Madrid, July 1 (IANS) Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque on Friday admitted he sent a personal message to all of the footballers in the squad thanking them for their commitment during the Euro 2016 and revealing his departure. But there was one exception: goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas.
Casillas, who has made a record 167 appearances for Spain, was replaced with David de Gea in the tournament. Del Bosque revealed the veteran keeper had not been happy with the decision, reported Xinhua.
“He was fine with his team-mates but not with the technical staff. He was perfect with the rest, his anger was with us,” he said.
Del Bosque had earlier announced he did not wish to continue as the coach of the national team any more.
“Without a doubt, I do not intend to continue as coach,” del Bosque was quoted as saying by Radio Nacional de España.
“It’s a matter we have been dealing with for some time. The decision is made.”
Del Bosque denied, however, that he discussed the issue this week with Spanish football federation chief Angel Maria Villar.
Noting that he remains under contract with the federation until July 31, he said he went to the team’s headquarters on Thursday as usual.
Spain’s bid for a third consecutive Euro title was cut short on Monday when La Roja lost 0-2 to Italy in the round of 16.
“I have tried to manage this issue with discretion because we are engaged in an enterprise and that must be respected. But it was a decision made in advance. However the European (championship) came out, it was decided,” Del Bosque said on Thursday.
Making no effort to conceal his irritation, the coach repudiated media accounts that said he was leaving because he no longer felt up to the job.
“Someone has attempted to muddle everything and create quarrels — with I don’t know what intention — to discredit me and I don’t know why,” the 65-year-old said.
The coach reminded listeners that he had always acknowledged it would be very difficult for Spain to win a third straight European title.
The Real Madrid legend said no one has sought his advice about who should succeed him as coach of the national side.
“There are people who are very qualified,” he said, emphasising that he remains eager to contribute in any way he can to ensuring “things go well in Spanish soccer”.
Del Bosque’s decision means the well-travelled Joaquin Caparros is favourite to be named his successor.
“The Federation know I am fully willing to do the job. I will offer happiness, excitement, hard-work and experience, it is a wonderful job for any coach to lead the national team,” said Caparros, who has coached sides such as Sevilla, Villarreal, Athletic Club and Deportivo la Coruna.