The awards for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2012 were handed out today in Zurich, Switzerland, with Spain's European Championship-winning manager Vicente del Bosque winning the World Coach of the Year trophy.
He follows in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, both finalists this year and winners of the 2011 and 2010 editions respectively.
Having taken over in 2008 after Spain won the Euros in that year, del Bosque guided the national team to the World Cup in South Africa two years later.
In 2012 Spain were again one of the favourites to win the Euros, held jointly in Poland and Ukraine, but the stylish and spectacular manner in which they dispatched Italy in the final—see the video above—won many more admirers.
The past 12 months saw del Bosque lead Spain in a total of 16 matches, 13 of which were won and three which were drawn. He suffered no defeats, and has not lost a competitive fixture since the opening group match of World Cup 2010.
During Euro 2012, Spain under del Bosque drew two matches, needing a penalty shoot-out to progress past Portugal in the semifinals, but they did not concede a single goal in the knockout stages and only gave up one in the competition overall.
A 4-0 smashing of Italy in the final, who had held them 1-1 during the group phase, was the ultimate moment of justification for del Bosque, who had kept faith with his players and system, often choosing not to play a recognised striker when some outsiders were labelling the team boring and even rubbish (as per Telegraph).
Clearly, del Bosque has an immensely talented group working under him every time he leads Spain out for an international fixture.
But his crowning glory during the summer of 2012 made him the only coach ever to win the trio of World Cup, Champions League and now European Championship—and for that, he deserves to be recognised as the best of the year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!