SPAIN | DEL BOSQUE
"I am not leaving before France but I will not continue after"
Del Bosque spoke about his time with the national team, the transition of goalkeepers and the situation with the under-21s.
What has been the worst news of the month: the defeat in Slovakia or the injury relapse of Thiago Alcantara?
Everything that has to do with health, the injury to Thiago in this case, bothers me more.
In managing the ‘Piqué case’, do you not think you should have spoken with Luis Enrique?
I think I did what I had to do. I spoke with Piqué and I took what he said at face value. The case was very clear. How did he play over the two days? He was great. I did not talk to Luis Enrique. Not that I’m reluctant to talk to the coaches, but I have the impression that I hold one position and they hold another. I have not spoken to Ancelotti either and that’s fine with me.
Can the coaches of the national team and club team have different interests?
Well, what is needed is to combine the two, yes. We must be respectful of each other. I have always behaved properly with clubs.
In the top seven teams in Liga BBVA there are only two big centre-backs who are starting: Sergio Ramos and Fontás. Why not call-up Fontás if the aim is to call-up players that are regular starters?
I have nothing against Fontás. I have been following his progress since he emerged as a midfielder for Barça. I have nothing against him or Ínigo Martínez nor Domínguez, who incidentally I played alongside his father...but I think he is better.
How is it possible that Diego Costa can not play three games in a week as Mourinho said but he can play twice in four days as demonstrated by Del Bosque?
Generally, people always ask me the same thing: Casillas, Diego Costa, Mourinho and Florentino. I do not mind, but I do not want conflict with anyone. All I said, and still say, is that Diego Costa, like any other player, will not play if he is not able to. But if he is well, he will play with the national team. That muscle injury is very difficult to prove.
Why were Llorente or Torres not called up? Are they out of the squad? And Mata?
It’s the same case as Fontás: it is a matter of trust. For Torres, I remember the time that I had just started playing with a new club. I have nothing against any of them, the opposite – they are all great. But if they had been included we would not have been able to include Alcácer. I have to choose according to the possibilities and timing of each player. But, of course, the ‘mess’ that we have is easy: we always have 20 players who can come and others than cannot.
After the 2010 World Cup you felt like giving way to someone else. That was repeated after Euro 2012. Why did you continue?
Why not? By that rule I could have gone after the first Champions League win with Real Madrid. Football is my professional. I do not know why I did not go. It could be down to selfishness or a lack of humility. If I had gone after the first Champions League win we would not have won the second. And if I had done it after the 2010 World Cup we may not have won Euro 2012.
Are you sure you will continue until France 2016?
That is my idea, unless that are obstacles that stop me.
And before that you will not resign?
That is now what I expect to do, no.
So the intention is to continue and leave after Euro 2016?
In life you can not be certain of anything. But yes, that is my intention, to continue until France in 2016 and leave after. Also, in my case, the Federation will have to make a smooth transition, but I will stay close to football and to the Federation.
With the experience you have, could you not see the problems that you were going to face after Brazil?
I think the criticism from people has been fine and comprehensive. They have always given me and the team affection. Then there has been those who have been a bit more hostile, but I will not fight with them, I do not want to.
Do you have a fix for the departures of Puyol, Xavi, Xabi and Villa?
These guys are heroes, extraordinary people. But we must look ahead. Nostalgia does not lead us anywhere.
Why did you not attend the Spain U21s play-off against Serbia in Cádiz?
For reasons that were forced. Assistant coach Toni Grande was there because I could not attend due to unavoidable personal reasons.
Why were Alcácer or Carvajal not with the U21s?
We’re always in tune with Celades. We were in agreement. He stuck with Alberto Moreno and we took Bernat. As with Carvajal, Manquillo has also played in the Champions League with Liverpool. Isco played in Cádiz. We took Alcácer, with the U21s were Sandro, Munir and Morata.
Wasn’t is better to have left Alcácer with the U21s and called up Llorente and Torres for the senior team?
Every time a guy from the U21 makes the senior squad it is a success for Spanish football.
Wouldn’t it have been better for everyone if players were released to play for the U21s?
Every time a young player makes the senior squad, as is happening now with the case of Alcácer, it is a success for Spanish fooball and for teams in every category because it opens up a space for someone else. It’s a success for all the team categories below.
With regards to the transition in goal, what did you mean that Casillas has been poisoned and it is impossible?
About Iker Casillas, transitions can be sweet or traumatic. In the case of the goalkeeper, he is a huge goalkeeper with a fantastic history and for a man with the respect of Casillas, we must combine the present with the future. It is normal for us to worry about the medium term and the other goalkeepers that come such as De Gea or Kiko Casilla. What we want is a normal transition, as there have been before. I remember the cases of Capdevila and Marcos Senna, Senna continued with us for another year while Busquets was integrated. That’s what we want. But yes, consideration has to be taken with Casillas, we don’t know how long he will last. This is not an overnight thing. Maybe up until the 2018 World Cup should be a goal of Iker Casillas, but our next step is to France 2016.
Will Casillas continue as a starter for the national team so long as he starts for Real Madrid?
Naturally, we would find it difficult to continue starting a player if he is not a regular for his team. We would find it the same if De Gea struggled with his team. In principle we are where we are, with two players both playing for their club teams and for the national team.
What do you know about the situation of Victor Valdes?
I know very little. I know he is a bit better and we are all looking forward to seeing him play. Victor has won the esteem and affection of everyone