Del Bosque turned down an offer to coach Manchester United a month ago, at the end of April. David Moyes was publicly sacked on 22 April by the English club. Del Bosque, current Spain coach, didn’t even want to hear the personal terms of the deal, that would have boosted his salary to 10 times what the Spanish Federation currently pay him. Manchester United were looking to pay him 20 million euros over a two year deal.
Three years ago Del Bosque turned down a huge offer from Inter, who sent Figo to try and convince him to take the job. His reason for turning down both the Italian and the English club? His commitment to Spain.
Del Bosque’s contract with the current World Cup holders runs to the European Championships in France in 2016. He signed that extension at the insistence of Ángel Villa, head of the Spanish Football Federation, despite the fact he was thinking of quitting the job after the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, and moving to become Technical Director of the Federation, a job he has already been promised.
The multi-million pound offer from Manchester United also came with the backing of Sir Alex Ferguson, who proposed the Spanish coach when the club decided to bin Moyes in April. Del Bosque soon became the club’s first target, with Atlético’s Simeone and Dutchman Van Gaal also on the list, with the latter finally taking the job after Del Bosque said no.
Vicente Del Bosque has made it quite clear that he intends to quit the dugout once his spell in charge of Spain comes to an end, but Europe’s big clubs don’t appear to have understood the message. Though Del Bosque misses day to day coaching he’s decided he doesn’t want to work abroad again (he’s only done so once, in Turkey), and he feels he should respect the retirement age. He’s 63 now and his aim is to stop at 65. “Or maybe 67, now they’ve raised the retirement age”, he jokes. While he’s signed a contract extension for the two years to take him to the European Championships in France, he has made it quite clear to the Federation that it depends to a certain extent on how things go in Brazil, at the World Cup, which starts in two weeks time. “The main thing is that everyone feels comfortable”, said Del Bosque, leaving the door open for either him or the Federation to cancel the contract renewal if they feel it is the right thing to do.
For the Spanish Federation though, Del Bosque is more than just the coach. He’s implanted a new working method, he follows the younger sides, he controls the coaches and the players at all levels and takes technical decisions with the help of a team of collaborators, including Toni Grande, Javier Miñano, Albert Celades, Antolín Gozalo and Ginés Meléndez.
His latest decision has been to include in his team Albert Celades, who played under him at Real Madrid. As well as being in charge of the Under-21s, he’ll go to Brazil as a member of the coaching staff. It’s also a promotion that’s gone down well at the Federation.
Del Bosque as coach of Spain even pays attention to the very young players coming through the system, and in spite of being Champion at every level , he absolutely loves that aspect of the job.