The 58-year-old Vicente del Bosque was appointed national team coach in July 2008 in place of Luis Aragones, whose four-year tenure ended the previous month after victory at UEFA EURO 2008. As a player Del Bosque wore the jerseys of Castellon, Cordoba and Real Madrid with distinction, going on to represent Spain on 18 occasions, including at the 1980 European finals. The former midfielder won five league titles and four Copas del Rey at the Bernabeu between 1973 and 1984, and it was there he would take his first steps in coaching.
After cutting his teeth with the Madrid youth and reserve teams for six years, he was handed the head coach's job in the 1999/00 season following the departure of John Toshack. The Salamanca-born boss made an immediate impact by steering the capital side to their eighth European Cup/UEFA Champions League title. In his four years in charge of Madrid, he would enjoy further Champions League success in 2002 along with two league titles (2001 and 2003), a Spanish Super Cup (2001), a UEFA Super Cup (2002) and a Toyota Intercontinental Cup (2002).
After his spell at the Bernabeu, Del Bosque spent the 2004-05 season with Turkish side Besiktas before returning to Spain, where he worked as a football pundit. Coach number 50 in the history of La Roja, Del Bosque has tinkered very little with the playing style and squad he inherited from Aragones, though his personality and management style is in sharp contrast to that of his predecessor. Whereas Aragones was renowned for his temperamental, impulsive and occasionally polemic approach, Del Bosque has brought discretion, calmness and patience to the role.
Spain's new coach is the archetypal quiet man, able to keep his cool in even the most stressful situations. A conciliatory nature and measured approach, coupled with his ability to handle even the most star-studded dressing rooms, have been instrumental in his making a smooth transition at the helm of La Selección, not to mention maintaining the unity and performance level of his talented charges.
Conventional wisdom says you should not mess with a winning formula, and this seems to have been the coach's guiding principle since taking up the reins. So far the only changes of note have been to include some up-and-coming youngsters to ensure continuity of results, competition and the long-term freshness of his squad.