MADRID, May 24 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid appointed former Osasuna boss Javier Aguirre as coach on a one-year contract on Wednesday.
"I am excited about the challenge and want to lead this club back to where they deserve to be - at the top in Spain and back in Europe," Aguirre told a news conference on Wednesday.
The 48-year-old Mexican stepped down as coach of Osasuna at the end of the season after leading the modest Navarrans into the Champions League for the first time with a fourth place finish in the Primera Liga.
Last June he took them to the final of the King's Cup where they lost 2-1 to Real Betis.
The former Mexico coach, who replaces Pepe Murcia, has been praised for his skilful management of limited resources and his ability to motivate players.
Atletico finished a disappointing 10th last season, two points behind city neighbours Getafe.
"I don't want to talk about the past and what has happened here," Aguirre said. "I want to take the pressure off the players so that they take to the pitch focused only on playing football."
President Enrique Cerezo said Aguirre's appointment was part of a major reorganisation in the club's sporting administration which included the departure of director of football Toni Munoz last week.