Miguel Ángel Ramírez Medina (Las Palmas, 1984) is the first Spanish coach to win a CONMEBOL tournament: The 2019 Copa Sudamericana. This 37 year old Canary Islander, a man who had orientated his career towards youth teams, achieved this international success managing ‘Independiente del Valle’ after beating Colón de Argentina.
A historical deed for the Ecuatorian team, a team that achieved its first title after 61 years of life – firstly the club was named ‘Club Social y Deportivo Independiente José Terán’ -, thanks to this young methodist. This Southamerican Cup also was the first professional trophy for Ramírez Medina, who started his career on the youth team of Unión Deportiva Las Palmas when he was a teacher after studying teaching and getting a degree on Physical Education. He put all his effort on formation as he studied two Masters in Sports Manager and Coaching, and then started a doctorate in Physical Education in Vitoria, where he coached the youth team of Deportivo Alavés.
Loyal to his adventurous character – he did an Erasmus in Greece where he made contact with several Spanish coaches -, he decided to start a new stage of six years at the Aspire Academy of Qatar as a coordinator of the technical work of youth divisions and he was responsible of the formative programme of Aspire Footbaal Learning Programa thanks to Roberto Olabe. It is a project to form players that will compose the national team for the 2022 World Cup.
He was the main coach of Qatar for the under-12, 13, 16 and under-17 teams, he also was assistant of the Under 21 until June 2018 when he moved to Ecuador to confront a great challenge: Managing the youth team of Independiente del Valle and applying all the knowledge he achieved on his previous years. On this period, the club conquered the Under 20 Libertadores Cup. Only one year later, in May 2019 and without seeing it coming, Ramírez was named first coach of the Ecuatorian team. It was his first great opoortunity on the bench of a team and he was as succesfull as ever: He conquered the title of the Southamerican Cup.
· Miguel Ramírez, el profesor de Independiente del Valle que llegó sin soñarlo (Copa Sudamericana)
The work from Ramírez and his team has converted Independiente del Valle, from Sangolquí, a city of only 75.000 people from the Valle of Los Chillos at 2.500 metres of altitude, in one of the reference teams in South America. Beyond his sportive success, the team shows Ramírez idea of football: Ball posession, position gaming, high pressure and the importance of the team beyond individuals.
· El día que Louis Van Gaal dijo que los extremos ya no van más (Tiempo Argentino)
A reflection of this was the image of the coach in the celebration of the title: he wore Josué Mauricio Quiñónez shirt, a player from the club’s youth team who died after a shooting in May 2019. Surrounded by his inner circle (Martín Anselmi and Felipe Sánchez Mateos as assistants together with Fran Trujillo as physical trainer) Josué is known for his passion, dedication and ability to manage the personality of veterans and young people, many of them from the high performance center where they are also formed as persons
· No fue Colón, pero este español conquistó América (Olé)
Ramírez, the only Canarian coach to achieve an international title after Luis Molowny at Real Madrid, was nominated for best coach of Conmebol in 2019 along with Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate) and Jorge Jesús, Flamengo. In fact, they played the South American Recopa against the Brazilian team that had won the Libertadores Cup, although they could not lift the trophy in Maracana after the 2-2 first leg in Ecuador.
In 2021 he began a new and ambitious stage in his career, committing himself to Charlotte FC after a short experience at SC Internacional Porto Alegre as a coach. His professional challenge couples with a leap in his digital identity. Guided by Imagosport, the Spanish coach launches an official website and various social media profiles.
Ramírez managed Charlotte on their MLS debut on May 30th, 2022, with a balance of 5 wins in 7 matches and second best average influx of spectators in the competition.
- 2004-2012. Training at the Unión Deportiva Las Palmas
- 2012. Training at Deportivo Alavés
- 2012-2018. Aspire Academy Catar
Coordinator of technical training work for children and cadets
Head of the Aspire Football Learning Program
U12, U13, U16 and U17 manager
U19 Assistant coach.
- 2018-2019. Head of training at Independiente del Valle
- 2019-present. Independiente del Valle Manager
2019 Champion of the South American Cup.
Finalist of the 2019 Best Coach of America Conmebol award. Third classified.
2020 South American Cup-winners´ cup runners-up
- 2021. SC Internacional (Porto Alegre) Manager
- 2021-2022. Charlotte F.C. Manager
- 2023-today. Sporting de Gijón Manager