Rio de Janeiro: Vicente del Bosque, one of the most successful managers in the history of football, has been welcomed into the Laureus family as a Laureus Ambassador.
Ahead of Monday's Laureus World Sports Awards, to be held at the Theatro Municipal here, del Bosque was present at a press conference to hear German football legend Franz Beckenbauer applaud the Spain football team that lifted the World Cup in 2010 and became the first side to win successive European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
Like Beckenbauer, del Bosque enjoyed a triumphant career as a player before turning his expertise to coaching and managing. In over 300 appearances for Real Madrid he won five domestic La Liga titles between 1975 and 1980, and also received 18 caps playing for Spain.
But it was as a manager that del Bosque transformed Real Madrid into one of the most powerful sides in European club football. Under his leadership, Real won two UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga championships, the Spanish Supercup, and the UEFA Super Cup.
It was inevitable that del Bosque would be persuaded to take charge of the Spanish national side and he proved an immediate success, becoming the first manager in football history to win his first 10 international games. Spain, under del Bosque, went on to win the World Cup for the first time in 2010, and last year the team successfully defended their European Championship.
Del Bosque was voted the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year and now he has received the honour of becoming a Laureus Ambassador.
On his nomination, del Bosque said: "In terms of clubs and players, Spain is very well off at the moment. The last few years have been good for us, we have played with a lot of strength and fire. We are very proud to be champions of Europe and the World."