ERASMIA - Germany coach
Joachim Low has tried to fuse his country's famed work-rate
with English pace, Spanish fluidity and Italian defending to
create a new, winning style for his team, he said on Monday.
Germany play Spain in the World Cup semi-final in Durban on
Wednesday and Low acknowledged he had combined several styles
to find the right mix in his cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic team.
"I've seen a lot of international football, I have soaked it
all up and taken away many aspects," he told reporters.
"In England the tempo is incredible and something to be
emulated. In Spain, there is the free-flowing style, technique
and skill and you can see that's something that is second nature
to them, even to their youth teams," he said.
"In Spain the game is not just played or worked (at) but
celebrated. It impresses me how easy it looks even though, of
course, it isn't easy at all. I like combination passing
football and that is what I work towards," he said.
"Italy won the World Cup in 2006 with perfect defensive play
but the game has moved on in the last four years. The teams in
the final four have solid defences but you have to have a more
than that, a more versatile style of play," he said.
Impressively, Germany have combined a miserly defence which
has conceded just twice in five games, with a flowing midfield
and free-scoring attack that has scored 13 goals, including
eight in the last two games against England and Argentina.
Low said it was difficult to compare his side with German
teams of the past given radical changes in the way the game is
"I don't like all these comparisons. Supposedly the European
Championship-winning team of 1972 was the best German team ever
and they certainly played a fantastic, flowing football.
"But athleticism is playing an even greater role than in the
past and football, as a game, has changed fundamentally.
"As well as the old German virtues of hard work and
willpower, I wanted us to become a team who can easily hold
their own and we have players who are technically gifted as well
as physically capable," he said.
Low said the transformation of Germany's approach to the
game was a gradual evolution.
"It's thanks to a process. It didn't come overnight, rather
over several years.
"Passion, willpower and commitment are the basic
preconditions to survive in international football these days
but we worked hard to develop free-flowing football," he said.
The 50-year-old Low said he had also been determined to
instil German players with more than just an ability to carry
out a gameplan.
"We look to impose ourselves by playing means as well as
physical means. It hasn't been easy because there's precious
little time for a coach with his national team but I told them:
'You mustn't just administer, you must find creative
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