Vicente del Bosque denies he is a football radical
Spain may go down as the greatest international side ever, but coach Vicente del Bosque insists that will be down to sheer skill and determination rather than any revolutionary tactics.
Del Bosque stunned everyone when he began La Roja’s title defence without a recognised striker, instead employing midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas on a roving commission as Spain, rather lethargically it has to be said, battled their way to final.
Undeterred, the burly manager persevered in the decider and to great reward as Fabregas laid on David Silva’s opening goal before Fernando Torres, a genuine centre forward, came on and put the result beyond any doubt.
However, he was quick to play down suggestions his leftfield strategy had changed football for good.
“There is not only one type of football,” said Del Bosque, who is only the second coach to win a European Championship and a World Cup title. “The important thing is to score goals.
“Our players are very intelligent and we have a very balanced team, we have security in our players. We have strikers but we decided to play with players who went better with our style.”
Apart from a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland in the group phase, Spain found goals hard to come by in Poland and Ukraine, prompting claims they lacked attacking flair and ambition.
Sunday’s performance, though, was an emphatic response but Del Bosque was typically fair in victory.
“This was a very tough opponent but they just didn’t have the luck,” the 61-year-old said, in reference to an injury to Thiago Motta that left the Italians with 10 men for the final half hour.
PROUD PRANDELLI BEMOANS FATIGUE FACTOR
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was gracious in defeat against the all-conquering Spaniards, but was left wondering what might have been had his side had a few more days to prepare. Spain had the luxury of one extra day to get ready for Sunday’s finale, while a nightmare injury toll saw the Azzurri finish the game with only 10 men.
And Prandelli said: “We played against them in the group stage and I thought we were excellent in that first game because we were 100 per cent fit.
“Against a team like Spain I think you really need to be good in tackle and above all fit, they totally dominated and we have to congratulate a great side for their victory. I think we have had a terrific European Championships, the only regret is that we didn’t have a few more days to rest up before this game.”