It’s hard to believe Vicente del Bosque didn’t know David Villa was retiring from the Spanish national team once this World Cup is over. Is he that disconnected from his players? Are the rumors of him losing faith with his players, feeling betrayed by their ability in the first two matches, true? Or was it simply Villa no longer being part of the Barcelona-Real Madrid “mafia”, which means he gets less attention from a manager who is now taking hits from every direction for a million reasons and one.
The facts? David Villa played well in his 59 minutes against Australia. He was taken off, surprisingly, by Del Bosque, and began crying on the bench. He didn’t seem happy. Those weren’t tears of someone looking back at everything he has achieved with the national team: World Cup and one European championship. These were tears of someone who was robbed of a better, more respectable farewell from the biggest scene the sport has to offer.
Del Bosque seems to know what’s coming for him once he gets back to Spain. Despite that the overall talk seems to be heading in a direction that keeps Del Bosque on the bench for another campaign, the popular opinion in today’s world is about what happened last. Did he fail? He should be out. His comments, possibly coming as a response to Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso, who haven’t been very happy with how things have gone in Brazil.
Del Bosque lost on many accounts. He has been someone that for years the media have been waiting to see fail. He has never been respected as a tactician – not when he led Real Madrid to glory, not when Spain won the World Cup and Euro under him. Continuation of Aragones, a copycat of the Barcelona system. At some point, the Spanish media were going to get the blood they wanted.
David Villa is off to the MLS, something of a more pleasant retirement home for great footballers compared to the nothingness in Chinese or Gulf football. His titles with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are now in the past. So are his goals and championships with Spain. It could have been a more emotional send off for probably the best striker in Spanish history, but Del Bosque, consumed with proving a point as he rides off into the sunset, ruined it for him and everyone else.