Following the departure of José Antonio Camacho, Antonio Álvarez was appointed to take charge of the Sevilla squad, on an interim basis, until the arrival of Carlos Salvador Bilardo. During this first period, Álvarez was in charge of the team for just one matchday, the 23rd of the 1996/1997 season, when they lost to Real Zaragoza by two goals to one at La Romareda.
After this short-lived first spell, Álvarez returned to the Sevilla bench at the end of the 2009/10 season, replacing Manolo Jiménez. Thus, the club's sporting management showed their confidence in a local man, who had previously acquired enormous experience as assistant coach to Joaquín Caparrós and Juande Ramos, among others. During the ten league games that remained to be played, Álvarez managed to lift the team from fifth to fourth place, thus qualifying them for the qualifying round of the next edition of the Champions League. The icing on the cake was the Copa del Rey, for which the club had already reached the final under Jiménez.
The successes achieved at the end of the 09/10 season earned the coach his continuity at the helm of the team for the following season. However, defeat against FC Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, together with elimination at the hands of Sporting Braga in the Champions League qualifiers and a shaky start to the league campaign, led to the dismissal of the coach at the end of September 2010, and he was replaced by Gregorio Manzano.