Maradona and Low were both attacking players who liked a cute pass and a pretty dribble. As players the similarities end there. One was a phenomenon, often styled as the best player in the world, and the other was a squad player for various German teams who never featured for the national side. This weekend Argentina meet Germany in a World Cup quarter final and the focus will be on the two managers. Maradona and Low both favour an attacking style with forward passing and fluid movement.
Low’s progression through the ranks to the top of German football is quite remarkable. After spells in charge of Fenerbahce and Stuttgart Joachim Low was appointed as assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann, the Germany manager. Impressing in the role, when Klinsmann left Low was appointed the head coach. Since 2006, when Low’s involvement with the national team began, Germany have reached a World Cup semi-final in 2006 and a European Championship final in 2008. As national manager, Low is well regarded.
Diego Maradona did not need an apprenticeship to progress to the top position. His stature as a player was enough. Despite failing as a coach at Racing Club in Argentina, Maradona was a popular choice as national team manager. He has been in charge for almost two years now and results have not always been impressive. At one stage Argentina were in danger of not qualifying for the World Cup and even lost 5-1 against Bolivia. At the tournament in South Africa Diego Maradona has grown into the role and is receiving daily plaudits from his squad and pundits. As national manager, Maradona is well regarded.
Now these two managers, who have arrived at their positions in two very different fashions, are going to match up against each other. Germany’s ultra modern attacking game, incorporating unorthodox movement and short passes between the lines, against Argentina’s more traditional attack, one on one dribbling and long range shooting. Maradona is not pretending to write a tactical masterpiece whilst Low is not feigning stupidity, everybody knows he is a tactical mastermind. What Maradona offers in terms of motivation Low matches in terms of organisation.
Argentina against Germany and Maradona against Low promises to be an enthralling clash. Both managers deserve the spotlight.