reaches 500 games in Primera] (in Spanish). ABC. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  28. "Javier Clemente takes up post as Libyan football coach". Libya Herald. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  29. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  30. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  31. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  32. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  33. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  34. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  35. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  36. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  37. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  38. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  39. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  40. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  41. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  42. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  43. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  44. "Clemente: Javier Clemente Lázaro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
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