Vicente del Bosque pays tribute to Spain players

Former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque praises the players from his eight-year stint in charge of the team and insists that he leaves with no regrets.

Former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has paid tribute to the players that helped the national team enjoy its greatest ever era.

Del Bosque saw his eight-year stint as Spain boss come to an end following a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, during which time he steered them to World Cup glory in 2010 as well as the Euro 2012 title.

The 65-year-old insists that he has no regrets over his time in charge and believes that the team has a bright future despite their early exits at the last two major tournaments.

"There's been a bit of everything. We've had the opportunity to win a lot of things, but we've also suffered defeats. That's sport. But I leave with a clear conscience and the feeling of having fulfilled my duty to Spanish football. I'm not saying that I'm leaving having completed every task I was set, because we knew that was impossible and unachievable. To have won another World Cup and another Euro would have been virtually impossible," he told FIFA.com.

"I go with a feeling of not leaving any loose ends. We were able to continue the great work we inherited from Luis Aragones in 2008, and the national squad we leave behind is one that can and should be viewed with optimism. We inherited a style of play and a pathway that was laid out. But after that, each coach has to guide the team in their own way, depending on their background, character and personality.

"That's a decision for the new coach and I don't think I should have any say at all. I'm keeping out of it. The next coach must be given absolute freedom to shape things as he sees fit. It's the players who should take centre stage in this sport. They've been champions on the pitch and have set a good example off it. The main thing is to have good raw material at your disposal and then comes the coach's good judgement and sense of balance."

Del Bosque has admitted that he is unlikely to return to coaching again.

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Spain's forward Pedro Rodriguez dribbles the ball during a Group B football match between Spain and Chile in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 18, 2014
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