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Spanish national team manager Vicente del Bosque

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Spanish national team manager Vicente del Bosque

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“Because football is a team sport, the next FIFA World Player of the year award should go to a Spanish player”.

Vicente del Bosque is the man behind Spain’s most famous sporting achievement. Admired by many for his composure and his kindness, the 59 year old met up with Euronews to talk about Spain’s triumph at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Currently preparing for their next international fixture, the world champions were training just outside of Madrid in Las Rozas where Del Bosque is already preparing for Spain’s next big tournament: Euro 2012.

Francisco Javier Villagarcia – euronews:
Mr del Bosque, thank you very much for your time. I’m going to start off with a fairly straight forward question. What must a team do to win a World Cup?

Vicente del Bosque:
First of all, you need a bit of luck. In life you need a bit of good fortune no? On top of that, we had done a good preparation with some quality players. In the qualifying stages, we had played well and won 10 games out of 10. We had also just secured the European Championship title which boosted our confidence. I think we had a great generation of players who introduced a new style of play, especially our midfielders, who dictated the play throughout the tournament.

euronews:
We tend to associate this style of play with Barcelona’s…

Vicente del Bosque:
It’s true that it is similar. Obviously many of our key players play for Barcelona although having said this, we also have other players from other clubs and they also bring in their own ways of playing.

euronews:
In the World Cup, apart from Spain, what other teams impressed you?

Vicente del Bosque:
Germany had a good World Cup. The same could be said of Argentina until their defeat against Germany. The Netherlands also did well to reach the final. I would say we saw some very strong teams just like in every World Cup. The level was generally quite high.

euronews:
Now with regards to Euro 2012, are you worried about Germany?

Vicente del Bosque:
Of course I am. Not only are they very strong physically, they have great technical ability. It was very hard to beat them in the semi finals but we played well and i actually think that they were intimidated by us.

euronews:
In a country divided by regional nationalism, winning the World Cup saw the whole of Spain celebrate. Do you believe that this win has united your country?

Vicente del Bosque:
For me it’s just all about football… We won a World Cup that’s all. Many people have said that Spain’s win has had an impact socially and if our success in big sporting events can improve the relationship amongst Spaniards, I think this is a great achievement. However, I genuinely don’t think that the unity in our country is solely due to our good performance in the 2010 World Cup.

euronews:
Same can be said of the Spanish flag.. Has Spain reconciled itself with its flag?

Vicente del Bosque: I think that it’s important to keep in mind that the flag doesn’t belong to any individual in particular. It belongs to our country and brandishing it should not be seen as something negative.

euronews:
A few nationalist groups ask for the Football Federation to be split and for example, Basque and Catalan federations to be introduced. What is your opinion on that?

Vicente del Bosque:
We have to respect the Spanish government and accept the fact that there is only one Spanish Football Federation. You can have a few teams representing regions but in order to represent Spain, there is only the Spanish national side.

euronews:
You are currently receiving a lot of praise from the Spanish. A street has even been named after you in your hometown of Salamanca. You and your team also won the Prince of Asturias award… You must be kept very busy?

Vicente del Bosque:
I know who I am… I am just a football manager. We were lucky to win the World Cup and it’s important to differentiate between football and every day life. We now have to take on new challenges. This is what a sportsman’s life is all about and if one day, I lose my drive or my motivation for the game, I will have to seriously reconsider my position as a manager.

euronews:
Faced with all this hype following the World Cup, how do you keep your feet on the ground?

Vicente del Bosque:
The career of a professional footballer is very short and you tend to realise this when you reach the end of it. It is important to make the most of every instant without dwelling too much on wins and titles. You must always go forward and try to improve. This is what makes a good sportsman.

euronews:
A few weeks ago, Spain played a friendly game against Argentina in Buenos Aires and ended up losing 4-1. Is this a warning?

Vicente del Bosque:
I don’t think our attitude was at fault during this game. I don’t think we were over confident. Even when we were losing 3-0 at half time, we didn’t give up and we tried to get back in the game. We therefore showed that we could fight back even when dominated… it’s just a shame that the final score didn’t reflect this.
I can’t fault my players. I don’t think that they approached the game with too much confidence or complacency. I doubt my players think that they are worth more than they actually are.

euronews:
Are you happy with the way your team has been playing recently?

Vicente del Bosque:
Our last games have been tough. In October we have the opportunity to top our group but we face solid oppositions… first Lithuania and then Scotland. If our situation is less complicated after those two games, we’ll just take that as a bonus but for the moment we have to prepare for some tough challenges.

euronews:
Let’s talk more about the World Cup. The refereeing was generally heavily criticised throughout the tournament. What can be done to improve the situation? Do you have any suggestions?

Vicente del Bosque: I know many would like modern technology to be introduced to the game but up until now, we haven’t been able to take this step. In all honesty, I am very traditional when it comes to football and so i personally believe that in many situations, a machine could not possibly be better than a human being.

euronews:
So you are against the use of video replays?

Vicente del Bosque:
I am not completely against it. I just find it hard to come to terms with it. I acknowledge the fact that society progresses and to stand against this evolution would be wrong. However, I just think that it is sometimes hard to adapt certain changes to football.

euronews:
So would you rather have a fifth referee?

Vicente del Bosque:
I don’t really like this idea either…

euronews:
Soon it will be known who the next FIFA World Player of the year is. Do you have any favourites?

Vicente del Bosque:
I would love for a Spanish player to win it. Not only have they shown how gifted they are technically but they have also proved that they are real team players- And after Spain’s recent success in the World Cup, I think this award should go to a Spanish player.

euronews:
One in particular?

Vicente del Bosque:
No not just one.

euronews:
All of them?

Vicente del Bosque:
No several…

euronews:
I started this interview by asking you how to win a World Cup, I’ll finish by asking you how do you win a European Championship?

Vicente del Bosque:
Well if we win the next one, then I’ll be able to answer your question. As for now, we just have to work hard as a team and carry on winning trophies. I feel like the Spanish squad has been more united ever since winning the European championship in 2008. Let’s hope that we can keep this up.