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Germany coach Loew keeps low profile

Germany coach Loew keeps low profile

For a man with one of the most visible and scrutinized jobs in Germany, Joachim Loew has kept a remarkably low profile in public.
The 50-year-old Germany coach everyone calls "Jogi" has allowed few details of his private life to become publicly known.
Loew lives with his longtime wife Daniela in the small southern university town of Freiburg, where he also played some of his club football.
As a striker, Loew had an unremarkable career mostly spent in the second division. As a coach, he worked in Germany, Austria and Turkey, with Stuttgart and Fenerbahce among the better-known clubs he coached.
So when Juergen Klinsmann picked Loew to be his assistant in 2004, Loew was somewhat of an unknown quantity, which he remains to this day, even as he seeks to bring Germany its fourth World Cup title.
Klinsmann had a simple explanation why he chose Loew _ no one could explain the back-four defensive system as well as Loew.
Under Klinsmann, Loew was believed to be responsible for devising tactics and he was usually seen directing practice.
When Klinsmann stepped down after leading Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup, Loew was the logical successor and he got the job.
In his first major tournament in charge, Germany finished runner-up to Spain at the 2008 European Championship.
Long considered "Mr. Nice Guy" with a soft touch out of place in today's cutthroat football world, Loew did not shy from shedding that image when he thought he needed be firm and decisive.
He got into a spat with captain Michael Ballack over team selection and stood his ground until Ballack had to apologize.
When Loew thought Torsten Frings was over the hill, he cut the midfielder without sentimentality.
And when striker Kevin Kuranyi left a match at halftime because he was angry at being overlooked, Loew dropped him for good. Kuranyi is having a good season with Schalke but Loew had disregarded all pleas and says there will no comeback for the striker as long as he is the coach.
Loew also showed that he had a temper when he got into a loud argument with the fourth official at Euro 2008 and was banned by UEFA for the quarterfinal match against Portugal. Loew watched from a glass box and was seen anxiously smoking a cigarette as his team won.
The German football federation wanted to extend Loew's contract through the 2012 European Championship, but the talks, long considered a formality, collapsed in January over demands for more money for Loew and his staff, among other issues.
There will be no new talks until after the World Cup, and Loew has left his future open.
Loew says he will not allow this situation to become a distraction for the team, although it remains to be seen whether he will succeed.
"I am going to explain to the players that the situation cannot become an excuse for anyone," Loew said. "The whole issue doesn't interest me at this moment. Now I feel full of energy and I am looking forward to the World Cup."
When he was asked by Kicker magazine after the contract talks collapsed whether he'd thought of resigning, Loew replied: "No, the World Cup is too important for me."
Although a deep rift developed between Loew and the federation, DFB president Theo Zwanziger has been at pains to stand by the coach, at least in the run-up to the World Cup.
"Everyone is replaceable until the World Cup, only he (Loew) is not," Zwanziger said late last month.
Even in the "unlikely case" of Germany failing to advance from its group with Australia, Ghana and Serbia, Zwanziger said he would like to keep Loew as coach.
"But after six years at DFB, Jogi Loew also must have the right to decide," Zwanziger said.
Loew will have to make a quick decision, with Euro 2012 qualifying starting soon after the World Cup.


Updated : 2021-10-17 21:11 GMT+08:00