Del Bosque remains humble after World Cup victory

Published Jul. 12, 2010 12:07 a.m. EDT

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque celebrated his country's first World Cup title in his usual humble fashion: he got up off the bench with a few seconds remaining in extra time of Sunday's final and then hugged his fellow staff members in an almost solemn fashion.

After all, according to the 59-year-old former Real Madrid manager this victory was merely a continuation of what the country achieved at the 2008 European Championship.

''It's about continuity and continuing with the players on the squad then,'' Del Bosque said. ''We tried to preserve that legacy and we have simply followed along the lines established then.''

Spain's 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Sunday makes it only the third team to be world and European champion at the same time.


Del Bosque took over from Luis Aragones after the Euro 2008 title broke a 44-year major title drought for Spain.

Del Bosque refused to be drawn into any arguments over the rough nature of the final, which had a record 14 yellow cards, saying he only wanted to discuss ''the good and beautiful'' aspects of the game.

Andres Iniesta scored with four minutes of extra time remaining after collecting a pass from substitute Cesc Fabregas.

Iniesta was named man of the match for his efforts, having also stood out throughout the tournament with fellow midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez. Spain forward David Villa ended the World Cup tied for the tournament lead with five goals.

Spain has numerous individual standouts but Del Bosque was more pleased by the squad's collective effort.

''We're delighted with all the players,'' he said. ''We have hugely talented players on this team. This success, being world champions, is a success for all of us. I don't think we should focus on Andres or Xavi.''

Winning major trophies is nothing new for Del Bosque. In 1999, he took over for John Toshack at Real Madrid and went on to win two Champions League trophies, two Spanish league titles and Intercontinental Cup and European Supercup triumphs in four seasons.

He got the most out of a ''galactico'' lineup that included Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo by incorporating the stars into a unit, something that he's done again with Spain.

In two seasons in charge of the national side, Del Bosque has guided the squad to 31 wins and just two losses - one to the United States in the semifinals of last year's Confederations Cup and the other a 1-0 loss to Switzerland to open Group H play at this tournament.

The latest victory was followed by congratulatory phone calls from Spain's king and prime minister - but Del Bosque had a tough time answering the calls.

''The dressing room is delighted and ecstatic,'' he said. ''It was difficult to speak on the phone it was so loud in there. ... Spain deserves this triumph and this World Cup. I think this goes beyond sport. We have been supported by all the people in Spain and we're delighted to give them this victory.''