Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque has emphasised the importance of good conduct after receiving a lifetime achievement award.
The tactician was given the honour by AS at a ceremony last night, and was subsequently asked how he has achieved so much success with a national team that has often been consumed by infighting and club rivalries in the past.
“Professionals realise that it is important not only to win, but to learn how to behave,” said the Salamanca native. “I think that’s basic. And I know it’s difficult to avoid tension and stresses in a large group but I trust that no longer occurs.”
It was put to Del Bosque that he had been successful with very diverse sides, Real Madrid and Spain, but he disputed that notion.
“I don’t see much difference between the teams. In essence, at Madrid we had players [Claude] Makelele, [Ivan] Helguera and [Fernando] Hierro, who today would be our Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets.”
This latest recognition is just one of many awards the 61-year-old has been presented with in recent years, but he remains steadfastly modest.
“People will say it’s another award for Vicente, but I will not be so presumptuous as to believe it’s for me, but for all the companions I’ve had in my time as a player and a Coach.
“It overwhelms me, but I try to represent as befits the Spanish Football Federation.”
Lastly Del Bosque outlined his goals for 2013, and the difficulty of selecting his squad at present.
“Finland in March, then France, we have to be at our best in the qualifiers. Then there’s the Confederations Cup in June. We have to go slowly.
“We will think of those who have been champions, but the players know they cannot sleep. Our obligation is to be attentive to those who come through, and that’s what we do.”