Everything you need to know about new Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka

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Aitor Karanka in training at Athletic Club in December 2003 (Credit: Wikipedia user Olayet, cc-by-sa-4.0)

Nottingham Forest have appointed former Middlesbrough manager and Real Madrid assistant coach and defender Aitor Karanka as their new boss.

Karanka, 44, was officially announced by the club as the new manager on Tuesday (January 8) signing a two-and-a-half year deal.

He will reportedly meet his players and staff for the first time at the Nigel Doughty Academy on Wednesday (January 10).

Karanka will be in the dugout for the first time on Saturday (January 13) evening as Forest take on Aston Villa at the City Ground in the Sky Bet Championship.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the new Reds boss.


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(Christophe95, cc-by-sa-3.0)

Aitor Karanka was born in Vitoria in Spain on September 18 1973 and played for Spanish sides Corazonistas and Alaves before joining Athletic Bilbao in 1991.

He made his senior debut with the reserve squad at the end of the 1991/92 season, competing in the second tier of Spanish football Segunda Division.

Karanka was then promoted to the main squad by Jupp Heynckes in 1993 and made his La Liga debut in November that year, a 1-1 draw away at Celta Vigo.

During his first stint at the club, he earned his first and only cap for the Spanish national team in 1995.

He went on to join Real Madrid in 1997 joining with manager Heynckes and featured in 33 Champions League games for them, including the final of the 2000 final against Valencia which Real won 3-0.

Karanka then returned to Atheltic Bilbao in 2002 before finishing his playing career at the Colorado Rapids in 2006.

He took up management in 2008 and managed the Spain U16 side until 2010, where he then joined Real Madrid as assistant manager to Jose Mourinho.

Karanka then took his first full managerial job on November 13 2013 where he was appointed the boss of Middlesbrough.

In his first full season in charge of Boro in 2014/15, he led the club to the play-off final where they lost 2-0 to Norwich at Wembley.

However a season later, Karanka led Middlesbrough to the Premier League for the first time in seven years finishing the division as runners-up to Burnley.

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Aitor Karanka is the new Nottingham Forest manager

During that campaign, on March 11 2016, he unexpectedly left a training session after an argument and considered his future at the club.

He handed control of the next game to his assistant but the Spaniard then returned to Middlesbrough and steered them to promotion.

In 2016/17, Middlesbrough reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup before being knocked out by Manchester City.

Karnaka was sacked by the club on March 16 2017 with the team three points from top-flight safety and without a league win in the calendar year.

At the time, Middlesbrough had the worst attack in the division scoring 19 goals in 27 games – he had a disagreement with players, fans and the board before the club and manager parted ways by mutual consent.

Karanka’s younger brother, David, 39, also played as a striker and appeared for Atheltic Bilbao’s first team before going on to spend much of his professional career playing in Segunda Division.

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