Football

Spain fans not excited by potential del Bosque successor

Caparros, the front-runner to succeed retiring del Bosque, not an exciting pick

Spanish football fans are bracing themselves for what's next after national coach Vicente del Bosque announced his retirement, marking the end of a golden era.

The 65-year-old, who is the most successful coach in Spain history after leading them to victory at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, has decided to step down after their title defence unravelled in the 2-0 last-16 loss to Italy on Monday.

Spanish newspapers reported yesterday that former Sevilla, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Mallorca coach Joaquin Caparros is the front-runner for the hot seat.

Caparros' name did not exactly get Spain fans excited, as he does not have a very impressive record.

The 60-year-old has a win percentage of only 36.2 in the Spanish top flight, while his lose record is 37.9 per cent, reported Spanish paper AS.

RELEGATION

To be fair, those figures are not helped by the fact that he was mostly in charge of clubs who were fighting relegation.

Most recently, he was at the helm of Granada, but was sacked in January 2015, after the club slumped to the bottom of La Liga and were booted out of the Copa del Rey. He was barely half a year into the job then.

Naturally, Caparros is keen on the Spain post.

He said: "The federation knows I am fully willing to do the job. I will offer happiness, excitement, hard work and experience, it is a wonderful job for any coach to lead the national team."

ESPN writer Dermot Corrigan, who lives in Madrid, was one of those who did not seem impressed.

He tweeted: "Caparros as best available option for Spain job is pretty hard to accept - but seems he suits exactly what the federation/Villar want."

He was referring to Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish football federation.

Another Spanish paper, Marca, ran a poll on who should be the next coach, with Caparros receiving only 11.11 per cent of the votes cast by over 60,000 readers.

Granada's new coach Paco Jemez received the highest - 28.47 per cent of the votes.

He was followed by Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde (15.58 per cent) and Villarreal's Marcelino (11.68 per cent).

Jemez, who just signed a three-year deal with Granada last month, revealed that he has a release clause in his contract should he be offered the Spain job.

He said: "The national team only comes once in a lifetime and you either take it or it's over."

The 46-year-old led Rayo Vallecano to eighth place, their best finish in history, during the 2012-13 La Liga season.

He left them in May, after failing to agree new terms with the club, who were relegated, before being hired by Granada. - Wire Services.

"Caparros as best available option for Spain job is pretty hard to accept — but seems he suits exactly what the federation/ Villar want."

- ESPN writer Dermot Corrigan, who lives in Madrid, on Joaquin Caparros being the front-runner to take over from Vicente del Bosque

"I would be excited to manage the national team, any Spanish coach would be honoured to take this job. But I hope Vicente stays, he is the best coach possible."

- Joaquin Caparros

Nolito a "perfect fit" for Man City

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Nolito from Celta Vigo, with Spanish football expert Guillem Balague claiming that the player will fit Pep Guardiola's side perfectly.

The Spain forward has agreed a four-year contract to become the second arrival of Guardiola's reign 
as manager.

Nolito, whose real name is Manuel Agudo Duran, made his first-team debut at Barcelona under Guardiola, but the player was largely used by Barcelona's "B" team before moving on to Benfica.

The 29-year-old, who has been given the No. 9 shirt, started each of Spain's four fixtures before their elimination from Euro 2016 by Italy.

City had signed him after triggering his £13.8million ($24.6m) release clause at Celta. Earlier, Guardiola had signed German midfielder Ilkay Guendogan from Borussia Dortmund.

- Wire Services.

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