Spain arrived in Madrid on Tuesday and unlike four years ago, after a triumphant FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, there were few fans waiting for them at the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport.
Vicente del Bosque's side endured the country's worst performance in a World Cup finals in Brazil.The defending champions bowed out of the competition after defeats to the Netherlands and Chile in Group B. They ended the tournament with a comfortable 3-0 win against Australia on Monday.
"We are not pleased with our overall performance at the World Cup," Del Bosque said to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "But it was important to finish with a win. Against Australia we handed a respectable performance, except in the opening 15 minutes of the game. But the efforts shown by my players against Australia is to be praised."
Del Bosque insists La Roja's golden generation must be applauded for what it has achieved. "Without considering the titles, for six years we have practically been first in FIFA's (world) ranking," Del Bosque said. "These players have done their work, they have behaved well.."
Del Bosque has yet to confirm if he will continue in charge of the World and European champions. The 63-year-old is under contract until Euro 2016 in France and is the country's most successful coach.
"I have not set myself a specific date," he said. "We will try to see what is the best solution for our football, without drama and using good judgement."
With or without him, Del Bosque is aware a transition must begin to renovate the team in view of Euro 2016. "We are leaving with our head held high and now we have to allow others to step forward," he said. "The future of the national team is safe, whoever the national coach is."