Tuesday 12 December 2017

Del Bosque stands down with 'no regrets'

Vicente del Bosque is stepping down from his role as Spain manager Photo: REUTERS / Regis Duvignau
Vicente del Bosque is stepping down from his role as Spain manager Photo: REUTERS / Regis Duvignau

Jamie Holland

Outgoing Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has no regrets as he prepares to leave his post at the end of July after eight years in charge during which they won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

He called time on his tenure after Spain's exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Italy in the first knockout round and will formally leave when his contract expires on July 31.

The Spanish Football Federation is expected to appoint his successor straight after that date, with former Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla coach Joaquin Caparros the favourite.

Del Bosque enjoyed a dream start as coach after succeeding Luis Aragones in 2008, leading Spain to the 2010 World Cup and helping them retain the European Championship two years later.

Spain then suffered a shock group stage elimination at the 2014 World Cup and lost 2-0 to Italy in the last 16 of Euro 2016 after finishing second in their group.

Asked if he had any regrets, the 65-year-old former Real Madrid player and coach said: "No, I don't. I'm not saying that I'm leaving having completed every task I was set, because we knew that was impossible and unachievable.

"To have won another World Cup and another Euro would have been virtually impossible. I go with a feeling of not leaving any loose ends."

Del Bosque also denied that his reign ended on a sour note.

"There's been a bit of everything. We've had the opportunity to win a lot of things, but we've also suffered defeats," he said. "That's sport. But I leave with a clear conscience and the feeling of having fulfilled my duty to Spanish football."

Del Bosque is an adherent of possession football, but Caparros' teams tend to play more directly.

Yet the outgoing boss stressed: "The next coach must be given absolute freedom to shape things as he sees fit."

Irish Independent

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