18 Feb 2012

Spain’s talismanic coach says he admires English football

Spain’s World Cup-winning football manager Vicente del Bosque has shared some of the secrets of his team’s success in an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News.

Del Bosque has recently been ennobled by the Spanish king Juan Carlos, acquiring the title of marquis in recognition of his astonishing success in leading Spain their first World Cup in 2010.

Asked whether his all-conquering players have the will to win again at Euro 2012, he said: “Football punishes those who believe they’re very good – football is a great equaliser.

“But above the tactics and the physical issues, we have the emotion and hunger to win. We still want to be the best, Now we have a hard task, because we’ve already won the World Cup and we want to continue winning. So let’s see.”

“The favourites have to be Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. We came first, second and third in the World Cup, but there’s a few national teams that have been asleep – take England. It’s been a while since they’ve won a tournament.”

He added: “All of us who are close to football feel admiration for British football, mainly because of the good players you have, and the framework. Physically it’s a strong team with a lot of talent, so I don’t think England is missing anything, I think England has everything it needs.”

Except a captain – or a manager. Del bosque’s counterpart at wembley walked out after criticising the FA for stripping John Terry of the armband. He knows Fabio Capello well after time spent together at Real madrid. His reaction to the italian’s abrupt departure?

“Surprised…surprised because he has a great knowlegde of football. It’s a great loss for english football.”

Does del Bosque think Harry Redknapp could make an impact if he takes over from Capello?

“I don’t have an opinion. I have only seen him coaching matches. I think there’s more than one favourite. There’ll be many good managers in English football who could conduct your national team.”

The price of Spain’s newfound sporting success is that others, principally neighbours France, are keen to poke fun, insinuating that the newfound Spanish prowess at football, basketball and tennis should be attributed to performance-enhancing drugs rather than talent.

Del Bosque flatly denies it, saying:”(After) 40 or 50-odd years in this football business, I’ve never seen anyone in spain conduct themselves in this manner. The more ink we give this the worse it will be. Thank God our country is above such remarks.”