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Nov, 30, 2012

Del Bosque proud of Spain's achievements

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque says he is not overly concerned by his own personal recognition at this year's Ballon d'Or awards, but is instead prouder of the recognition given to Spanish football in both the coaching and playing shortlists.

World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 winner Del Bosque was named this week on the three man shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year, alongside Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho and former Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola.

"It is always nice to be recognised like this," Del Bosque said. "But as I have said before many times, I am a bit disbelieving about these type of awards. It is more a consequence of the successes of the national team, which has had its best run in history since winning the European Championships in 2008."

The former Real Madrid boss gave his vote in the players category to three Spaniards: Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. Only Iniesta made the final three - alongside Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo - but the veteran coach said he was happy to see such a strong representation for Spanish football as a whole.

"I am very proud for Spanish football," Del Bosque said. "I believe the most important lesson is that all six nominees - three players and three coaches - are related to Spanish football. That shows the level our football is reaching."

Having given his three nods for the coaches award to Italy's Cesare Prandelli, Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo and Guardiola, Del Bosque said he hoped the former Barca boss would return to football.

"It would be good if Guardiola returned to work," he said. "He is young, he has brought things to football and he passionate about this sport."

Speaking to reporters from Brazil, where he is attending the FIFA events around Saturday's draw for next summer's Confederations Cup, Del Bosque said the competition would be important preparation for his side ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

"It is a test ahead of the next World Cup," he said. "Our last experience, in South Africa, was good as we got to know what was waiting for us at the World Cup."

Del Bosque said hosts Brazil deserved to be counted among the favourites for the 2014 tournament, while he would continue to evolve his own Spanish team as they look to retain their world title.

"Brazil are still Brazil, they are hosts and have fantastic players," he said. "In Spain the fear of promoting players quickly from the cantera has been lost. Clubs know how to take care of players and that benefits the national team. They should trust in the kids, because the kids are worth it."

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