Vicente del Bosque has said why he voted for Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez in the Ballon d’Or, and mused on Spain’s mentality for the World Cup.
La Roja face the Netherlands, Chile and Australia in Group B of next summer’s competition, and also face the prospect of a possible Last 16 meeting with hosts Brazil.
For their Coach, however, the anxiety at the challenge ahead is only a good thing.
“The draws are as they are and are tough. We must prepare in the best possible way in these months ahead, to get into top condition,” mused Del Bosque to reporters today.
“Our mentality and our competitive spirit is good, and then we have to face what is in front of us.
“Perhaps we have not had any luck in the draw, but whatever draw we would have had then the answer would have been the same.
“We must be a little insecure, it is good to understand the word ‘insecure’ as a sign of humility. All opponents are tough, we cannot be overconfident against anyone.
“That is the answer of a good athlete. We have to prepare well, but at the same time we must be must not be too sure that we will win.”
Del Bosque also went into detail on why he chose to vote for Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in the Ballon d’Or this year, when neither have made the three-man shortlist for the award.
“I voted for the two Spanish players because I think they have not been recognised in recent years and I do not want to enter into any Barcelona-Real Madrid war, simply.
“I voted for the Spanish players because whilst the feeling is that they may not have been at their best this year, they represent a generation that has been, and continues to be, world champions and European champions but that has not been recognised at an individual level.
“We are in the era of Messi and Ronaldo and it is merited that Spain have managed to become world champions with these two great players on their respective teams and European champions with Ronaldo as captain and leader of this era with Portugal.”
Del Bosque, who won the Coach of the Year award at last year’s Ballon d’Or gala, will see Sir Alex Ferguson, Jupp Heynckes or Jurgen Klopp take the title this year.
“Ferguson’s nomination is a recognition of his career. It is indisputable that Heynckes has been the best Coach of the first half of the year, where he has won everything with Bayern.
“I have also voted for Benitez because he represents Spanish training extraordinarily well and third Scolari because he won the Confederations Cup and this gives a nod to the level of his team.”