The new-look UEFA•technician has a Spanish flavour with the latest issue of UEFA's coaching publication looking at that country's success in fusing technical and positive human qualities.
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UEFA's regular newsletter for coaches is back – with a new look and a new identity as part of UEFA's official monthly publication UEFA•direct.
Previously known as The Technician, issue 47 of the coaching newsletter appears as a 12-page supplement, the UEFA•technician, within the larger publication. The focus, as ever, is on technical developments in European club and national-team football.
In his editorial column, UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh comments on the human qualities that have underpinned this successful generation of Spanish footballers. Spain not only served up technically superb football in winning the last FIFA World Cup, they also offered a valuable lesson in humility – based on the down-to-earth attitude and work ethics of players and management.
This emphasis on striking a balance between technical achievement and positive behaviour is typical of the work being done at the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the technical director writes. "Of course players need an ego, a determination to be the best they can be, but this must not be confused with the negative face of egotism."
The Iberian theme continues with a four-page interview with Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who in July added the world title to the two European crowns he won in charge of Real Madrid CF. In the interview Del Bosque speaks in depth about the Spaniards' South African campaign, while also citing his own professional influences, the value he places on man-management and the differences between club and national-team coaching.
Del Bosque even opens the door to the Spanish dressing room when he says: "Good harmony and team spirit isn't just about winning games – it has to be something that remains independent of results. My squad in South Africa was a group of 23 excellent players and excellent people who made the 50 days together a very pleasant experience."
Given Spain's current hegemony it was appropriate that their federation hosted the latest UEFA Conference for European National Team Coaches, staged in Madrid between Monday 20 and Wednesday 23 September. The UEFA•technician carries a four-page report on the conference, which brought together technical staff from all 53 UEFA member associations and provided a platform for notable practitioners like the Netherlands' Bert van Marwijk and Germany's Joachim Löw.
Naturally many of the talking points came from the World Cup, and again due reference was made to the human qualities that helped Spain fulfil their footballing potential. It fell to RFEF sports director Fernando Hierro and technical director Ginés Meléndez to divulge the philosophy and principles behind the Spanish success story. More importantly though the conference was an occasion for examining the playing and coaching trends that emerged at the World Cup.
Similar discussions had taken place at the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon on 1 and 2 September, where 17 top coaches gathered to talk football and exchange views with UEFA's president Michel Platini, general secretary Gianni Infantino, competitions director Giorgio Marchetti, and Andy Roxburgh.
The aim of the annual forum, the UEFA•technician inform us, was to review the past season in the UEFA club competitions while analysing developments in the game as observed in the standard-setting UEFA Champions League and at the subsequent World Cup. As well as being an opportunity to appraise shifting patterns in the way elite football is played, the forum was a chance for leading club coaches to broach such varied topics as the away-goals rule, playing surfaces, the international calendar and the experiment with two additional assistant referees.
The UEFA•technician also pays tribute to each of the coaches who guided their teams to finals in the UEFA and FIFA tournaments that were concluded during the spring and summer – from the World Cup and UEFA Champions League to the UEFA European Under-17 Championships for boys and girls. A true roll of honour.