These coaches revel in the background
At first look, World Cup final coaches Bert van Marwijk and Vicente Del Bosque could not seem more different and yet a closer inspection reveals a lot of similarities.sports Updated: Jul 09, 2010 23:29 IST
At first look, World Cup final coaches Bert van Marwijk and Vicente Del Bosque could not seem more different and yet a closer inspection reveals a lot of similarities.
Van Marwijk is slick, arrogant and at times outspoken while Del Bosque is dour, quiet and almost introverted.
And yet when it comes to matters on the pitch they have one very common trait, they take a back seat and let the players be the stars.
While the extrovert Diego Maradona sits at home pondering his future as Argentina boss, he would do well to take a leaf out of the books of the two coaches contesting the final.
Maradona was like a circus act in South Africa, dominating the headlines and being the star of the Argentine show.
Van Marwijk and Del Bosque have let their players be the stars and it is those players who have shone the most.
While Maradona was a controversial and brilliant player who lifted the World Cup, both Van Marwijk and Del Bosque were merely very good players. They both played for their country and both played the majority of their careers in their own country's top flight.
Del Bosque was a rugged defender with Real Madrid, van Marwijk was a decent midfielder who earnt a single cap for Holland. And although the Spaniard's career both as player and coach outshines Van Marwijk's, they both came from humble beginnings.
Del Bosque started out in Real Madrid's reserves, both as a player and as a coach, while he also coached the club's youth team. But as a one-club man he eventually in each case rose through the ranks to reach the first team.
Del Bosque's reign saw him take charge at the height of the Galacticos era when he blended talents such as Ronaldo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo into a winning unit that claimed two Champions League and two La Liga crowns.
He did so well because he didn't clash with the bloated egos of his players but despite his success, his reserved personality didn't sit well with the Real hierarchy that craved a big name and bigger personality.
Van Marjwik’s defining moments as a player were a cup win with AZ Alkmaar and a second division title with MVV Maastricht.
And while neither will likely be hogging the headlines in Monday's newspapers, it is just such humility that will see one of them guide his team to the summit of world football.
First Published: Jul 09, 2010 23:27 IST