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Ziganda set for Osasuna challenge

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Ziganda may struggle to hang on to talented attacker Delporte.

MADRID, Spain -- Osasuna's new coach Jose Angel Ziganda has been presented to the media in Pamplona -- revealing that he is looking forward to the new challenge ahead of him.

"It will be really exciting to take the team into the Champions League for the first time," he said.

Ziganda, 39, takes over from Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, who has left for Atletico Madrid after surprisingly guiding Osasuna to their first appearance in Europe's premier tournament.

Ziganda was introduced to reporters by club president Pachi Izco, who said: "He is a man well known within this club, for his talent and hard work.

"In fact, I'm sure he's the perfect man to carry on the good work of Aguirre."

For the past three years Ziganda has been coach of the club's nursery side.

Ziganda, born and raised in the Navarre region, was a tall and skilful forward for Osasuna from 1987 to 1991, when he moved on to Athletic Bilbao.

He picked up two caps for Spain but failed to impress at international level.

He will be assisted in the job by another former Spain striker, Jon Andoni Goikoetxea, who was Ziganda's right-hand man with the nursery team.

Goikoetxea was a speedy right-winger for Osasuna, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, and looked good for Spain in the 1994 World Cup finals.

Izco said that he was planning to strengthen the Osasuna squad for next season. "It's going to be a very challenging but difficult year," he said, "and I think we need a little more depth in the squad."

One of his targets is Mallorca's Venezuelan striker Juan Arango.

Ludovic Delporte and Pierre Webo - both outstanding in the Osasuna attack this season - have attracted the interest of several French clubs, and it may be difficult for Izco to keep them in Pamplona.

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