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By ESPN Staff

Del Bosque appointed new Spain coach

Vicente del Bosque is the man tasked with helping to turn European champions Spain into world champions after he was named as the successor to Luis Aragones.

The former Real Madrid coach's appointment was approved following a meeting of the Spanish Football Federation assembly, and his two-year contract will take him up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The 57-year-old, who will be assisted in his new role by Antonio Grande and Jose Minano, is due to be officially unveiled by the RFEF on Thursday and will make his debut as national team coach in a friendly against Denmark on August 20.

Del Bosque, who was favourite to replace Aragones once the veteran coach stepped down from his Spain post following Euro 2008, has been out of coaching since leaving Turkish side Besiktas in 2005 after a disappointing spell.

However, prior to that he enjoyed a hugely successful career at Spanish giants Real Madrid, both as a player and a coach.

During his playing days Del Bosque won five Primera Liga titles and four Copa del Reys with Madrid, while he also won 18 caps with Spain.

Once he hung up his boots in 1984 Del Bosque turned his hand to coaching, where he earned himself legendary status at the Bernabeu by winning seven trophies in four years at the turn of the millennium.

However, Del Bosque had to serve a long apprenticeship before then as he spent a number of years coaching in the Madrid youth teams as well as two short-lived spells in charge of the senior squad.

The first tenure was in 1994 when he took over for three months following the departure of Benito Floro before then returning to the youth ranks when Jorge Valdano was named as coach.

Del Bosque was given another spell in the hotseat in 1996 when Valdano's stint came to an end, but it just for one game on this occasion - a 5-0 win over Athletic Bilbao - before Arsenio Iglesias was brought in.

Del Bosque's time in the limelight would soon arrive, though, and when Madrid sacked John Toshack in 1999 he was called on for the third time - and he would not disappoint.

In his first season Del Bosque helped Madrid conquer Europe for the eighth time in their history, beating Spanish rivals Valencia 3-0 in the Champions League final.

He would then go on to guide Madrid to another Champions League success in 2002, as well as two Primera Liga titles, the European Supercup, the Spanish Supercup and the Intercontinental Cup in just four years in charge.

That sustained spell of success failed to save Del Bosque in 2003 though when, just 24 hours after leading Madrid to their 29th league championship, he found out that his contract was not being renewed.

After that controversial end to his time at Madrid, Del Bosque took the reins at Besiktas in 2005 but lasted less than a year before leaving the club.

The Salamanca-born coach is now back in the saddle after being named as the successor to Aragones, who this summer ended Spain's 44-year wait for a major trophy after guiding them to Euro 2008 glory before going on to join Fenerbahce.

Del Bosque's job will be to try and build on that success and try and help Spain win their first-ever World Cup in two years' time in South Africa.

Spain have been drawn in World Cup qualifying Group Five, alongside Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia and Estonia.

Del Bosque's first competitive game at the Spain helm will be a World Cup qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Murcia on September 6.

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