Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Del Bosque upbeat, despite poor year

Reuters, MADRID

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque gestures during a training session at the Balaidos in Vigo, Spain, on Nov. 17.

Photo: Reuters

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is feeling positive about next year, despite the shock of failure at this year’s World Cup finals and is confident he can successfully shepherd the team through qualification for Euro 2016.

Spain were dumped out in the group stage at the finals in Brazil after embarrassing defeats against the Netherlands and Chile.

A surprise loss to Slovakia in Euro 2016 qualification Group C also set back their bid for a place at the tournament in France in 18 months time.

They also slipped to friendly defeats by France and world champions Germany as La Roja came crashing back to Earth after six years of dominating the global game.

“We had a necessary period of reflection after the World Cup, and both we and the federation remain on the same page,” Del Bosque said on the national team’s Web site on Tuesday.

“We decided to carry on, and I am feeling in good spirits and full of desire to fulfill my responsibilities,” added the 64-year-old, who came close to resigning after the World Cup finals, before the Spanish soccer federation persuaded him to remain in the post.

“We are not a burden for the national team, but we are trying to create a new side to compete in the way we were before,” Del Bosque said.

“Our objective is clear — qualifying for the European Championship in 2016,” he said.

With four matches played in Group C, Spain are second on nine points, behind Slovakia, who have won all four of their games.

Ukraine, who Spain host in Seville on March 27, also have nine points in third place, Macedonia have three, while Belarus and Luxembourg are on a point each.

After hosting Ukraine, Spain are to play the Netherlands in a friendly in Amsterdam on March 31, while the showdown with Slovakia is in Spain at the beginning of September.

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