Wednesday 28 September 2016

Spain's retiring manager reveals why one petulant star was the only player he didn't thank

Published 01/07/2016 | 11:17

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Head coach Vicente Del Bosque chats with Iker Casillas of Spain during a Spain training session at Centro de Entrenamiento do Caju on June 14, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Head coach Vicente Del Bosque chats with Iker Casillas of Spain during a Spain training session at Centro de Entrenamiento do Caju on June 14, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

After a lengthy career in football, it looks like the legendary Vicente del Bosque is calling it a day.

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Del Bosque has announced that he will leave his role as Spain manager when his contract runs out at the end of July.

The 65-year-old enjoyed unprecedented success with La Roja, leading them to both the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2012, with the team not conceding a goal in the knockout stage of either tournament.

He couldn't replicate that glory at either the 2014 World Cup or at this summer's Euros, with Spain exiting the former at the group stage and the latter in the last 16 after a humbling 2-0 defeat to Italy.

Still, del Bosque leaves management with a rich legacy, having guided Real Madrid to two La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns between 1999 and 2003.

In a departing interview with radio station Cadena Ser, del Bosque revealed that he sent thank you messages to every player in his squad - except one.

After almost 15 years as Spain's number one, del Bosque opted to replace veteran Iker Casillas with the in-form David de Gea for Euro 2016.

It appears that Casillas didn't take the demotion well at all, because del Bosque describes their relationship as non-existent thereafter, with the Real Madrid legend unable to conceal his anger at being replaced.

While the 'keeper's anger is understandable, contrast his reaction with Ireland captain Robbie Keane, who was an exemplary presence around the squad after his role was reduced.

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