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Vicente del Bosque backed to stay

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has been backed to stay in the job by his country's football federation and senior defender Sergio Ramos -- if he still wants it.

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Del Bosque, 63, guided La Roja to the 2010 World Cup and also won the Euro 2012 trophy but has overseen a disastrous World Cup in Brazil, with the holders eliminated after losing their first two Group B games.

The disastrous showing has led to calls for an overhaul of the team and also for the coach to move upstairs to a different role within the Spanish FA (RFEF). In a Marca online poll, 69 percent of 150,000 respondents said they wanted a new man in to put together a younger team in preparation for Euro 2016.

But RFEF general secretary Jorge Perez told COPE radio that Del Bosque could remain as national coach if he wanted to.

"We would like Del Bosque to continue -- he has a contract until the Euros in France," he said. "We will try and convince him to stay. If it should not happen, the contract can be torn up. That is not a problem.

"We believe in the RFEF that it is a luxury to have him and that he should be the man to bring continuity. He is the ideal man for this transition, which almost surely must take place. Who is better than him?"

His comments indicated the lack of consensus in Spain on who, if anyone, should replace Del Bosque.

Possible candidates including Pep Guardiola, Rafa Benitez and Ernesto Valverde are in club jobs, while Olympiakos manager Michel has some backers, as does ex-Atletico Madrid and Al-Ahli coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

Ramos also urged Del Bosque to stay on, telling a news conference the day after the 2-0 defeat to Chile sealed elimination, that the players would be happy for a chance to repeat their recent achievements under the same regime.

"We players do not have a voice or a vote, but if Vicente wants to continue in charge of the national team he will have our full respect," he added.

"With him in charge, we have had some magnificent years. He is a great coach and deserves respect. He is someone I like as a person and as a coach. It would be nice if he stayed."

Whether or not Del Bosque stays, it is likely that veterans Iker Casillas (156 caps), Xavi Hernandez (134), Xabi Alonso (113), Fernando Torres (110) and David Villa (95) have all played their last international game.

Long-serving squad players such as Raul Albiol, Pepe Reina and Santi Cazorla could also fall out of contention.

A new generation including Thiago Alcantara, David de Gea, Koke, Isco, Alberto Moreno, Dani Carvajal, Jese Rodriguez, Ander Herrera and Gerard Deulofeu have been backed to be in Spain's squad for their first post-World Cup game, a friendly against France in Paris on Sep. 4.


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