Madrid: Vicente del Bosque has said that he will step down as head coach of Spain’s football team after a glorious eight-year run that included triumphs in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.
“Without a doubt, I do not intend to continue as coach,” Efe quoted del Bosque as saying Radio Nacional de España. “It’s a matter we have been dealing with for some time. The decision is made.”
Del Bosque denied, however, that he discussed the issue this week with Spanish football federation chief Angel Maria Villar.
Noting that he remains under contract with the federation until July 31, he said he went to the team’s headquarters on Thursday as usual.
Spain’s bid for a third consecutive Euro title was cut short on Monday, when La Roja lost 0-2 to Italy in the round of 16.
“I have tried to manage this issue with discretion because we are engaged in an enterprise and that must be respected. But it was a decision made in advance. However the European (championship) came out, it was decided,” Del Bosque said Thursday.
Making no effort to conceal his irritation, the coach repudiated media accounts that said he was leaving because he no longer felt up to the job.
“Someone has attempted to muddle everything and create quarrels — with I don’t know what intention — to discredit me and I don’t know why,” the 65-year-old said.
The coach reminded listeners that he had always acknowledged it would be very difficult for Spain to win a third straight European title.
The Real Madrid legend said no one has sought his advice about who should succeed him as coach of the national side.
“There are people who are very qualified,” he said, emphasising that he remains eager to contribute in any way he can to ensuring “things go well in Spanish soccer”.