Management and coaching staff
May 01, 1970,
January 21st 2018
The Premier League, it's a big challenge, and a dream too. I was a football player and now I want to live these experiences as a coach
Javi Gracia was announced as Watford FC Head Coach in January 2018.
The experienced 47-year-old signed an 18-month contact with the Hornets having previously coached clubs in his native Spain as well as Greece and Russia.
During two seasons with Málaga he achieved back-to-back top-10 La Liga finishes, famously defeating eventual Champions League and Spanish champions Barcelona at the Camp Nou in February 2015.
The following campaign his Málaga side went unbeaten against both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid on their way to an impressive eighth-place 2015/16 finish.
Having started his senior coaching career in 2007 with Segunda División B outfit Pontevedra, Gracia secured promotion to the Spanish second-tier with Cádiz before spells in Greece with Olympiakos Volou and Kerkyra.
In 2012/13 he once again masterminded a promotion campaign, this time returning Almería to the Spanish top-flight before stints with Osasuna and Russian Premier League club Rubin Kazan either side of his Málaga stay.
After a 100 per cent winning start in the first four games his first full season with the Golden Boys, Gracia was named the Premier League Manager of the Month for August.
The 2018/19 campaign saw Gracia steer the Hornets to their first FA Cup final in 35 years, a record Premier League points haul and 11th place in the table.