Germany evolution set to peak at 2010 World Cup says guru-coach Low
IN FOOTBALL-OBSESSED Germany, rarely has a national coach been as popular as Joachim Low – a native of the Black Forest who turns 50th on February 3.
His expertise from the dugout and personal elegance are the ideal attributes for the top job in a country which has won the World Cup three times, where knowledge and proficiency are valued above all other qualities, but which has always demanded idols with personal charisma and a strong personality.
The former forward, fondly nicknamed Jogi, remains the all-time leading scorer for Freiburg, although his playing record for his country amounts to just four U-21 appearances. His skill as a coach is more highly regarded. As Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant, Low was widely acknowledged as the brains of the operation. His meticulousness and tactical wisdom have earned him a reputation as a guru of the game, while his highly fashionable dress sense and natural charm make him a perfect figurehead in a media-intensive world.
Above all else, Low is hungry for success. He succeeded Klinsmann after Germany 2006, with a brief to develop the national team’s newly-acquired attacking instincts. He frequently refers to “possession quotas”, by which he means the interval between a player receiving a pass and releasing the ball. During his time in charge, this measure has decreased significantly for Germany, leading to a much higher tempo.
Low’s Germany are now aiming to play attractive and successful football in South Africa. The nation currently lying sixth on the World rankings will travel to the 2010 finals with their customary ambitious targets. While on a visit to Cape Town, Low met Fifa.com for an exclusive interview.
SO MUCH TO PONDER: Germany manager Joachim Low looks on during the World Cup qualifier between Wales and Germany at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last year.