Del Bosque: Jose and I are very different
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque says there are no specific characteristics that make a world-class coach, pointing to the contrast between his "calm" style of management and more "aggressive" approach preferred by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.
Del Bosque won two Champions League and two La Liga trophies in his four seasons in charge at Madrid, before going on to win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 as Spain manager, doing so while always maintaining a low profile and making decisions with the minimum amount of fuss.
Mourinho has one La Liga title and a Copa del Rey to show for his first two full seasons at the Bernabeu, and should he deliver a Champions League title this season he will become the first manager ever to win the trophy with three different clubs.
The Portuguese coach's time in Spain has, however, been marked by regular controversies and rows with journalists, fans, referees and even his own players, including most recently a public disagreement with Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, who Mourinho said was at fault for Manchester United's goal in last week's 1-1 Champions League last-16 first leg draw at the Bernabeu.
Del Bosque, 62, said there was "a world" of difference between the two men's management styles, but the only thing that really mattered in coaching was getting the most of your players.
"Various factors like character and personality have an influence," Del Bosque said. "Mourinho seems a very aggressive coach. I, on the other hand, am more calm. Between the two factors, maybe the two extremes, there is a whole world. But the most important thing is that the group works, everything else is secondary in the end."
The one-time Madrid midfielder said he did not think his former club currently missed his presence in the dugout.
"I do not believe they miss me," he said. "We are talking about the best club of the 20th century and one of the best at the moment, an extraordinary and very strong institution. Along with Barcelona, it maintains an incredible level and allows us all to enjoy football."
Del Bosque said it was, however, a pity that the high quality football displayed in the recent 1-1 Copa del Rey semi-final first leg between La Liga's big two at the Bernabeu had been overshadowed by controversy generated afterwards.
The Catalan sports media accused Madrid's Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa of an over-physical approach on the pitch, while Madrid's Jose Callejon claimed the following day that Lionel Messi had insulted Arbeloa in the car park after the game and called assistant coach Aitor Karanka the "puppet" of Mourinho.
"In the Madrid v Barca match which we saw a few weeks ago, the debates after the game were not about the great encounter we had seen," Del Bosque said. "There were unnecessary rows about someone going to the car park, someone else having done something on the pitch... They are always looking for the bad side of football, not the good side."
Speaking at a forum on Spanish identity in Barcelona on Tuesday morning, Del Bosque was also asked about Celta Vigo fans reportedly vetoing the appointment Salva Ballesta as the club's new assistant coach on Monday, due to the former Malaga and Bolton strikers nationalist political views.
Del Bosque said that "sectarianism should not exist in the world of football", and pointed to the goalkeeping situation in the current La Roja squad as an example of harmony between players hailing from different regions of Spain.
"We have many Catalan players and Basques," he said. "I have never had to remind anyone that we are the Spanish national team. The best example is the three goalkeepers. One is from Madrid [Iker Casillas], with more than 100 caps, another from Cordoba [Pepe Reina] with about 20, and a Catalan [Victor Valdes] who only has about five. And, nevertheless, they have the best relationship of anywhere in the team."