Benito Floro is one of the most highly respected coaches in Spain. Indeed, what is most surprising about Benito Floro is the respect he commands with his fellow colleagues where he is always rated as being one of the very best – and one of the fathers of Spanish football as we know it today. Sometimes referred to as “The Philosopher” because of his very studious vision of the game, Benito Floro’s career has taken him to Real Madrid, Japan and Mexico, to mention just a few of his destinations. Indeed, Benito has coached in almost every continent in the World!
We managed to get Benito to answer a few questions about his impressive career and also to share a little bit about his knowledge of the beautiful game, many thanks, Benito!
Benito, you have coached at some of the best clubs in Spain, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Mallorca and some of the best players in the game. What is your vision of Spanish football today and why is it so successful, what do you feel you may have contributed to that over the last 20 years?
In Spain, 50 years ago, the federation created a school for coaches of the highest level, with instructors of the highest level, all highly qualified in the three most critical aspects of football; Strategy, Technical ability and Physical preparation. Because of this, the level of coaches in Spain is very high, due to the difficulty of the courses to become a coach in Spain. Sooner or later this had to yield its fruit and people now understand that it is much better to play an attacking combination game instead of, say, counter-attack or long ball attacks.
My work as a coach and instructor of coaches isn’t for me to judge. However, it is evident that what I learned from my instructors, I looked after and put it into practice on the field as do aspiring coaches that I instruct.
You took a modest side from the Third Division in Spain to the First division “La Liga” in 2 years, Albacete B. W what do you think are the most important aspects of creating a team that can play at any level?
A coach has two important missions: to teach his players to improve on an individual basis, daily, and also to teach his team to play whatever way they need to, on any kind of pitch, in any kind of circumstances – to obtain the desired result.
We understand you were offered the job of coaching Spain, tell us about that….
Yes, it’s quite true! It was after the European Championship in Portugal when the coach resigned and he became director of football. He recommended I became the new Head Coach of Spain, as my vision of the game and way of playing fitted in well with the way the youth teams were being prepared and thereby the main reason for the massive success of the Spanish national team. Hoowever, my situation at the time did not allow me to be able to accept the job.
We have been informed by various sources that you are in the Football Association of Singapore’s final 15 candidate s for the job. Are you aware of this?
I do not know anything official about this. However, I imagine, as with so many other coaches, when a position becomes available, agents will offer their clients for the job.
Would you be interested in the job, if you were offered it?
I am an international professional and I am always open to any interesting options, like all my colleagues, and even more so if it is a national team job, as this represents the feeling of a whole nation! However, I would never like to nominate myself for anything.
What do you know about the Singapore national team and Asian football in general?
From my own international experience football is based pretty much on the same principals everywhere. While I was coaching in Japan, I followed international teams from Asia and Austalasia and realized that there was a very good level of football, although with a possibility of improvement, by making it more attacking. Other than that, to assess a team or a national side it only takes a couple of days watching their last few games. The most important thing is having methodology, everything else is easy.
Is the job as a national team coach very different to that of that from being the coach of a top professional club?
In clubs, it depends upon what kind of first team you want, made up of signing, or made up of players from the youth system, or perhaps even 50-50.
With a national team, it must be a job that starts from the bottom, grass roots, so that players from a young age know what they are playing at and they must feel it. A national team must be strong from the very bottom.