Saturday 20 July 2019

Vicente del Bosque steps down as Spain manager

Vicente Del Bosque
Vicente Del Bosque Newsdesk Newsdesk

Spain have confirmed that Vicente del Bosque is stepping down as national team coach.

Del Bosque revealed last week that he had "no intention" of staying on once his contract expires at the end of this month, and his decision has now been made official by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

An RFEF statement read: "Vicente del Bosque will not continue at the front of the national team.

"The RFEF president, Angel Maria Villar, and national team selector, Vicente del Bosque, had a meeting today, July 4, in Madrid where the coach has told the RFEF president of his idea not to continue at the front of the national team."

The statement added that the 65-year-old Del Bosque has accepted an offer to continue working with the RFEF in a yet-to-be confirmed role.

Del Bosque is the most successful coach in Spain's history, leading his country to victory at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 while winning over 75 per cent of his 114 matches in charge,

In total Spain recorded 87 wins, 10 draws and 17 defeats under Del Bosque, while scoring 254 goals and conceding 79.

His final game in the hotseat was last Monday's Euro 2016 last-16 clash against Italy, where a 2-0 defeat saw the holders knocked out.

The former Real Madrid coach, who replaced Luis Aragones after Spain won Euro 2008, remained quiet when quizzed about his future in the immediate aftermath of that loss but revealed on Thursday that he was not going to continue as Spain boss.

He also confirmed in the interview on Spanish radio station RNE that it was a decision he had made some time ago and that he was also going to retire from coaching.

''I have a contract until July 31 with the Federation. I have no intention of continuing as coach but there's still a bit of time left," he said.

''I have tried to treat this matter with discretion because we're in a business and you need to respect that. But it was a decision taken beforehand. I didn't show it nor did I hide it.

''On July 31 I will leave coaching. I will be available to help. I will no longer be sitting on the bench, although I will also be close hoping that things go well in Spanish football.

''If can help in any way, I will.''

Several names have already been mooted in the Spanish press as possible replacements for Del Bosque, with former Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla boss Joaquin Caparros among the early frontrunners.

Meanwhile, Iker Casillas appears to have played down any supposed rift between him and Del Bosque after posting a photograph of the two posing together while wishing the outgoing Spain boss good luck.

Del Bosque said last week that his relationship with Casillas was ''so so'' during Euro 2016 and that the nation's most capped player was upset with the Spain coaching staff.

However, Casillas, who captained La Roja to World Cup and European Championship glory under Del Bosque but had to make do with being back-up to David de Gea in France, seems to bear the ex-Besiktas boss no ill will.

The Porto goalkeeper, 35, on Monday posted a picture of him and Del Bosque smiling together on his Twitter account with the comment: ''This morning, in the Soccer City (Spanish Football Federation's headquarters). 25 years together and counting. A hug Boss! Good luck!''

Del Bosque last week said of Casillas on Spanish radio station Cadena SER: ''With his team-mates he has been fine, correct, but with the coaching staff it is so so.

"With everyone else he has been fine. The anger has been with us.

''For sure he is hurting or displeased with me and I understand that. He thinks we have done the wrong thing.

''But we have to be proud of a player who has 167 games with the national team. I don't believe three or four games will hurt his resume.

''Casillas hasn't disappointed me. I have a great appreciation for him. I have known him since he was nine years old.''

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