Flashing cameras and inquisitive reporters are all part of the job when you are a high-profile football coach. Just ask Vicente del Bosque, who is as experienced as anyone when it comes to handling the media.
There is not much that catches the Spain coach off guard. Yet that is exactly what FIFA.com managed to do when it sat down with Del Bosque for a different kind of interview, one where the questions came from a group of very special “reporters”: three of his fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ coaches and two of the mainstays of his Spain team.
The tacticians in question were Portugal boss Paulo Bento, Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni and USA supremo Jurgen Klinsmann, while Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Ramos were the two players to put the Roja chief on the spot.
The secret to success
Del Bosque dealt with it all with his usual good grace and humour. Responding to one of Zaccheroni’s questions, about whether the reigning world champions need to make changes, he said: “Seeing as only one coach has ever won the World Cup twice, I should have done the Spanish national team a favour and let someone else come.”
For his part, Bento wanted to know how his Spanish opposite number felt about having already won world and European titles, while Klinsmann asked him how he managed to keep his squad hungry for success. The former German international also had a favour to ask of him: “Can you ease off a little bit? It’s time to leave something for everyone else!”
The former Real Madrid player and coach went on to admit that after so much sustained success, the look in his players’ eyes has changed: “That happens to everyone. When you reach 30 you’re not the same as you were when you turned 18.”
Then it was time for the last two questions, with his midfield general Xavi asking: “As someone who has won the lot, what have you enjoyed the most: winning as a player or a coach?”. The last word went to the inimitable Sergio Ramos, who wanted to know what thoughts were going through his coach’s mind when he scored with a Panenka-style penalty in the UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final penalty shootout against Portugal.
To find out what Del Bosque had to say in reply, watch the video for yourself and see the Spaniard's responses.