Caparros: Armenia must have faith in the work being done

  • speaks exclusively with Armenia coach Joaquin Caparros
  • His side have begun Qatar 2022 qualifying with three straight wins
  • “We’ve started well, but we’re keeping our feet on the ground,” he says

When Joaquin Caparros was appointed Sevilla coach back in 2000, he could never have guessed where he would be coaching 21 years later.

From then until 2005, he became an idol at the Andalusian club, contributing to the development and consolidation of future stars like Sergio Ramos, Jesus Navas, Jose Antonio Reyes and Dani Alves. After taking charge of a variety of clubs in Spain, Switzerland and even Qatar, he returned to Sevilla in 2018, where he had two short spells as interim coach interspersed with a period as the club’s director of football. Then in early 2020, he got a call from Gines Melendez that would change everything.

The veteran coach, who had enjoyed great success while in charge of Spain’s youth teams, was the one who sought out Caparros to offer him the Armenia job, having himself being appointed technical director of football at the country’s football association the previous year. Now in need of a coach for the national team, he knew right away that Joaquin was his man.

“They want to develop, and they know that this depends on the credentials of the coaches they have. They’re doing great and we’re seeing results that give credence to the president and everyone involved. It’s the path we have to follow,” Caparros tells when asked about the change in Armenian football.

“I still had time on my contract with Sevilla, but Gines Melendez told me about the Armenia opportunity, so I met him and the president of the national federation. There was a good feeling and a sense of empathy, so we hit it off and came to an agreement quite quickly. They trust us and there’s very smooth communication,” Caparros says of the decision to embark on this adventure.

Since then, the mutual affection between Caparros and Armenia has only deepened, helped by a dream start for the coach. “Getting promoted to UEFA Nations League B was reward for the work being done, but it was also unexpected because we were competing against quality teams like Georgia and North Macedonia. It was a success and provided a major morale boost for the country and the squad. It reaffirmed that Armenia must have faith in the work being done,” said the former coach of Athletic Bilbao, Deportivo La Coruna and Mallorca, among others.

That promotion was the best possible prelude to the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, in which Armenia have made a perfect start, winning their opening three games in the last week of March to lead Group J.

“We’ve begun the qualifiers with a lot of enthusiasm but remain conscious of how tough our group is. We’ve started well, but we’re keeping our feet on the ground. We’re in with teams like Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, and especially Germany, which are very strong. That’s where we find ourselves, but we’re hopeful and excited, and no one can take that away from us,” Caparros says.

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