Vicente del Bosque says he has voted for Pep Guardiola to win the 2012 FIFA Coach of the Year award.
The Spain coach was named on the final three-man shortlist for the prize, along with the former Barcelona boss and Jose Mourinho on Thursday.
“I voted for Guardiola because he is an important figure within our football,” he told Terra.
“I did not do it on a whim, to support Barcelona or because of any ‘anti-madridismo’. It would be good if he went back to work. He is young, has added things to the game and is passionate about this sport.”
Del Bosque has also been impressed with the transition at Camp Nou since Tito Vilanova replaced Guardiola at the helm during the summer.
“Tito has taken over naturally. The important thing is that he has been able to maintain the enthusiasm of these players, who have won so much,” he said.
The 61-year-old’s next major assignment will be getting Spain ready to participate in next year’s Confederations Cup and the former Real Madrid boss said preparation is absolutely paramount if his side are to continue their dominance.
“It will be a test ahead of the next World Cup. Our last experience of the competition before South Africa was good because we got to know everything that was waiting for us ahead of the World Cup,” he said.
“In Spain we have lost a lot of the fear (we had before) of promoting a player from the ‘cantera’. Clubs are conscious they have to take care of them and that benefits the national team. We have to trust the youngsters because they are very talented kids.”