los secretos – the transition to Vicente del Bosque I

We’re back to Los secretos!  The chapter is called “La inteligente transición de Del Bosque” (the intelligent transition to Del Bosque), and this is the first part.  It gives the history of how Vicente del Bosque was chosen as the successor to Luis Aragonés, and how the transition was carried out.

The RFEF had asked Luis Aragonés in September 2007 if he wanted to continue as head coach of the national team after Euro 2008, and he said no.  Thus, the Federation began looking for someone new.  Fernando Hierro, named sporting director that same month, had Vicente del Bosque in mind.  He asked VDB if he would be okay with Hierro nominating him, and VDB gave him the go-ahead.

Vicente del Bosque and his assistants Toni Grande and Javier Miñano were presented as the new coaching team on July 17, 2008, just about two weeks after Spain had won the Eurocopa.  Later on, Paco Jiménez and Antonio Fernández would join the team.  The only holdover from Aragonés team was goalkeeping coach José Manuel Ochotorena.

Del Bosque’s first talk with the players came before a friendly on Aug. 20 against Denmark.  It lasted 45 minutes, and his purpose was to gain the confidence of his players.  His first words were, “we haven’t come to usurp the place of anyone… You all are part of the history of Spanish football, but we shouldn’t be content with that, we shouldn’t be talking about how great we are.  We have reasons to set new goals.”

VDB: “I would like my players to see me as a normal person who understands them, who likes to work, and who is capable of doing the job.”  His pre-game talks don’t usually last more than 12 minutes: “the first thing a player does is look at the chalkboard to see if he’s playing.  If he’s playing, he’ll be attentive, and if not, he won’t listen.  If you talk for more than 20 minutes, they start fidgeting, coughing, and you realize they’re not paying attention.”

Only one of the players on the team had worked with VDB and his staff before: Iker Casillas, who was 22 when VDB left Real Madrid.  They noticed that Iker had changed.  Del Bosque: “back then, he listened more than he spoke.  Now, he speaks more than he listens.  Before, he was just another player and now he’s one of the leaders.”  Toni Grande: “he’s more of a man, more preoccupied with things.  He’s an example for everyone.”  Javier Miñano: “I’ve never seen him so focused.  Whenever he gets his teammates together, he sets a tone of seriousness with his look.  Even when he’s not playing, he maintains this attitude, and that is very good for the group.”

Álvaro Negredo got a taste of that during his second call-up with the team, when he arrived late at Las Rozas due to traffic.  He had to pay the corresponding fine, and Iker also said to him, very seriously, “you, máquina, you arrive when you want, ¿eh?”

Tomorrow, the rest of the chapter, including various players reflecting on the míster, and the story behind Jesús Navas’ battle to join the national team.

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Posted on September 14, 2010, in secretos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. woohooo!! thank you una for continuing this… your ‘los secretos’ entries were the ones that first got me hooked on your blog :)

  2. I was waiting for another ‘secretos’ post. Thank you.

    Also, it’s nice to hear of Iker being all commanding and leader like. Poor Negredo, he must not have known what to say.

  3. I just LOVE this book! You are translating it so well! Thank you very much! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapter!

  4. “Iker Casillas, who was 22 when VDB left Real Madrid” reading that made me sad…..imagine where RM would be if we still had VDB.

    lol @ Iker sounding so grown up, because most of the times he looks like a kid with ruffled hair.

    Thanks for translating!

  5. Aaaaah Los Secretos! I was expecting a post about this since there’s not much going on with La Roja these days, but I didn’t want to pressure you about it.
    “If you talk for more than 20 minutes, they start fidgeting, coughing” I’m thinking Pique, Cesc, Pepe and Pedro are most likely to do this, no? :lol:
    I love how captaincy just fits Iker like a glove (get it, get it?..*crickets*) the mutual respect between Iker and VDB is quite admirable. Also, thank God for VDB! :D
    Yay Navas! Sergio has go to be mentioned in that one!*waits patiently*..Is it tomorrow already???

  6. Aw, yay! Thanks so much for the translation, I giggled at the thought of Iker admonishing Negredo. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s!

  7. Thanks for this, i love los secretos!
    i’m really interested in what thhey have to say about jesus navas

  8. Thanks Una! I love the Los Secretos posts. Anyword on the updated one from the World Cup? I think I’d buy it even though I’d have to rely on your translations anyway.

  9. YouNeverWalkAlone

    Whoo! I love los secretos posts thanks so much for translating…can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

  10. really enjoyed this installment of Los Secretos! Thanks for continuing!

  11. It’s fascinating to have insight from VDB, his perspective as the coach is so different from that of the players’! Love to hear about the pep talks too, haha- I can just imagine Pepe and Pique fidgeting! And lovely to hear about Iker, I still remember him at 22, wow.

    And OMG, Navas finally being able to join the national team- I can’t wait to hear the story of that one, thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Thank you so much for continuing this, UnaMadridista! :-) Can’t wait for the rest!:-)

  13. thank u for the translation!

    Loved the part about Iker reprimanding Negredo about punctuality…i like how he says it indirectly and with a quiet authority: “you arrive when you want, eh?” Somehow that suits him…Iker doesn’t seem like the type to raise his voice at someone and scold him with words like “Why are you so late!”

  14. I wonder why Aragones said no to continuing after Euro 2008?

  15. lol at iker and ‘maquina’ ! ive always thought he was the second nino, after torres!
    thats it, i am moving to spain so i can stalk the spanish NT in person,

    madre mia, how i love this team..they always always make me smile

  1. Pingback: los secretos – the transition to Vicente del Bosque II « con la roja

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