Spain trainer Vicente Del Bosque has admitted that he has never completely understood the transfer market and instead prefers to focus on his development as a coach.
The 61-year-old retired from professional football with Real Madrid in 1984 but remained at the club to undertake a career as a trainer and in an extensive interview with AS, he revealed that the quality of players and coaches at the Santiago Bernabeu molded him into the coach he became.
"I do not understand business, I don’t understand transfer fees, the market - what I do understand is the ball, and that is thanks to all these trainers and players to have passed through Madrid. With each I gave them my eyes and ears. I was a sponge," Del Bosque said.
"But I’ve learned a lot from everyone who passed through the club since I retired as a player too. People like Leo Beenhakker, John Toshack, Jupp Heynckes, all of them I have tried to learn from."
The Champions League, World Cup and European Championship winner also revealed his motivation to succeed as well as a passion for youth development.
"Well, for starters I have tried to earn a living and support my family well. I follow my passion, which is football," he added. "And then, professionally, the titles with Real Madrid and now with the national team, to see all those guys we were talking about earlier, to develop our footballers and as people too.
"But I think the most rewarding was working with the youth team, with the boys, their experiences, their families. During those years we gave back and I speak in plural because it was more than just me. Madrid had a gear to them where they cared and were generous, altruistic and often anonymous."
Del Bosque then picked out one of his current charges, Barcelona's Xavi, as a player he believes could well make the transition from player to coach.
"In Xavi I see a coaching future, really. He is an extension of the coach on the field, whilst his education is Barca," the Spaniard praised. "He has taken in all that is good and that makes Barcelona. I believe in him. He has common sense and is friendly."
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