SPAIN

Del Bosque: "Everything Piqué does is put under the microscope"

The former Spain coach also dismissed reports linking him with a move to Chinese football and reiterated that he still doesn't understand why he needed to speak with Iker Casillas about dropping him.

Del Bosque: "Everything Piqué does is put under the microscope"
PASCAL PAVANI AFP

Former Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque spoke on national radio station Cadena Cope this week about his memories of his football career, one that has stretched over six decades.

He dismissed reports linking him with a move to Chinese football – “I did hear something but I ignored it, I’m not interested in the money” – but went into great detail discussing his career and his recollections of his time in charge of Spain and at Real Madrid.

Pique, an exemplary player for Spain

The Spanish national team has recently been rocked by the news that Gerard Piqué will retire following the World Cup, tired of accusations of disrespecting the country and that he harbours separatist beliefs. Del Bosque says that the Barcelona centre-back has always been an exemplary player for the national side.

Piqué was always totally committed to the Spanish national team, says Del Bosque

“Everything he does is put under the microscope,” he said. “But he’s always been completely committed. He went to the Diada [Catalonia’s national celebrations] like any of us would go to our village celebrations. I’ve never heard him say he’s in favour of independence. But now he’s earned the right to decide whether or not he plays for the national team.”

The importance of total commitment 

That players show total commitment to the national side, even if it means accepting things they don’t like, is something that Del Bosque strongly believes in. His decision to bench Iker Casillas for the European Championships in France this summer and the way he did it was the subject of much media scrutiny but the former coach says players just have to accept these decisions.

When a player comes to the national team his commitment must be unconditional,” he said. “Where does it say that I can’t take a player off after 60 minutes? Where does it say that I have to explain to a player why he won’t play? I don’t understand why I had to speak with Iker to give him an explanation.”

Del Bosque was criticised for not speaking with Iker Casillas before dropping him for Spain's Euro 2016 campaign

Don't question my madridismo, says Del Bosque

Now retired, Del Bosque says that he’s stepped away from the game a little since leaving the Spain job.

I don’t go to the Bernabéu, and I don’t miss it,” he said. “I keep tabs on all the games but I prefer to watch from home. I played and managed there for many years. That leaves a mark.”

It bothers me when people question my madridismo,” he continued. “I was there for 17 years. Whenever Real Madrid play Barcelona I want them to win, though during my time as national team manager I was always neutral.

Del Bosque won the European Cup as manager of Real Madrid in 2001 before being sacked in 2003.

“I was always keen to foster a sense of peaceful coexistence within the national team, but there was a time when those highly-charged clásicos caused a few problems in the dressing room. That really rocked us. I don’t know whether someone incited things to cause us problems but luckily the players realised and didn’t fall for it.”