(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Just one year ago, Javier Aguirre was awash in praise.
Having qualified his club, Atlético de Madrid, to its first Champions League in a little over a decade, Aguirre had built upon a career managing in Spain that already included a solid run through Osasuna, culminating in a Copa del Rey final and a UEFA Cup appearance.
Last season, Aguirre's practical—but boring—brand of football and his inability to control a locker room with egos the likes of Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Maniche culminated in his team's drop in form, and Aguirre's eventual ouster.
Struggling Mexico came knocking on Aguirre's door, offering him a handsome salary in exchange for waving the same magic wand that he used to when he rescued El Tri from nearly missing the 2002 World Cup in his first stint as Mexico's manager.
In early 2009, Aguirre took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson, promising a better brand of football and a promise that only the best would get to wear the Mexico shirt.
However, Mexico have not recovered from their post-2007 lull and remain in danger of missing the 2010 World Cup.
Promising to win the 2009 Gold Cup, Aguirre might not even be around to witness his team's eventual success or failure, as he is likely to be suspended for kicking Panama's Ricardo Phillips in the second match of the group stage, a 1-1 draw.
Aguirre's failure in Mexico would severely hamper his chances of taking another high profile European club in the future.
View Aguirre's kick and eventual red card here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCxWxHRp8TI