Del Bosque hints Euro will be swan-song

ALICANTE • Vicente del Bosque has given the strongest indication yet that he could bid adios to Spain after next year's European Championship. The football manager's contract expires after the tournament in France, where La Roja will be chasing an unprecedented third straight continental title.

And the 64-year-old has hinted he might not sign an extension.

Speaking to Radio Marca ahead of Spain's friendly against England in Alicante today, he said: "It wouldn't be bad for the national team if I went.

"It would be hard for me but the team would have the chance to renew itself and have another coach.

"Nothing would happen."

FOR THE COMMON GOOD

It would be hard for me but the team would have the chance to renew itself and have another coach.

VICENTE DEL BOSQUE, Spain manager

He added that his mind had already been made up.

"I'll reveal it when the time is right," said del Bosque, who took over from the late Luis Aragones after Spain's Euro 2008 success and led the team to a maiden World Cup victory in 2010.

Spain suffered just the one defeat in qualifying by Slovakia over a year ago while England enjoyed a perfect campaign of 10 victories from 10 games.

Spain's recent form in friendlies against Europe's traditional powerhouses also gives England plenty of encouragement, with losses to France, Germany and the Netherlands in the past 14 months.

All eyes today will be on the strikers selected by England manager Roy Hodgson and del Bosque, with doubts over who will lead the line for both countries at the European Championship.

Hodgson announced yesterday that captain Wayne Rooney will not start so as to give other England forwards a chance.

But in-form Jamie Vardy, the English Premier League's leading scorer with 12 goals, is set to miss out because of injury, meaning Harry Kane is likely to get the nod.

"Wayne's with me today because he's the captain of our team, he's the most important figure as a result, but he actually won't start the game tomorrow," Hodgson told a press conference.

"That's for the very simple reason that we are looking at various combinations."

Del Bosque has recalled Chelsea striker Diego Costa despite his poor club form.

However, Juventus' Alvaro Morata is expected to start up front.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2015, with the headline 'Del Bosque hints Euro will be swan-song'. Print Edition | Subscribe