Kiev: Vicente del Bosque has the appearance of a grandfather, exuding wisdom and modesty — traits he exhibited again Sunday after becoming only the second coach in history to win back-to-back World Cup and European Championship titles.
Del Bosque added another trophy to his already illustrious cabinet as Spain became the first European country to successfully defend its continental crown with a 4-0 victory over Italy at Euro 2012.
Del Bosque joined West Germany`s Helmut Schoen as the only other coach to have won consecutive world and European majors.
As always, he preferred not to take any of credit for carrying on the success started by predecessor Luis Aragones, who implemented the slick style passing game that carried it to the Euro 2008 title.
"I want to dedicate the victory to all of the people who have participated in the successes over these recent years, the ones who have helped create what we know today as the Spanish national team," said Del Bosque, who matched Schoen`s achievement of winning the 1972 European Championship and 1974 World Cup.
The 61-year-old Del Bosque added the only major accolade missing after having won a pair of Champions League and Spanish league titles, an Intercontinental Cup and a European Super Cup with Real Madrid.
Spain has now won three straight major tournaments, ensuring the team`s status as one of the greatest sides of all time.
"We just keep going forward without realizing the weight of the achievements we have managed," midfielder Andres Iniesta said. "Spanish football is experiencing such beautiful years and that`s what we have to be proud of, that people can identify with our playing style."
Eight Spain players on Sunday had also featured in that 1-0 final win over Germany in Vienna four years ago, while 12 players from Spain`s current team were in the squad four years ago. West Germany`s Rainer Bonhof was the only previous player with a pair of winners` medals.
Spain will vie to win its first Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013 before going into the World Cup as probable favorites one year later.
First Published: Monday, July 02, 2012, 09:57