Del Bosque feared tears after World Cup jeers
The defending champions and two-time kings of Europe headed to Brazil with justifiably weighty expectations on their shoulders.
But a scarcely believable second-half collapse saw them humbled 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opening match, while Chile were deserved 2-0 victors next time out to seal Spain's fate before the Group B programme was complete.
They at least bowed out with a 3-0 consolation win over Australia, but Del Bosque spoke frankly to newspaper ABC about an all-round upsetting experience.
"There are things that make me want to cry, but thankfully I keep it all in," said the former Real Madrid boss.
"I'm a sportsperson and nothing hurts more than losing. Every single one of us would have liked to continue in the tournament. This is a World Cup, a fantastic competition.
"We have to accept being criticised because we played poorly in both of our first two games at the World Cup, we simply didn't make the grade, but credit where credit's due to the Netherlands and Chile."
Talk of the end of an era was readily found after Spain's demise, but Del Bosque will take time to reflect before deciding on whether to continue in his post.
"We'll have to see, we'll talk about it... I want to relax at home for now," he added, before insisting the future remains bright for a richly gifted playing group.
"I've already said many times that we'll look at whatever's best for Spain, ensure that the squad does not break up and get everything back on track."