Vicente del Bosque at EFE
Vicente del Bosque is still making the rounds, two months after the World Cup ended. On Thursday, he granted an interview to Spanish news agency EFE.
Q: Is it true that Busquets offered to help out the U-21 team on Oct. 7 against Croatia?
A: Yes, he asked Fernando Hierro if he could do so. That’s something that should be praised. It’s positive when players who are starting in the senior team like he is offer to play with the U-21 team. These are characteristics of people who are committed to this group, of good people. In a club, promoting a kid is easy, but sending him back down is not. That’s why the gesture of Busquets has a lot of value.
Q: The idea of a united and compact national team helps the team to grow. Did everyone on the team play for this in the controversial friendly against Argentina?
A: It’s important. For example, starting with the goal, we have to support the goalkeepers. In the case of Iker, we all wish for him to surpass Zubizarreta in the number of caps. But I have two other stellar goalkeepers on the team. I always say that the success of our World Cup was the union of everyone. The conduct of Reina and Víctor Valdés has been exemplar. I wouldn’t even enter into the locker room if I weren’t willing to give them support and affection. What’s more, without affection, the good feelings that exist between everyone could start to deteriorate.
Q: How do you deal with having Spain continuously considered to be an unbeatable team?
A: We have two important games coming up in Salamanca and Glasgow. The truth is that it’s impossible for a team to always win. A defeat will come sooner or later, and you have to accept defeats with sportsmanship. We shouldn’t always talk about the title; the sportsman looks ahead. You have to continue evolving and bringing in new people. Many new ones have been incorporated with me: Mata, Piqué, Busquets… Azpilicueta could appear tomorrow, Javi Martínez could return… A third of the World Cup team was different than that of the Eurocopa. The passing of time calls for new people.
Q: Did you convince Puyol to continue with the national team?
A: No. It was completely his decision. The only thing I said to him was that it would be a shame for him to fall short of 100 games. The more players that enter into the club of 100, the better for Spanish football, for our image, for our Federation, for our people. Right now, only Zubizarreta, Raúl and Iker have reached that level. Players like Puyol, Xavi or Fernando Torres will get there too. In the case of Puyol, you also have to praise him for being a clean player, and for being honorable, upright and professional. He’s the first to arrive at breakfast, the first to arrive at the training session, the meals. These are things that you have to appreciate. I love saying good things about Puyol and his decision to continue.
Q: Several days ago, José Mourinho said that it was easier to win a World Cup than a Champions League title. What do you think?
A: They both have their substance. Madrid went 32 years without winning the CL before lifting the cup again. I always say that these types of titles need a bit of luck. Without luck, it’s impossible. For example, I remember that the one we won with Madrid, the first game away at Rosenborg was decisive. We had key players injured, Guti was expelled, the field was in poor conditions. We survived, we won and then we became champions. We won the World Cup because it was our destiny. But we suffered. The debut, a tough rival in Germany. We had our luck. Without a bit of fortune, it’s impossible to win.
Q: Would you like Spain to export footballers?
A: Yes. That’s one of the reasons behind the progress of our football. In the national team we have players from Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, which is great for us. And now Raúl and Guti have left Spain. Guti has gone on to a great team and Raúl, knowing him, didn’t go to Germany to lie around. His courage allows him to go anywhere and to bring a lot.
Q: How did you feel when you heard the team won the Príncipe de Asturias?
A: It’s an award with a lot of prestige, that carries the name of our prince. We’re all very happy. It seems that football, although it is the most important sport in Spain, has always been slighted by some sectors. It’s great to have this recognition now that we’ve won the World Cup and with players with great personal values. The World Cup was key. There were a lot of people that didn’t care about football that have joined our team because of the success in the World Cup.