Ger­many evo­lu­tion set to peak at 2010 World Cup says guru-coach Low

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL - GER­MANY AL­WAYS AP­PROACH TOUR­NA­MENTS AIM­ING TO GO AS FAR AS POS­SI­BLE. WE DEF­I­NITELY BOAST THE QUAL­ITY TO GO A LONG, LONG WAY’ – JOACHIM LOW ON GER­MANY'S CHANCES AT SOUTH AFRICA 2010

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.