EURO 2024: From coffee sellers to advertising stars: The coaches of the European Championship

EURO 2024: From coffee sellers to advertising stars: The coaches of the European Championship
EURO 2024: From coffee sellers to advertising stars: The coaches of the European Championship

16 teams are still in the running for the European Football Championship. 16 coaches have led their teams into the round of 16, which begin on Saturday. And some of them have a very special story.

One of them actually wanted to open his own bar. Another now has his father’s old job. There are some exciting stories about the coaches of the European Football Championship.

Julian Nagelsmann (Germany) and Domenico Tedesco (Belgium):

Germany and Belgium can meet in the semi-finals at the earliest at this European Championship, but it’s not as if the two coaches have never met before. Nagelsmann and Tedesco completed their football coaching training together in 2016. Tedesco was the best in his class with a grade of 1.0. Both worked together for most of the course in the youth department of 1899 Hoffenheim: Nagelsmann coached the U19s, Tedesco the U17s. And in Hoffenheim, the story goes that Nagelsmann’s cheerful personality could be heard all the time, while Tedesco was more quietly poring over his documents in the performance center.

Didier Deschamps (France):

In January, the German luminary Franz Beckenbauer and the Brazilian Mario Zagallo died within a few days. Since then, only one of the three football legends who became world champions as a player and as a coach is still alive: the Frenchman Deschamps. “The deaths of both of them, especially that of Franz Beckenbauer, touched me deeply,” said the 55-year-old in an interview with “Sport Bild”. Beckenbauer was once his coach in Marseille. To become European champion as a coach and player – only one person has managed that so far: Berti Vogts. Deschamps and the Dutchman Ronald Koeman can still follow his example at this European Championship.

Francesco Calzona (Slovakia):

Several Italian coaching careers have begun in the field. Arrigo Sacchi once worked for his father’s shoe factory before leading AC Milan to two European Cup victories. Calzona was a coffee salesman at the age of 30. The Slovakian national coach actually wanted to open his own bar before his coaching career finally worked out. As an assistant to Maurizio Sarri and Italy’s current national coach Luciano Spalletti, the 55-year-old worked for SSC Naples for a long time. The latter’s ex-star Marek Hamsik also arranged for him to come to Slovakia. “Some customers still call me and ask for coffee,” said Calzona.

Edward Iordanescu (Romania):

Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and his successful father are not the only family story at the European Championships. Romania’s national coach Iordanescu is also following a famous father at this tournament. Anghel Iordanescu was the coach of the “Golden Generation” that reached the quarter-finals at the 1994 World Cup. He coached the national team three times, most recently at the 2016 European Championships. His ambition “plus everything I learned from my father gave me the drive to become a coach,” said his son. Edward Iordanescu is highly respected in Romania for working his way up from the third division despite his name.

Ralf Rangnick (Austria):

His love of English football is well known. During his studies, Rangnick played for the amateur club FC Southwick. His role model, however, coached the European Championship team of a country that no longer exists: Valery Lobanovsky led the USSR to the 1988 European Championship final and at the same time worked as coach of Dynamo Kiev. “In 1984, we played with Viktoria Backnang against Kiev and I was on the field as player-coach,” said Rangnick. “After ten minutes, I stopped and counted the players. They played such a strong pressing game, as if they had at least two more players on the pitch.” For Rangnick, this was a key experience.

Gareth Southgate (England):

Criticism of his team’s performance? The accusation that he would let a tournament favorite play as fearfully as a newcomer to the European Championship? England’s national coach Southgate knows it all even worse. As a player, he missed the decisive penalty in the 1996 European Championship semi-final loss against Germany. At the time, Southgate countered all the malice with British humor: In an advert for a pizza chain, he sat at a table with a bag over his head and was mocked by his former teammates Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle. They had each missed a penalty for England in the 1990 World Cup semi-final.

Source: Stern

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