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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Del Bosque handed two-year extension

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has been handed a two-year contract extension as reward for guiding the European champions to a place in next year's World Cup.

The former Real Madrid boss succeeded Luis Aragones following Spain's Euro 2008 triumph and his deal now runs to 2012. His team won all ten of their World Cup qualifying matches to underline their status among the tournament favourites.

Del Bosque, who celebrates his 59th birthday on Wednesday, was described as "a great coach" by Spanish Football Federation president Angel Villar at a dinner with Spanish sports media on Tuesday night.

"What is normal in this instance is that you always renew your coach's contract when you qualify for the World Cup,'' he said. "But the board have decided that we have to continue with him for two more years whatever happens.

"Del Bosque knew how to take our national team to the highest level. He inherited a brilliant side and he knew how to keep them there.

"We have qualified brilliantly for the World Cup in South Africa, we are leaders of the world rankings and we have won all the matches apart from that against the United States in the Confederations Cup in a match we didn't give value to and in which we finished third."

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