Picking up the baton from Luis Aragones after Spain’s scintillating triumph at UEFA EURO 2008 was by no means an easy task, yet Vicente del Bosque has managed to take La Roja onwards and upwards via victories at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and EURO 2012.

Over his five years in the hotseat, Del Bosque’s calm authority has helped ensure a stable and united dressing room with La Selección, even during periods when the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry was bubbling over at club level. A faithful devotee of the intricate short-passing and combination-style that embodies this historic generation of Spain players, the hugely respected coach has also managed to rejig his formation when necessary and bring in fresh new talents – thus laying the foundations for smooth progress and future success.

During his playing career, Del Bosque pulled on the jerseys of Castellon, Cordoba and Real Madrid and won 18 senior international caps, including a trip to the 1980 European Championship in Italy. His first coaching steps were also taken in the youth set-up of Los Blancos, the club where the former midfielder enjoyed most playing success – winning five La Ligas and four Copas del Rey between 1973 and 1984.

After over a decade working in Madrid’s cantera and two brief spells as Los Merengues’ interim coach, Del Bosque was handed the first-team reins on a permanent basis in 1999/00 as a replacement for John Toshack, and went on to win the club’s eighth European Cup/UEFA Champions League title. Over his four-year spell at the helm, he masterminded another Champions League in 2001/02, in addition to victory in two La Ligas (2000/01 and 2002/03), a Spanish Supercup (2001), a UEFA Supercup (2002) and a Toyota Intercontinental Cup (2002).

A brief spell at Turkish side Besiktas followed in 2004/05 and, after this came to an abrupt end, Del Bosque put his knowledge to use as a commentator for various media channels.

The 50th coach in the history of La Roja, he was voted FIFA World Coach of the Year for 2012, thanks in large part to EURO 2012 success in Ukraine and Poland. At Brazil 2013 he will be chasing the only major title thus far missing from his time as Spain boss – a FIFA Confederations Cup that eluded his Selección at South Africa 2009.