Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque has defended Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho’s decision not to attend the Ballon d’Or gala.
Del Bosque and Mourinho are two of the three nominees for the Coach of the Year award, to be handed out this evening in Zurich. However the Portuguese tactician – currently under pressure with Madrid 16 points behind Barcelona in La Liga – decided to stay behind in the Spanish capital to prepare his team for their Copa del Rey Last 16 tie with Celta Vigo on Wednesday.
“It’s a personal choice,” stated the Salamanca native at a Press conference held alongside the third nominee, Pep Guardiola.
“He has a big game on Wednesday and has justified his absence.”
Del Bosque believes the fact two Spaniards are in the running for the prize is a boon for Spanish football as a whole.
“It is a pleasure and a pride that two Spanish coaches are in the top three. Our country is at the top of football today and thinking about the future, the Confederations Cup and World Cup.”
Finally the La Roja chief defended once again his all-Spanish vote in the player category.
“I picked three Spanish as a general concept of the time that our football is living through, so I named the two captains – Xavi [Hernandez] and [Iker] Casillas – and [Andres] Iniesta, who was the best European player of the year.”