Loew's big Brazil test
Joachim Low (Supplied)
Another semi-final is another battle of nerves for Joachim Loew, who risks becoming Germany's nearly man.
After eight years in charge of Die Mannschaft, Loew so far has one
previous World Cup semi-final, the 2008 European Championship final and
the Euro 2012 semi-final to show. No trophy.
But the 54-year-old former assistant to Jurgen Klinnsman has brought on a
team praised for its attacking play. And his tactics have been hailed
by World Cup legends Pele and Diego Maradona.
Loew's image is often seen in Germany where he fronts an advertising
campaign for a leading cosmetics brand, but the head coach rarely
appears in the media spotlight.
The German Football Association (DFB) likes the team boss. It has
already told him his job is safe and Loew is expected to see out his
contract which expires after Euro 2016.
"What can be more beautiful in a football dreamland than to play a World
Cup semi-final against the hosts?" Loew said of Tuesday's game against
But he also acknowledged before the tournament that "the clock is ticking".
Loew himself only made four appearances for West Germany's Under-21s and
played as a midfielder for Eintracht Frankfurt, Karlsruhe and VfB
He won the 1997 German Cup final as VfB Stuttgart coach and after
working in Turkey and Austria, Loew became Germany's assistant coach in
Loew was responsible for tactics with Klinsmann and the pair delighted
the nation as Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup on home soil.
An impressive record of 75 wins in 110 internationals has earned Loew
plenty of respect in Germany. And he is not afraid of taking risks.
When striker Mario Gomez struggled at Euro 2008, Loew benched the
forward and switched to a 4-2-3-1 system which resulted in a 3-1
quarterfinal win over Portugal en route to the final.
At the 2010 World Cup, Loew took the youngest squad since 1934 to South
Africa and Germany swept aside England and Argentina before losing their
semifinal to eventual winners Spain.
Pele recently called Loew a "great tactician", while Maradona said that
Germany "roamed around with perfection" in their 4-0 group thrashing of