Del Bosque - Spains quiet one

12 May 2014 09:32

Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque looks out of place in an era of suave, star coaches prowling the touchline in designer suits and treating media appearances with the same importance as game tactics.

The 63-year-old rarely raises himself from the bench and does not raise his voice in a press conference, let alone claim to be "special."

However, Del Bosque could lay a claim to being the most decorated active manager in world football having won virtually every major honour at club and international level.

After leading Real Madrid to two Champions League and two La Liga titles in three-and-a-half years in charge of Los Blancos, the call came to succeed Luis Aragones as Spain boss following their victory at the European Championships in 2008.

Taking over a side that had won its first major tournament in 44 years appeared a difficult act to follow, but Del Bosque's calm demeanour and conservative tactics have allowed Spain's ludicrously talented generation to flourish.

Two years after his appointment, Del Bosque led Spain to their first World Cup triumph in South Africa and followed that success by defending their European title in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

Should La Roja extend their historic winning streak, Del Bosque would join Italian Vittorio Pozzo as the only man to win the World Cup twice as a coach and become the first man to lead his side to three successive major tournament victories.

With the star talent at his disposal, it may be easy to write off Del Bosque's achievements. But his ability to keep players hungry for more success and his man-management skills in controlling the Barcelona and Real Madrid divisions within the squad have been proven time and again.

After a fierce spell of four El Clasicos in 18 days in 2012 that left scars on both sides of the divide, Del Bosque said he "feared" for the future of the national team.

Yet, guided by two of his most loyal lieutenants in Real captain Iker Casillas and Barca's most decorated player of all-time, Xavi Hernandez, the splits were mended and a year later Spain were European champions once more.

"He has taught me how to live with victory," says Casillas.

"He has maintained the same calm in tough moments and on days of glory parading a trophy. He has helped us as footballers and as fans. Respect and normality is what defines him day-to-day."

Perhaps Del Bosque's only downfall during his time in charge has been his stubbornness to remain loyal to those who have won for him in the past.

As Xavi adds: "Vicente is the most human person I have ever shared a dressing room with."

Given the demanding conditions in Brazil and the wear and tear suffered by his players over the past six years, Del Bosque's biggest task may be turning on the likes of David Villa, Fernando Torres and even Xavi himself to blood Spain's next generation of double European champions from the under 21 tournaments of 2011 and 2013.

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44