To this day, Middlesbrough are by far the club where Aitor Karanka worked the most, as he spent three and a half years in charge of the English club.

So as Marca today features a long interview to talk about the coach’s ten years on the job, they obviously had many mentions of Boro.

Karanka started by recalling the way he acted once he took charge of Middlesbrough, aiming big things in his first season and drawing huge responsability on his job.

“I remember I gave my first press conference in the English I was speaking at the time and my wife called me crazy. I told her I was even crazier because I had said my aim was to get a team into the Premiership that, at the time, was 3-4 points from relegation to League One. I don’t regret it because in the end it was achieved, but I wouldn’t do it again because I put too much pressure on myself. It was a mistake that came from inexperience”,” said Karanka.

“The club made a very strong commitment to me. I felt they were backing me even though I had no experience as a head coach. I remember after the fifth game, the owner called me and I thought, ‘This is as far as my first coaching experience goes’. But that day I understood what Steve Gibson is as a person and as a manager. He said, ‘You think I’m going to fire you? You don’t believe that yourself. We brought you in to get you to the Premiership and we’re going to get you there’. I ended up having dinner with his family that day, which multiplied my commitment to the club even more.”

Karanka started his career at Spain’s U-16 squad, having then become José Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid.

It was at Middlesbrough that he started his career as a first team manager on the 13th of November 2013, starting a run at Riverside that ended in 80 wins, 40 draws and 49 losses in 169 games.

Karanka left Boro in March 2017. He then stayed in England for jobs at Nottingham Forest and Birmingham, and then left the country to work at Granada and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Since quitting the Israeli side last summer, he’s been without at job, now at the age of 50.