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Aguirre must stay on as Atletico coach, says captain

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 May 2008

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Javier Aguirre should stay on as Atletico Madrid coach next season after he led the club to the Champions League qualifiers, the Spanish club's captain Maxi Rodriguez said Tuesday.

“I believe that Aguirre must continue,” the 27-year-old Argentine player told sports daily Marca.

“I am happy because we have finally achieved it after many years,” he added. “The dream of every player is to take part in a competition as revered as the Champions League.”

Atletico beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 on Sunday, guaranteeing the club a top-four finish and its first appearance in the qualifying round of Europe's top tournament after a 12 year absence.

Despite the win Atletico president Enrique Cerezo would not say after the match if the Mexican coach – who has been linked with a return to the national coaching job he held at the 2002 World Cup – would see his contract extended for another year.

“He is a magnificent coach and a great person. I neither confirm or don't confirm this contract renewal,” he said.

Atletico face Valencia on Sunday in the final round of Spanish league matches of the season which has seen Real Madrid aleady defend its title.

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