Vicente del Bosque, one of the most successful managers in the history of football, has been welcomed into the Laureus family as a Laureus Ambassador.
Ahead of tonight’s Laureus World Sports Awards, to be hosted by Hollywood superstar Morgan Freeman at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, del Bosque was present at a special press conference to hear German football legend Franz Beckenbauer applaud the Spain football team that lifted the World Cup in 2010 and became the first side to win successive European Championships.
It is for those successes that del Bosque’s Spain are among the Nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. “The Spaniards have a very good side and they will be one of the favourites when the World Cup comes to Brazil next year” said Beckenbauer, a Laureus Academy Member who made history as the first man to captain and then coach his national team to victory in the World Cup.
Like Beckenbauer, del Bosque enjoyed a triumphant career as a player before turning his expertise to coaching and managing. In over 300 appearances for Real Madrid he won five domestic La Liga titles between 1975 and 1980, and also received 18 caps playing for Spain.
But it was as a manager that del Bosque transformed Real Madrid into one of the most powerful sides in European club football. Under his typically quiet, unassuming but tactically astute leadership Real won two UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga championships, the Spanish Supercup, and the UEFA Super Cup.
It was inevitable that del Bosque would be persuaded to take charge of the Spanish national side and he proved an immediate success, becoming the first manager in football history to win his first 10 international games. Spain, under del Bosque, went on to win the World Cup for the first time in 2010, and last year the team successfully defended their European Championship.
Del Bosque was voted 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year, and now he has received the honour of becoming a Laureus Ambassador.
Typically modest, del Bosque will not hail his side as the best to have ever represented Spain. But he did say: “In terms of clubs and pla yers, Spain is very well off at the moment. The last few years have been good for us, we have played with a lot of strength and fire. We are very proud to be champions of Europe and the World.”
The Laureus Ambassadors are a select group of current and retired sportsmen and sportswomen who, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, gun and knife violence, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems like obesity.