Raul laments Vicente del Bosque’s treatment by Real Madrid and agrees he could have been Los Blancos’ answer to Manchester United grandee Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Madrid icon has spoken to AS on the subject of coaching, both how he sees the game and his thoughts on Zinedine Zidane, and the subject turned to the trainers under whom he worked in his long Santiago Bernabeu career.
“11 Coaches in 13 years is a lot. I always say: I had more Coaches than years in Madrid. And some of them were repeated: Fabio Capello and Jose Antonio Camacho twice. I think there are 18 or 19…” he recalled.
“My first six were Jorge Valdano, Arsenio Iglesias, Capello, Jupp Heynckes, Camacho, Guus Hiddink, John Toshack…I’m leaving out seven or eight. And Vicente del Bosque, who had the longest time.”
Raul elaborated on Del Bosque, who recently retired as Spain boss and was sacked by Los Blancos in 2003 despite twice winning the League and the Champions League.
“Whenever you look back it’s necessary to remember the good Vicente did. Madrid came from four or five years of great instability, and he knew how to put the team on a solid foundation in all facets. There was no cracks,” he explained.
“Letting him go was a decision of the club. Possibly, looking back, we now know it wasn’t one of the best. But in the world of football, and in life, you have to take decisions in the moment. You can’t look back. He did the same with the national team.
“He could have been Madrid’s Ferguson, yes. Del Bosque’s profile is to be with a club for a long time, and above all a club like Madrid or the national team. But we’ll never know. Sometimes I think change is good.
“You can see all the good Ferguson did at United, but then there is Arsene Wenger and people are discussing his durability for the position. Now the demand is much greater. Watch Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone demands a lot, but changes a few players every summer. With cycles of three, four, five years, there comes a time you might [burn out] or not. Maybe the Coach has that capability and goes hand-in-hand with the club.
“For that to happen, the general manager, the Coach and the club have to work very closely. And they have to reinvent all at once. If not, it would be impossible. There comes a time when the Coach is exhausted. It’s the law of life.”
Pep Guardiola has ventured to the Premier League and Raul considered his former international colleague’s chances in England, citing the Catalan as an example of reinvention.
“He can finish the process started by Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini. It’s another challenge for him. He didn’t win the Champions League with Bayern Munich but a lot of fans, both of Bayern and the Bundesliga, enjoyed his understanding of football,” Raul noted.
“And even the Germany team, on many occasions, copied the way he acts. Pep, in the end, reinvents every season, every month, every game. I’m convinced he’ll give the City fans something to enjoy.”