Jupp Derwall, German football player and coach, Died at 80

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Josef “Jupp” Derwall died on the 26th of June 2007 at the age of 80 after a heart attack in Germany, he was a German football player and coach.

Born on the 10th of March 1927, Derwall served as Schön’s assistant until after the 1978 World Cup.

When Schön retired from coaching, also in light of the achievements in the tournament, Derwall was chosen to take his place as manager of Germany.

His major rivals for this appointment were his coaching staff colleague Erich Ribbeck and Helmut Benthaus, then manager with the reigning German champions VfB Stuttgart, who received no release from his contract.

Confidence was high going into the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Derwall was heard to have said before the first match against Algeria, “If we don’t beat Algeria I’ll take the next train home!” As things turned out he didn’t stick to his promise.

After a shock 1–2 defeat by Algeria in the first match, Derwall’s Germany regained their composure and progressed all the way to the final after some tough matches, including the infamous 1–0 win over Austria (“The Shame of Gijón”) and the more memorable semi-final against France, where the Germans came back from 1–3 down to tie 3–3 and win on penalties.

In the final itself, Germany lost 3–1 to Italy.

Derwall had led West Germany to glory at the 1980 UEFA European Championship and to the final of the 1982 FIFA World Cup before stepping down after his side’s 1-0 loss to Spain in the last four of the 1984 EURO.

At that stage, he was offered a number of Bundesliga jobs only to unexpectedly accept an offer to join Galatasaray.

“We couldn’t believe our ears when we first learned that he would be our coach,” recalled İsmail Demiriz, Derwall’s regular right-back at Galatasaray.

“His presence at the club provided a huge confidence boost for the players.” It seemed a lot less appealing after he had a first look around the club’s training facilities.

He remembered his first day in Istanbul as a “catastrophe”, writing: “I was shocked because the surface of the training pitch was a mixture of earth and mud instead of green grass.

Since the players got hurt when they hit the ground, they couldn’t even practice the basic principles of football properly. For example, they couldn’t do sliding tackles and when they were tackled like that in Europe, they would be surprised and angry after losing the ball.”

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the Derwall era had been the training ground culture; while the coach was clearly motivated by results rather than pretty football, his approach towards team discipline began and ended on the pitch.

While he may have come across as a hard-nosed tactician whose team grounded out results, Derwall was in fact one of the most liberal coaches when it came to the day to day job of squad personnel management: while Helmut Schön had allowed his players to express themselves on the field while adopting a more hardline approach off it, Derwall’s approach was pretty much the opposite.

 

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