Gerard Pique said earlier this month that “Spain will never enjoy another wonderful time like they did under former coach Vicente del Bosque”. He made the comment shortly before the country faced Italy in their World Cup qualifiers, a game that preceded his retirement from La Roja.
Image: Gerard Pique and Vicente del Bosque.
Vicente del Bosque won two European Championships and the 2012 World Cup with Spain before a disappointing campaign at Euro 2016.
The Azzurri eliminated Spain from Euro 2016 in the round of 16, and the coach resigned for failing at three attempts to win the the European title. However, his friendly relationship with Pique was never in doubt.
VDB recently stepped forward in defense of the 29-year-old’s decision to retire from international football following controversies surrounding the player’s commitment.
The former coach thrashed rumors that Pique, who won the 2010 with Spain, tore out a part of his national team jersey to protest independence from the country.
Image shows Gerard Pique and Vicente del Bosque during Euro 2016.
“Everything he does is put under the microscope,” the 65-year-old told Cadena Cope.
“But he’s always been completely committed. He went to the Diada [Catalonia’s national celebrations] like any of us would go to our village celebrations.
“I’ve never heard him say he’s in favour of independence. But now he’s earned the right to decide whether or not he plays for the national team.
“When a player comes to the national team his commitment must be unconditional, and Pique’s was.”