Del Bosque bides time over Spain future
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque says all questions about his future should be parked until the team seals qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil -- which they can do by winning their upcoming home games against Belarus on Friday in Mallorca and Georgia next Tuesday in Albacete.
Del Bosque, 62, has already overseen a record 80 senior Spain internationals, while winning both the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 trophies, and this week Spanish FA general secretary Jorge Perez revealed a plan for the veteran to remain in the job until Euro 2016 in France.
The Salamanca-native told a news conference in Mallorca on Thursday lunchtime that he was not thinking that far ahead just yet.
"We will see about the future later," he said. "The present is this six points we are playing for, which we cannot lose sight of. Football can betray you, and we must be prepared, we cannot get carried away by confidence."
Informed that Spain players Koke and Pedro Rodriguez had earlier told reporters they wanted the boss to stay on, Del Bosque was quick to answer.
"What else are the players going to say?" he deadpanned.
The veteran was keener to talk about how his team had overcome a difficult start in qualifying to get back on track for retaining the Jules Rimet trophy next year.
"We are in an ideal situation to qualify, we slipped up a bit against Finland and at home against France, but got a very positive result in Paris," he said. "So now we have two finals in front of us, and cannot be distracted by anything else. We know the atmosphere is optimistic, but anything can happen in football, so we must prepare properly."
Asked if Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke might again play out of position at right-back to help break down defensive opponents, or if Swansea City attacker Michu could make his debut, Del Bosque was again careful.
"All the players must make a case to play, and must adapt to the requirements of the group," he said. "Last time against Finland we played nearly the whole game in their half, and Koke was just another midfielder. Michu has made a very good impression on us these days."
Diego Costa's likely switch to Spain from Brazil was also another matter for the future, Del Bosque said.
"We will see what happens with Diego Costa in time, soon enough," he said. "When we spoke with him he made a good impression. He is good boy, well-mannered and he meets all the requirements to play for ‘la Seleccion’."
Del Bosque said he had no issues with an early morning visit by UEFA drug testers to the Spain camp, an unexpected event made public when midfielder Cesc Fabregas posted an Instagram picture of himself looking unimpressed around 6am on Thursday morning.
"The players did what they had to do," Del Bosque said. "We are at the service of the [anti-doping] agency."