5 Things to Know about foreign World Cup coaches

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 8:42 am •  Published: December 5, 2013
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COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — The World Cup promises friendly reunions and old scores to settle — and that's just among the coaches.

Almost half the 32 World Cup nations are set to land in Brazil next June with a foreign coach. Experience suggests there will be hirings and firings in the months ahead, but Friday's draw could offer intriguing matchups, with coaches taking center stage from their players.

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JURGEN VS GERMANS

A United States vs. Germany match would surely be dominated by Jurgen Klinsmann.

A talismanic World Cup-winning forward for West Germany in 1990 and an innovative coach who guided host Germany beyond most people's expectations to a semifinal exit in 2006.

Back then, Klinsmann was assisted by Joachim Loew as the national team kindled what amounted to a love-in for German soccer and society. Loew succeeded Klinsmann, remains in charge and is under greater pressure than ever to end a trophy drought stretching back to the 1996 European Championship team. Captained by Klinsmann, of course.

On Friday, Klinsmann's U.S. team figures as a tough option in the weakest pot, containing four CONCACAF and four Asian confederation teams.

Even without the weight of Klinsmann's personal history, Germany might want to avoid the Americans.

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QUEIROZ QUEST

Unlike Klinsmann vs. Germany, a match between Carlos Queiroz's Iran and Portugal would have a hint of score settling.

Queiroz coached his home country through an underachieving 2010 World Cup despite a 7-0 rout of North Korea. He was quickly fired once European Championship qualifiers began that September.

Thrashing North Korea masked some major Portuguese failings. They failed to score in three other matches — against Ivory Coast, Brazil and a testy 1-0 second-round loss to eventual champion Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo left South Africa as an unfulfilled star.

2010 was not a happy time for Queiroz. He was even temporarily barred from seeking work in Portugal while successfully appealing a ban for being rude and obstructive to a doping samples collection team just before the World Cup.

The former Real Madrid coach and assistant to Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson resurfaced — and has flourished — in Tehran.

On Queiroz's watch, Iran won its final Asian qualifying group, helping eliminate Qatar, has advanced to the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia and is the top Asian team in FIFA's rankings.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Vahid Halilhodzic and Algeria have unfinished business from a 2010 World Cup that was unsatisfactory for both.

Like his native Bosnia-Herzegovina, Halilhodzic the coach is set to make his World Cup debut in Brazil, if belatedly.

Four years ago, he guided Ivory Coast through qualification but was fired four months before going to South Africa. Halilhodzic was held responsible after his Didier Drogba-led team exited the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals. Sven-Goran Eriksson was hired to replace him.



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