As he hinted last month when confirming he had extended his contract until the 2014 World Cup, Spain national soccer coach Vicente del Bosque has announced he will retire after that tournament.
“My last task as coach of Spain will be the World Cup in Brazil next year,” Del Bosque said at the presentation of the 5th Salme’s Cup golf tournament in Argentina. “After that, perhaps I will continue to be linked to the Spanish Football Federation, in a representative capacity.”
The 62-year-old remains the most successful coach of Real Madrid in the modern era, leading the club to two league titles and two Champions League trophies between 1999 and 2003. He is also the only coach in history to have won Europe’s highest club honor, the European Championships and the World Cup. In recognition of the latter, the Salamanca-born coach was invested the 1st Marquis of Del Bosque by King Juan Carlos.
Del Bosque won this year’s Ballon d’Or Best Coach award and has an 83-percent win ratio with Spain, overseeing just six losses in 70 matches. However tempting his signature may be to a side craving such success, Del Bosque ruled out a return to club management: “I will not return to coach Real Madrid or any other club; this will be my last job as a coach. As I have said many times, the final step of my career will be at the head of the national team.”
The coach’s next appointment with the media will be on May 27, when he will name his squad for this summer’s Confederations Cup in Brazil, the traditional pre-World Cup tournament between the world’s continental soccer associations.