AFTER leading his country to their maiden World Cup and adding a second European Championship during a golden era of Barcelona inspired dominance, Vincent del Bosque will stand down as coach of the Spanish national team following a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
The 65-year-old took over from Luis Aragones in 2008 and, after eight years in charge, revealed he had considered this year’s international competition to be his last.
“I have no intention to remain as coach. No matter what the result of the Euros, I had no doubt about what my future would be,” he told Spanish public radio station RNE.
The Salamanca-born former midfielder, who won five La Liga titles with Real Madrid as a player, confirmed that he would stay in his post until his contract expires on July 31.
Despite enjoying huge popularity as the man who brought the World Cup home, del Bosque was under pressure following an ignominious exit from the 2014 finals in Brazil, and last week’s 2-0 second round defeat to Italy in which his team were outplayed and outclassed.
It remains unclear what is next for the veteran who was at the helm of Real Madrid from 1999-2003, overseeing the Galacticos period and taking the club to two La Ligas and two Champions League victories. One of the most respected and successful managers in the game, his services will surely be in demand, while retirement could well be on the cards.
Speculation is already alive as to who might succeed him, with Granada manager Paco Jemez and former Sevilla coach Joaquin Caparros current favourites to lead Spain into a new era.