The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cold dismissal annoys Vicente

Madrid: Coach Vicente Del Bosque, fired by Real Madrid last Monday, criticised the club for the manner of his dismissal that came only 24 hours after he guided the team to a record 29th Spanish league title.

“There were things which annoyed me and I felt badly treated. If they present a new coach, then they should fire the previous one in the same way. A little warmth is not a bad thing,” the coach told the leading sports daily Marca On Sunday.

Del Bosque said he learned his contract was not going to be renewed from the club’s sports director Jorge Valdano late on Monday in a corridor of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The previous day, Madrid defeated Athletic de Bilbao 3-1 to clinch the title in the final round of the season.

“Telling me in the loneliness of the corridor was not the best way, at 11 o’clock at night,” said Del Bosque, whose firing severed his 35-year connection with Madrid as a player, member of the training staff and coach.

He was replaced two days later by the former Manchester United assistant coach Carlos Queiroz.

Del Bosque, who guided Madrid to Champions League triumphs and two league titles in three and a half years in charge, said he had cried after losing his job.

“It’s logical, don’t you think' I spent many years at Real Madrid. I felt very sad when I left the Ciudad Deportiva (Madrid’s training ground) the other day.

“It has been my life, from being very young, when I was 16. I was involved in seven of the 29 leagues that the club has won. It was a very difficult moment,” he said.

Del Bosque said he had been “very annoyed” by comments by club spokesman Enrique Sanchez and president Florentino Perez that his dismissal resulted from the need for the team to be “modernised”.

“I never understood what Mr. Sanchez said. He may be a brilliant speaker but he was wrong to talk about modernity. Then the president spoke about modernising and it annoyed me,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s fair for them to put in doubt the work I have done in my four years at Madrid”.

Del Bosque said he had received an inkling that his contract would not be renewed because of the lack of contact he had with the club toward the end of the season.

“We hadn’t spoken about the future of the team for some time, nor about the players who might be coming, about the club’s future, the needs of the team or about everything that forms part of our work until the end of the season,” he said.

While Del Bosque is widely believed to have paid the price for the club’s elimination by Juventus in the Champions League semi-final, he said that he was not aware that the result marked the turning point in his relations with the club.

“I started to realise little by little. I noticed things. Even after the marvellous match at Manzanares (a 4-0 win at Atletico Madrid’s stadium two weeks ago) I noticed coldness,” he said.

As well as Del Bosque, Madrid also announced that the contract of their veteran captain Fernando Hierro would not be renewed.

“I was surprised by what happened to Hierro. It was unthinkable. In my case I wasn’t at all surprised,” he said. The dismissal of Del Bosque deprived him of the chance to coach David Beckham.

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