17 October 2014 12:30
Vicente del Bosque has confirmed he will step down from his role as Spain head coach after the Euro 2016 finals in France.
Del Bosque took over from Luis Aragones shortly after Spain had clinched glory in the Euro 2008 final against Germany, and he continued the trend of success set in motion by his predecessor.
Over the next four years, Spain staked a claim for being arguably the greatest ever national team, winning the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 before defending their Euro crown with a 4-0 demolition of Italy in the final two years later.
However, any dreams of retaining their status as world champions were swiftly ended in Brazil in June, as defeats to Netherlands and Chile saw them eliminated at the group stage, with some suggesting their exit signalled the end for Spain’s possession-based style of play.
Spain have since taken six points from their opening three qualifying matches for Euro 2016, with thumping wins over Macedonia and Luxembourg sandwiching a shock 2-1 defeat in Slovakia.
In an interview with AS, Del Bosque has stated his intention to remain in charge until the finals, but declared he would not continue after the tournament.
“In life you cannot be certain of anything,” he said. 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.
“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.”