Vicente del Bosque quit as Spain’s coach after the defending champions crashed out of Euro 2016, ending one of football’s most successful managerial dynasties.
Del Bosque, 65, won a World Cup and a European Championship in a glorious era for Spanish football. He also won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid.
His legacy was tainted by Spain’s disastrous first round exit at the 2014 World Cup and now their defeat in the last 16 at the European Championship. Some of the team’s greatest players are also expected to retire soon.
“Without a doubt, I have no intention to remain as coach, but you have to be discreet,” Del Bosque told Spanish public radio RNE late on Thursday.
“No matter what the result of the Euros, I had no doubt about what my future would be. I have handled this issue discreetly. But it is a decision that was taken in advance.”
Spain were eliminated from Euro 2016 on Monday after a meek 2-0 defeat to Italy.
Marca newspaper said ex-Granada coach Joaquin Caparros was being lined up to take over the national team.
Del Bosque, who succeeded the late Luis Aragones after Spain’s triumph at Euro 2008, is a popular figure in Spain after guiding the national team to a maiden World Cup victory in 2010 and a second straight European Championship title two years later.
The likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Iker Casillas became household names around the globe under Del Bosque’s tactful guidance.
He also overcame the traditional rivalry between Barcelona and Real to maintain a united team on the international stage.
In an age of star coaches, his eight years in charge of a top national team is almost unprecedented in modern football.
Some felt a fresh start was needed after Spain’s failure to advance beyond the group stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The side lost their first two games and Del Bosque was criticised for his loyalty to the core of players who won in 2010.