Vicente del Bosque has had such an impressive soccer career from being a player to managing Real Madrid and much more. Within this article we are going to acknowledge the great achievements of Vicente and how he performed in both roles. So if you want to find out more about this significant football figurehead, then keep on reading!

Vicente on the Pitch

At 16 years old Bosque started his football career off playing for the youth team of Salmantino. He only played one season with this team before transferring to the junior squad for Real Madrid. He was only with this squad for part of a season before he moved to Plus Ultra which was his first professional contract. Throughout his time with Plus Ultra he made 11 appearances for the team and netted a total of 5 goals.

After playing with Plus Ultra for 1 season, he was recruited by Real Madrid for their professional team. He was familiar with this club as he had previously played with their youth team before moving to Plus Ultra. Bosque played with Real Madrid for a total of 16 years but within this long term contract with Real Madrid he also joined a number of other teams on loan too. Throughout his entire time with Real Madrid he took part in 445 matches and scored a total of 30 goals. He also played with Castellon twice for the 1970/71 season scoring 4 goals and in 1972/73 netting 5 goals. In between these two stints at Castellon he had also played midfielder for Cordoba in 1971/72 making only 1 goal.

Along with his club career he also played for Spain a number of times on the Youth and Junior teams as well as the first squad. Collectively across his international history he only scored 1 goal for the Spanish national team. This one goal was scored in the Euro 1980 qualifiers in 1978 against Cyprus.

Below you can see an in depth breakdown of his career on the pitch by showcasing how many goals he netted out of his number of appearances. As we can see one of his most successful times was with Real Madrid:

  • Plus Ultra (1967 to 1968) – 11 appearances, 5 goals
  • Real Madrid (1968 to 1984) – 445 appearances, 30 goals
  • Castellon (1970 to 1971) – 13 appearances, 4 goals
  • Cordoba (1971 to 1972) – 19 appearances, 1 goals
  • Castellon (1972 to 1973) – 30 appearances, 5 goals
  • Spain U1 (1969) – 1 appearance, 0 goals
  • Spain Amateur (1970 to 1976) – 3 appearances, 0 goals
  • Spain (1975 to 1980) – 18 appearances, 1 goal

Vicente off the Pitch

1984 was his last time spent on the pitch where he played for Real Madrid and three years after his last game for the La Liga club, he moved to a managerial position at Castilla. He was only with Castilla for three seasons before he transferred back to Real Madrid where he worked his way up through the ranks. He first managed the Real Madrid squad in 1994 after their current manager – Benito Floro was sacked, he was only filling in the position temporarily before being replaced by Jorge Valdano. After he finished his temporary managerial role with Real, Bosque coached the youth team but was also called upon to manage the senior team for two games in 1996. Bosque was also asked to step in as manager a number of times before they officially assigned him the full time position in 1999.

Vicente was only a manager of Real Madrid for 4 seasons before moving onto another club called Besiktas. During his time with the club, Real Madrid were consistently successful as they won the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2002 as well as the La Liga in 2001 and 2003. They also won the Spanish Super Cup in 2001 and the UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup in 2002. These were the greatest years for Real as Vicente was able to turn the club around impressively after they had a number of struggles with managers prior to his arrival.

His approach to managing a football team was known to be humble, patient and unassuming. This nature towards the sport was beneficial to the club when they underwent a policy implemented by Florentino Perez called Los Galacticos. This policy was how Luis Figo, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo all started with the soccer team. However, during his time as manager – del Bosque was not consulted before the purchase of Galacticos which made him question the hierarchy of the club.

News broke that he was not having his Real Madrid contract renewed in 2003 just after he helped the squad win their 29th La Liga title shortly after David Beckham joined the roster. Real Madrid did offer him the position of technical director after his contract was terminated but he turned this offer down. After his departure from the team, Real Madrid continued to struggle and ended up recruiting seven different coaches within a four year period after he left. With this constant change of coach, the squad suffered greatly and did not win any major trophies until 2007.

After the UEFA Euro 2004 the Spanish national team’s manager resigned after a terrible turn out in the tournament. This is when del Bosque was approached by the national side who offered him a position as manager with them. However, at that moment in time he was not interested in the job and it was given to Luis Aragones. Instead he moved to Besiktas in 2004 but after failing to deliver results for the team, he was dropped at the end of his first season with the team.

Vicente was also approached by the Mexican national team who requested his assistance as manager as they struggled during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, again del Bosque turned this opportunity down. But in 2008 he decided to take Spain up on their offer and joined their national side.

Under the management of del Bosque, Spain started their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign successfully. And throughout the 2010 tournament Spain went from success to success in the group rounds, earning themselves first place in their group and landing them 1st place overall at the end of the entire season. Along with this triumphant success, the Spanish national team went on to with the UEFA European Championship twice in 2008 and 2012 under Vicente’s management.

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup Spain struggled greatly when it came to scoring high in the rankings after their impressive performance the season’s before. During the UEFA Euro 2016 season del Bosque announced his intentions to retire after the tournament. And after seeing the Spanish national side get knocked out in the Round of 16, he knew it was his time to step aside and let a new fresh manager transform the team like he had done many years prior to this. Then at the end of 2016, at aged 65, Vicente del Bosque retired from the soccer community completely.

Here is a breakdown of Bosque’s time as a manager, we break down the clubs he had worked for and the years he spent with them before his retirement:

  • Castilla – 1987 to 1990
  • Real Madrid 1999 to 2003
  • Besiktas – 2004 to 2005
  • Spain – 2008 to 2016

His Achievements

Starting his soccer career at a young age, Vicente del Bosque was a midfielder for a number of local and overseas football clubs. And after many years of playing for teams across the world, he stepped into a new role of manager for Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. Due to his extensive experience in both roles on and off the pitch, there is no doubt that he has gained a number of awards and honours across his career. Listed below are the dates of each award along with whether he was presented it as part of the team or as an individual:


  • La Liga (Real Madrid) – 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80
  • Copa del Rey (Real Madrid) – 1973/74, 1974/75, 1979/80, 1981/82


  • La Liga (Real Madrid) – 2000/01, 2002/03
  • Supercopa de Espana (Real Madrid) – 2001
  • Copa Iberoamericana (Real Madrid) – 1994
  • UEFA Champions League (Real Madrid) – 1999/00, 2001/02
  • UEFA Super Cup (Real Madrid) – 2002
  • Intercontinental Cup (Real Madrid) – 2002
  • FIFA World Cup (Spain) – 2010
  • UEFA European Championship (Spain) – 2012


  • UEFA Club Coach of the Year – 2002
  • IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach – 2002
  • IFFHS World’s Best National Coach – 2009. 2010, 2012, 2013
  • European Coach of the Year – Alf Ramsey Award – 2002, 2012
  • World Manager of the Year – 2012
  • FIFA World Coach of the Year – 2012

Was Vicente de Bosque Influential?

Throughout this article we have explored the managerial and player history of Vicente de Boque. However, we want to know what you think about this significant football figure head. Do you think he was an effective manager? Let us know over on our social media pages!

You can also shop our range of Real Madrid football shirts and accessories over at Soccer Box and show your support for your favourite team.

This article was written exclusively for Soccer Box by Loren Astbury