So Germany did it. They finally retained the World Cup for the first time in 24 years. That’s a longer spell than between hits for Foster and Allen. Especially for a team recognised as one of the powerhouse’s of world soccer. Finishing agonisingly close as second runnerup in 2006 and 2010, and as runnerup in 2002, they have always had talented teams, but perhaps lacked that competitive drive to take them to the top. Enter Joachim Loew, whom reluctantly stepped up to the position of head coach from the retiring German legend, Jurgen Klinsmann, after the 2006 World Cup.
Like most coaches he started as a player, mostly for Bundesliga 2 team SC Freiburg, with a dalliance in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt in the ‘82/’83 season. He returned to Freiburg where he still holds the club overall goal record. His playing career ended in 1995, when he had his first taste as managing as a player/manager for Swiss club FC Frauenfield. This taste led to a salivating KFC double burger hunger, as he furthered his coaching experience by returning to the Bundesliga. After numerous assistant roles he landed the head coach job at FK Austria Wien (Vienna) taking them to Austrian Bundesliga championship in 2003. The German National Team recognised his talents and signed him up as an assistant, under Jurgen Klinsmann. The rest is history…or at least his story.
He scores the first nomination for the inaugural Gurgler Man of the Year because of his tenacious and charismatic presence on and off the pitch. He has always avoided controversy albeit on one occasion when he was photographed picking his nose than eating it. Who hasn’t. He shies away from the media when it comes to his private life and never comes across as anything else than respectful for his players and his opponents. Oh and he won the World Cup. And that’s after embarrassing the host country 7 -1 in the semi-final. Mind you he did ask his team to not shame them and keep it at 5 goals…
So enjoy this year’s first nominee for the inaugural Golden Turpie!