.- The coach of Spain’s world champion soccer team, Vicente del Bosque, is a man of few words and gestures. However, last week he experienced one of the most emotional moments of his life when he fulfilled the dream of his 21 year-old son Alvaro, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome, by allowing him to hold up the World Cup trophy to the applause of the team.
“My son changed my life,” Del Bosque has said on more than one occasion. Alvaro is his second son, and Del Bosque learned that he had Down’s Syndrome several weeks after his birth. “At first we cried a lot,” he told author Gemma Herrero for her book, “39 Stories of Solidarity Surrounding Sports,” but he added, “Now when I look back I think, we were so foolish.”
Del Bosque has been married to his wife Trini for 30 years, and they have three children: Vicente, 23, Alvaro, 21 and Gemma, 17. Having a son with Down’s Syndrome was a trial that prepared the soccer coach to face any difficult challenge, including the last minutes of the World Cup final.
Alvaro has inherited the love of soccer from his father. He is a huge fan and has even questioned his dad’s coaching decisions.
He welcomed his victorious father home from South Africa with the rest of the team. A few months ago, he made his dad promise that he would let him be in the victory parade in Madrid if the team won. Del Bosque kept his promise.