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The Löw/Hate Relationship

He may have just won them the World Cup, but Germany’s manager Joachim Löw is still an ambiguous figure at home.

What a night! 1-0 over Argentina! The World Cup is ours! Germany’s national headlines are beside themselves with pride and joy.

And yet, there is very little about the man who made it all happen, who held all the strings and who remained a quiet, reserved, cool cucumber until the very end. Under him, the team have won 75 out of 110 international matches, became runners-up in the European Championship 2008 and have now brought the World Cup trophy home – which makes him the most successful team chief since 1984.

But still Germans don’t really get Joachim Löw, the manager of the German national football team. Even after the quarter final the nation discussed whether he’d have to go soon. Possibly after the semi-final – or at the latest after the final! Imagine this discussion in the UK or Brazil.

You get funny answers when you ask for the reasons why. According to Der Spiegel, even seasoned sports journalists could only muster answers like: “He wears his watch on the wrong side… His hair is dyed… He is stubborn, he is arrogant, he is a country bumpkin… He loves Klose too much… He doesn’t use Klose enough… He shows no emotions… He plays too much like Spain… He plays too little like Spain.” Etc

Throughout all this Löw has held his head high and said very little. Whereas his predecessors’ careers were a rollercoaster of ups and downs, he has remained continuously – pardon the pun – on the ball, grouped and regrouped his resources, until he didn’t just have a collection of good football players but a fantastic young team that could withstand any pressure and still score. The World Cup final serves as a perfect allegory for his way of working: blood, sweat and tears, constant vigilance and a whole lot of hard graft.

It remains to be seen if the German people still want him to leave.

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