Camacho: “Spain has won important titles, but 12-1 is the match that everyone remembers the most”


The former player and former coach José Antonio Camacho is clear that the historic 12-1 against Malta in 1983 is surely “the match that everyone remembers the most” of the Spanish team and that they knew clearly that when they scored the seventh goal that they would achieve what they described as “a feat.”

“In my life we ​​have received so many praises for a match. Spain has won important titles, but this match is the one that everyone remembers the most. It was the first stone for what came later,” Camacho said this Wednesday during the Sports Breakfast of Europa Press, sponsored by Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, Vithas, Unicaja Banco and DAZN on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of that historic victory that takes place this Thursday, December 21.

The captain of the national team that day confessed that they had “all the optimism” to achieve the feat of winning by eleven goals. “We had enormous enthusiasm, but we were not stupid and we had to see where we could go. We missed a penalty at the start and at half-time we were 3-1, the spirits were not the same and as captain I had to try to tell my teammates that we had to stay as best as possible,” he warned.

“But when we were up for seventh in the second half we unified everything and we knew then that we would pass, no matter what happened, if we had had to score three more we would have scored them. It's something that stays in your memory, I don't usually watch repeated matches and “When you hear that Lord's goal, you are one more. I receive requests every year to remember this feat,” added the former coach.

Camacho believes that they could have played “more organized”, but that “depending on the needs, the tactics are better or worse or had to be abandoned completely.” “We started very organized, but in the end it was a mess. They left me alone behind, the ones who gave me the most balls were the Maltese and I sent it to the wing, center and shot. In the second half the mood was such that we knew that it came out to us,” he remarked.

Furthermore, the one from Cieza does not forget that the Benito Villamarín was not full for the occasion. “In the fan's head it didn't exist that we would score 11 or 12 and I think that at half-time it was even a little emptier,” he recalled about a fan that little by little was filling the Betis venue as they entered en masse before a rout. that grew.

Regarding how the team was at half-time with the 'poor' 3-1, he believes that “everyone has their own way of reacting.” “We were calm, but thinking that five or six goals must have scored. Miguel (Muñoz, coach) told us to continue the same and then I got up and started saying that we had to go out and try,” he said.

And the need to score also caused them not to congratulate each other “on any goal.” “Only at the end. We had aggression, mentality, enthusiasm and desire. In addition, we had Santillana, Rincón, Maceda or Goikoetxea, Malta had no capacity to stop them. The team was transformed, with a mentality and unification that I have seen in very few games and stopping that type of player was impossible,” explained the former Real Madrid player.

“We had a basket of lemons and they drank them, you can see they didn't have any,” he pointed out in response to the accusations from the Malta players that they had been given something 'strange'. “If there had been a tongo, we would have scored seven goals in the first half,” he added.


Camacho referred to the 'Fury' with which that team was classified, in comparison with that of 'Tiki Taka' that made history between 2008 and 2012. “I spent 16 years on a team and in the national team, and apart from ' Fury' if you don't have 'Taka' they will give you the ticket,” he warned. “It was a different mentality and another way of playing, in those times it was more difficult because, for example, there was a transfer to the goalkeeper. I have played many games with a lot of touch. There was no talk of 'tiki taka', but it was not just 'fury', was characterized that way at a certain moment, but in the most important games they have been combined,” he pointed out.

“I can only speak well of Miguel Muñoz. I spent a lot of time with him in the national team and he had a lot of confidence in me, the time I spent with him was very good. He was a very simple man, recognized and respected by the players, which is what most importantly. I only have good things to say about him,” he said about the man who was coach between 1982 and 1988.

Finally, he considered that it was an “injustice” that neither Andrés Iniesta nor Amancio Amaro had a Ballon d'Or and said that the team lacked “that penalty in the quarterfinals” to have had success before 2008. “Spain has always had good teams, in the World Cup in Mexico we had a great team and we could have won the Euro 1984 if there had been VAR. Then came that generation that gained confidence and changed the way,” he concluded.