Vicente del Bosque believes Spain played their best football at Euro 2012. ‘We kept the same idea…we were very stubborn about it.’
Del Bosque left the national team after a disappointing Euro 2016 but told an interview with Publico that La Roja’s apogee was in Poland and Ukraine four years earlier, not the victorious World Cup of 2010.
“2012 is possibly when we played our best football. What is for sure is we kept the same idea of football from the first game against Italy until the Final, which was also against Italy. We were very stubborn about it,” he recalled, then went on to explain why he planned on retiring this summer no matter what.
“After eight years I had the feeling of having done it all, to have carried out all the functions I needed to do. All that I had to do and always having tried to do it in the best way possible. Especially, what I consider the most important: to represent Spanish football and the Spain team, to compete with the national team, to pick good players, and so on.
“That wasn’t how I imagined leaving, no. I’m leaving because the term has been fulfilled. I’m not uncomfortable about leaving. It’s normal, though, that we didn’t win in France or the World Cup in Brazil, after winning in 2008, 2010 and 2012. It’s very difficult to always win. I think both times we played well in qualification, with consistency, and that’s not easy.
“I don’t remember how long ago I decided to retire. It’s something I had decided. It wasn’t conditional on how we did at the Euros. It was the right decision to take the job. Then I thought it was the right time to go to the national team and I don’t think I got that wrong. We came from a winning momentum and I found a group of great players, with a style created in 2008.
“When Andres Iniesta scored [in the 2010 World Cup Final] I thought at that moment we had in our hands a title that for so long had been a utopic dream.”
Del Bosque was asked if Spain’s period of success could ever be repeated and he insisted it could, with the current generation of players getting his seal of approval.
“Why not? I myself, now, with all the sincerity in the world, I see this current team, despite what happened in France, as a team that can aspire to win anything. That doesn’t mean they will, but they can,” he continued.
“I didn’t leave because we didn’t win the Euros. Coaching is my profession and it has nothing to do with success. It would be selfish if it did. Even in the bad times, like in Brazil and France, you have to be in the service of what you’ve been entrusted. Look at Alex Ferguson, he didn’t always win trophies the whole time at Manchester United. We need to educate people in defeat.”