FIFA World Cup 2022: 5 Coaches Who Placed Team Work Over Individual Performances
Special individual cases have to be given their space and importance, but most teams want coaches who value teamwork.
Tejas RaneUPDATED 23 Nov 2022 11:31 pm
Club football might have its excitement and team spirit but international football carries a distinct aura about itself.
From a coaching standpoint, there are individuals with outsized talent and personality, like Diego Maradona or Cristiano Ronaldo, who have to be allowed a free rein, and around whom a team is built. But such players are few. And therefore, successful managers are those who can get their side to play as a unit. Let us look at a few who have managed to do that.
1) Didier Deschamps (France)
When the France Football Federation appointed Didier Deschamps as their national team coach in 2012, very few predicted that the former World Cup winner would go on to lift the trophy as a coach as well. France consisted some of football's top names, such as Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. Many critics had doubts over Deschamps handling of such stars and their egos. However, the former Chelsea player answered those questions by moulding France into a collective force and guiding the Les Bleus to victory in the 2018 World Cup.
2) Luiz Felipe Scolari (Portugal)
The Brazilian-born Luiz Felipe Scolari was a reputed name in world football thanks to his management careers in club and at international level. After guiding Brazil to a World Cup title in 2002, Scolari went over to the shores of Portugal and immediately delivered success. He took them to the UEFA Euro 2004 final where they eventually lost to winners Greece. Scolari's stock rose as he made Portugal one of the best international teams in world football. The likes of Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe too lauded Scolari's man-management skills.
3) Guus Hiddink (South Korea)
Dutch manager Guus Hiddink took over the managerial reins at South Korea in 2001. Hiddink's initial days were rough. The team lost 2-1 defeat to the USA in the Gold Cup right before the 2002 World Cup. However, Hiddink then emphasized on team spirit and the team became one of the highlights of that World Cup. They upset Italy and made it all the way to the semifinals. The world applauded the team’s work ethic and tenacity.
4) Vittorio Pozzo (Italy)
Italian manager and master strategist Vittorio Pozzo is the only man in world football to lift the World Cup twice as a coach. The first time was in 1934, when his Italian side beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 in extra time in Rome. Pozzo repeated the feat in 1938, when Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in Paris. Moreover, Pozzo also guided the Italians to the Olympic gold medal during the 1936 Olympics. But these are mere statistics. Pozzo was a thinker of the game who maximized the use of all players on field. He is considered one of the creators of the ‘metodo’ formation, which encouraged defenders not just to thwart opposition but also be creative and start their team’s attacking moves.
5) Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
German icon Franz Beckenbauer was appointed the manager of West Germany in 1984, replacing Jupp Derwall. He immediately made an impact leading the nation to the World Cup finals where they eventually lost to Argentina inspired by the late Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup. However, four years later, Beckenbauer scripted history with West Germany as he coached them to victory in the 1990 World Cup. The star-studded side consisted legends like captain Lothar Matthaus, Andreas Brehme and Jurgen Klinsmann. But none dared throw prima donna airs in front of ‘Kaiser’ Beckenbaauer.