Self Help

How to Win the World Cup - Evans, Chris

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Matheus Puppe

· 47 min read

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Here is a summary of the key points from the chapter:

  • International management is seen as the pinnacle of the coaching profession and the World Cup is the ultimate stage for managers to compete.

  • While club football has become more prestigious and lucrative in recent decades, leading a national team to World Cup glory still brings huge prestige and can unite and inspire entire nations.

  • International management requires a distinct temperament and approach compared to club management. It favors “international specialists” who are suited to the unique challenges.

  • Roberto Martinez provides an insight into the differences between club and international management. Key differences include:

  • Club football is 24/7 and always looking ahead to the next match. International football has intense periods followed by breaks when coaches must assess and analyze.

  • Club roles allow managers to build stronger relationships with players through daily interaction. International managers see squads infrequently.

  • Club managers have more control over tactics and training. International managers must adapt to the players they have.

  • The chapter emphasizes international management requires adaptation from club managers. The World Cup demands managers who can thrive in a distinct environment.

  • Moving from club management to international management requires a big adjustment for managers. At club level, they can work with players daily, but at international level they only see them for short camps a few times a year.

  • Managers like Conte have struggled with the slower pace and need more day-to-day involvement. Martínez had to change his mindset and accept he couldn’t work the same way.

  • Patience and communication become even more critical. Managers can’t interfere too much with club matters and must be selective with players’ instructions.

  • Creating team spirit and relationships is more complex with limited time together. Managers have used methods like showing loyalty through selections and not being overly critical to bond the squad.

  • Recently there has been a rise in specialized international managers who have come through age-group levels. They are more accustomed to the unique demands of the national team environment.

  • The international manager role has become a distinct specialization requiring a different approach than club management.

  • Appointing legendary former players as managers of national teams has been a common practice, but has had mixed results. Some succeed like Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany, while others struggle.

  • The presence and reputation of an iconic manager can provide a motivational boost and renewed energy, like when Diego Maradona took over Argentina. Players were eager to impress their childhood hero.

  • Even for other nationalities, working with a famous manager can sway players, like Jamie Carragher agreeing to return to the England team to play under Fabio Capello.

  • However, expectation sometimes matches reality. Carragher was underwhelmed by Capello’s hands-on approach at the 2010 World Cup. The mystique can only be recovered if results follow.

  • Managers without a top playing career traditionally had more difficulty gaining respect. But the trend is shifting as tactical knowledge and man-management become valued over a glittering playing CV.

  • Promoting from within national federation coaching ranks is increasing to have continuity and managers who understand the system and players. Gareth Southgate with England is an example.

  • Tom Saintfiet has managed over 12 national teams across four continents to lead a team to the World Cup finals. However, financial reasons have sometimes forced him to take jobs with countries that have little hope of qualifying.

  • Many European and South American coaches dedicate their careers to trying to qualify smaller nations for the World Cup, seeing it as the pinnacle of achievement in football.

  • German coach Otto Pfister managed his first national team in 1972 but had to wait 34 years before taking Togo to the 2006 World Cup. He came close with Saudi Arabia in 1998 but was replaced just before the tournament.

  • Coaches of smaller nations often face precarious job security and tumultuous situations. To succeed, Pfister says you need to be mentally strong and accept the different realities of working in places like Africa.

  • The World Cup dream motivates coaches like Saintfiet and Pfister despite the challenges. Qualifying a minnow nation is seen as the ultimate accomplishment in their careers.

  • Some national team managers in less developed football countries face enormous challenges like lack of infrastructure, amateur players, and heavy losses.

  • Managers like Stern John (Anguilla) and Stephen Constantine (Nepal) took on these jobs, knowing they’d have to rebuild from the bottom up completely.

  • With no professional leagues, they get more time with players in camps but have to teach basics most pros would know. Constantine had six weeks with Nepal players to prepare.

  • Identifying talent abroad with heritage ties is critical. John recruited from Caribbean communities in England, as did Willie Donachie with Montserrat.

  • Donachie stopped heavy losses, giving hope. Managers aim for progress like smaller margins of defeat rather than World Cups.

  • The appeal has a blank slate to build a program in their vision, though some need to pay more attention to the challenge. Progress takes a long-term commitment.

  • Qualifying for the World Cup can be challenging even for strong teams - Italy and Croatia have had close calls in recent tournaments.

  • The number of slots for each continent impacts chances - Europe gets 13 spots currently, while Oceania can get none.

  • Only 5 of 54 teams in Africa qualify, making it highly competitive. Managers walk a tightrope to keep World Cup dreams alive.

  • Zlatko Dalić took over Croatia 2 days before a must-win qualifier, said he’d quit if they didn’t qualify. They did, showing impact a managerial change can have.

  • Most federations are reluctant to change managers during qualifying campaigns. Croatia’s decisiveness to switch was unusual but paid off.

  • Managers must quickly implement ideas and tactics in high pressure situations during qualifying. Experience helps.

  • Major nations failing to qualify can have big consequences for manager’s job security and national pride. The pressure is immense.

  • Qualifying for major tournaments like the World Cup can be very difficult, with tight margins for error. Just one or two slip-ups can derail a qualification campaign.

  • The ranking system used for seeding teams in qualifying draws can complicate things if a team has had poor recent results. Past failures can lead to stricter appeals in future campaigns.

  • Qualifying is incredibly challenging in Africa due to the competitive nature and format. Many strong teams are vying for just five spots.

  • Local knowledge of conditions and opponents in a confederation is crucial. Hostile crowds, weather, and high altitude venues can all pose problems for visiting teams.

  • Even bigger regional teams need good strategies for these potential hurdles. Flexibility in preparation from federations can help.

  • Inter-confederation playoffs add further unknowns and require quick scouting and adaptation from coaches.

  • The tight margins mean the pressure is very high on managers to qualify, with little room for error. Past results can weigh heavily on the current campaign.

Here is a summary without the quoted section:

Ireland took care of the first leg with a 2–0 win, but McCarthy’s job ahead of the return trip was to prepare his players for a very different atmosphere in Iran. The Irish manager recognised the psychological side of things would make or break their journey to Tehran.

McCarthy told the players what would happen and said, “that baritone noise is not the national anthem, stay where you are”. But the players were geed up beforehand, so after the Iranians had that significant baritone effect, the Irish players disbanded and started running around the pitch, but it wasn’t time.

When Ireland won, the Iranian fans started railing against the authorities and there were loads of glass windows smashed, and anything they could set fire to in the stadium, they did. But as McCarthy walked through them, they applauded him. Their reaction wasn’t actually against Ireland. McCarthy had to admit that the atmosphere the Iranians created there was eerie and intimidating.

The role qualifying plays in the journey of some of the most famous World Cup runs is often overlooked, with the significance of overcoming adversity as a group before a final long forgotten by the time they progress to the tournament’s latter stages.

If the stars align for a nation, however far away the finals are, the psychological impact can be huge if a specific significance is placed on particular matches or sequences. It was another technique Croatia manager Dalić took full advantage of when he was brought in ahead of the critical Ukraine qualifier in 2017. The tie followed the path taken by the great side that reached the 1998 semifinals, who had to get past the Ukrainians in a playoff to qualify 20 years earlier.

Dalić said it was an essential motivation for the players, especially the older ones who remembered the World Cup in 1998 quite well. Many of them told me they had always dreamed of returning to Croatia and getting a massive welcome from the fans after producing a great result.

They remembered that team [of 1998] and it gave them both the self-confidence that a small country such as a Croatia can do it, and the motivation to experience something similar in Russia. Dalić always told the media that he truly believed they could do something similar in Russia and tried to get that into the players’ heads.

Synchronicity can have the opposite effect on teams, though. The expectation that history will repeat itself can pile on the pressure, only ramping up the prospect of letting a hopeful nation down.

Maradona arrived mid-way through Argentina’s faltering qualification campaign, but his charisma, status and eccentricity meant all eyes were on him alone by the time the final round came. He fiercely defended his team to the media – despite calling up 70 different players during qualification – and seamlessly remained the main talking point at all times.

Gutiérrez said it was the best and you had to experience that to understand it. Maradona understood the person; he lived with pressure, so it was like a typical day for him. For most of the players, it was like they were relieved of that because all the pressure was on him. But he liked that and knew how to deal with it, so for the players it was important that he was the team’s manager.

Not every manager can avoid the potential banana skins qualifying throws down and there have been some high-profile casualties down the years. Alongside Italy’s Ventura and Mancini in the hall of shame sit some of world football’s most notable managerial names: Louis van Gaal, Sir Alf Ramsey and Gerard Houllier.

Zenden said the record of van Gaal as a manager speaks for itself. He could not have been a better manager, but sometimes the timing could have been better. Sometimes, things occur that, as a manager, you don’t have that much influence on, but those incidents decide whether a manager is doing a good or bad job.

After a successful decade managing Ajax and Barcelona, Van Gaal took the Dutch job. He thought he could take a talented Netherlands team one step further after consecutive semifinal defeats on penalties in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Yet they finished third in their qualification group, four points adrift of Portugal and Republic of Ireland.

Here are the key points I gathered from the summary:

  • Being a national team manager can be dangerous, especially in unstable countries, as they can become targets of violence.

  • Peter Butler has had several dicey experiences as manager of African nations like Botswana and Liberia, including nearly getting caught up in a terror attack in Mali.

  • Butler sees his international roles as humanitarian and sporting, requiring adaptability to sometimes precarious environments.

  • Managers of even elite teams have faced threats, like England’s Bobby Robson receiving kidnapping and death threats during the 1998 World Cup.

  • The high profile of the World Cup can attract criminal elements looking to make a statement.

  • While football may not be life and death, the dangers some international managers face show it can be pretty severe. The power of the World Cup is evident in its ability to put managers in harm’s way simply for doing their job.

  • Football managers working in dangerous or unstable countries can face risks like kidnapping, arrest, or getting caught up in political turmoil. Examples given include:

  • Paul Butler in Liberia was warned to be careful what he said and who he interacted with.

  • Stephen Constantine in Sudan was escorted by armed security after traveling outside the capital against advice, fearing he could be kidnapped or killed.

  • Tom Saintfiet in Zimbabwe was ordered to leave the country overnight to avoid arrest and smuggled out with the federation staff’s help.

  • Michel Hidalgo had a gun pointed at him in France before the 1978 World Cup by opposition to Argentina’s dictatorship, trying to draw attention to their arms deals.

  • At the 1978 World Cup teams like France and West Germany were isolated from society and closely protected due to the unstable situation in Argentina and security concerns after the 1972 Olympics attack. This made things tedious and challenging for the players.

  • The Dutch team tried to ignore the political situation and focus on football, though they were aware of the atrocities in Argentina at the time.

  • Videla’s regime in Argentina carried out atrocities like torturing and disappearing political opponents during the 1978 World Cup held there. The Dutch team heard rumors but team management told them not to talk about it and focus on football. After the final, the Dutch said they wouldn’t accept their medals due to the human rights abuses.

  • Colombia’s 1994 World Cup team received death threats from drug cartels back home. Player Andrés Escobar was murdered after scoring an own goal that eliminated Colombia.

  • Under Saddam Hussein’s son Uday, Iraq’s national team coaches and players faced torture and violence for poor performances. Uday had players arrested and tortured in his Olympic building chamber.

  • As host nations, pressure and expectation to perform well can be immense. Brazil was crushed 7-1 by Germany in the 2014 semifinals on home soil. In 1950, Brazil lost the final to Uruguay in front of 200,000 fans at the Maracanã in an upset known as the Maracanazo.

  • Hosting the World Cup used to provide a significant advantage, with hosts winning 5 of the first 11 tournaments. But since 1978, only France (1998) have won as hosts, with 4 other host nations losing in the semifinals.

  • FIFA now takes the World Cup to new regions, so fewer elite teams get to host. This changes the dynamic - emerging hosts focus on player development and innovative preparation rather than expecting to win.

  • The pressure on Brazil in 2014 was enormous after their Confederations Cup win in 2013. Scolari knew expectation was to win, unlike in 2002. This pressure affected performance.

  • Avoiding the public frenzy of a home World Cup is now nearly impossible with modern technology and media coverage. In 1966 England stayed remote from hype.

  • Klinsmann took a different approach in 2006, basing Germany in Berlin to connect with the public and change perceptions. Staying in public hotels was familiar to Germany.

  • The attention and pressure of a home World Cup is now huge. Managers must find ways to prepare their players physically and mentally to perform under intense scrutiny.

  • Hosting a World Cup can provide a watershed moment for a national team to usher in a new era. Germany did this in 2006 by moving to a more attacking style under Klinsmann, staying in a modest hotel to connect with fans.

  • For lesser football nations hosting more recently like South Africa and Asia, the focus shifts from expecting to win to avoiding humiliation on home soil.

  • Coaches like Hiddink with South Korea in 2002 and Parreira with South Africa in 2010 used the extra preparation time to drill fitness and tactics. Hiddink dropped and reintegrated players to renew hunger.

  • Unusual situations like co-hosts Japan in 2002 allowed Troussier to manage the senior team and Olympics squad simultaneously and U20s to build cohesion. With no qualifiers, he had much access to players as “teacher.”

  • The home advantage of hosts regarding preparation time, access to players and engaging public support can provide a platform for teams to punch above their weight. However, it requires detailed planning and some creativity from coaches.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Julen Lopetegui was fired as Spain manager right before the 2018 World Cup after agreeing to join Real Madrid, and Fernando Hierro was appointed.

  • Hierro was already with the team as technical director, so it was hoped he could provide continuity. Most of Lopetegui’s staff remained in place.

  • Spain started well with a 3-3 draw against Portugal, but then struggled in unconvincing wins over Iran and Morocco.

  • They lost on penalties to hosts Russia in the last 16, failing to break them down. Their performances declined after Lopetegui’s departure.

  • Hierro couldn’t be blamed given the problematic situation, but it showed the importance of managers at the international level, as Spain lost their sharpness under Lopetegui.

  • The abrupt change seemed to disrupt Spain’s tactics and approach, as they became slow and predictable in possession under Hierro, lacking cutting edge.

In summary, Spain’s World Cup hopes were severely disrupted by the late change of manager. Despite Hierro’s best efforts, the team visibly declined without Lopetegui’s guidance. It demonstrated how vital coaches are, even for top international teams.

  • Managerial appointments often coincide with short-term improvements in team performance, but long-term success depends on many factors beyond the manager’s tenure. Culture, expectations, and circumstances are critical.

  • International managers often take jobs with little time before significant tournaments to get to know the team. This requires quickly identifying the best 11 players and focusing on communication and tactics in a short period.

  • Bora Milutinovic had great short-term success taking over Costa Rica just 70 days before the 1990 World Cup, leading them to the knockout stage. But he struggled to repeat this with Nigeria in 1998 with only five months to prepare.

  • Taking over a team with low expectations that can make significant strides from basic tweaks may be easier than needing more nuance and understanding of the existing style and players.

  • Multiple examples of international managers taking jobs just months before World Cups and struggling due to lack of time with players are given.

  • Building a team quickly requires winning over players, being strict but friendly, getting the team to gel, and having a clear tactical plan. The manager is critical to making it work in a short period.

Here are the key points from the summarized text:

  • Managers of smaller nations who qualify for the World Cup face massive pressure as national heroes can quickly become vilified after heavy defeats.

  • Many smaller nations like Iceland, Togo, and Trinidad and Tobago have qualified in recent decades, increasing the gap between the top and bottom teams.

  • Heimir Hallgrímsson was joint manager of Iceland when they famously reached the Euro 2016 quarterfinals and 2018 World Cup, overcoming the belief that Iceland was too small ever to get a significant tournament.

  • His achievement with Iceland, taking them from minnows to World Cup debutants, was remarkable and changed perceptions about what was possible for smaller footballing nations.

  • Iceland captured hearts at Euro 2016 but faced challenges readjusting expectations for World Cup qualifying. The team and coach had to refocus on their identity and values.

  • It’s difficult for smaller nations after a successful tournament to avoid complacency and maintain hunger. New Zealand in 2010 was determined to make an impact, not just be happy to qualify.

  • Building on previous achievements is an essential motivational tool. Iceland and New Zealand used their Euro and last World Cup showings as fuel.

  • Qualifying for debutants like Trinidad & Tobago in 2006 was an achievement. With no expectation to progress, they wanted to enjoy the experience and avoid embarrassment. Their coach grounded them and was honest about their capabilities.

  • Overall, smaller nations must overcome complacency, maintain identity and hunger, build on previous milestones, and balance enjoying the experience with a competitive mindset. Qualifying is just the first step.

  • John and the Trinidad & Tobago team were realistic about their chances at the 2006 World Cup under manager Leo Beenhakker. As a small nation and first-timers, they knew they were underdogs, so their goal was to keep games tight and avoid heavy defeats.

  • Some nations have suffered lopsided losses at the World Cup, like South Korea’s 9-0 and 7-0 defeats in 1954. Their manager did little to prepare them; the whole experience was foreign.

  • El Salvador lost 10-1 to Hungary in 1982 after their young manager foolishly told them to attack. He later admitted this was a huge mistake.

  • Saudi Arabia lost 5-0 to Russia in 2018. Their psychologist had to help the players overcome this humiliation and loss of confidence to compete in the remaining games.

  • Jamaica in 1998 were positive under manager Rene Simoes, who overhauled their infrastructure and took them on tours. He gave them mental, solid preparation so they didn’t feel like underdogs.

  • Kuwait in 1982 also toured extensively under Carlos Alberto Parreira. With funding and time with players, he got them ready for the World Cup despite their amateur status.

  • Selecting the final World Cup squad is a massive decision for managers, and can make or break a campaign. In the early World Cups, managers didn’t even get to pick their squads - committees or federation officials chose them instead.

  • Cameroon manager Valery Nepomnyashchy used a brutal ‘knock-and-drop’ system in 1990, unexpectedly knocking on players’ doors at night to dismiss them from the squad. This left the remaining players nervous and on edge.

  • England manager Glenn Hoddle faced chaos in 1998 when he had to tell Paul Gascoigne he was left out of the squad. Gazza angrily trashed Hoddle’s hotel room, and the commotion was heard by other players waiting for their squad news.

  • There’s no easy way to break disappointing news to players, but some methods are better than others. Hoddle timed flights home for excluded players to avoid long uncomfortable journeys with the squad.

  • Even leaving out a big star like Gascoigne requires courage and conviction if the manager feels it’s the right choice for team balance and tactics. Squad selection can define or destroy a World Cup campaign.

  • Choosing the right balance of players for a tournament squad can be challenging. Managers must decide between taking too many stars who may become unhappy sitting on the bench versus having depth.

  • Samir Nasri was left off France’s 2014 World Cup squad by Didier Deschamps because he had indicated he would be disruptive if not starting. Deschamps prioritized team harmony.

  • Managers often keep a core group of 16-17 players who are fixtures in every squad to provide consistency, only changing a few other spots based on form.

  • Picking the best 23 individuals who fit roles and will act cohesively as a team is critical, not just selecting the 23 most talented players.

  • Germany’s 1998 World Cup squad had too many older stars expected to play, hurting team chemistry. Balance of youth and experience is essential.

  • Managers must weigh including promising young players versus reliable veterans. Smaller nations especially struggle with this decision.

  • Putting in talented young players early can pay dividends down the road. But the timing has to be suitable to blood them into the team.

Here are some critical points on picking captains and leaders for a national team:

  • The captain is the coach’s representative on the pitch and a key confidante, so choosing the right person is crucial. Striking a balance between responsibility and power is essential.

  • Captains are usually senior players who hold influence in the dressing room. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses is vital for the manager.

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on the different personalities and having mutual understanding and managed expectations.

  • The manager should look for leaders that embody their values and playing style. Strong communicators who command respect are essential.

  • Captains can act as a bridge between the manager and players. Handling grievances, maintaining discipline and morale are vital duties.

  • Captains can reinforce the manager’s messages and philosophies. Players are more likely to respond to peers than authority figures.

  • Leadership groups with multiple captains are an option, providing different qualities at different times. Dividing responsibilities can work.

  • Letting the players select a captain is an approach some managers take to foster greater buy-in.

  • Captaincy can be rotated to share the load. However, consistent leadership is often best for stability and authority.

  • Captains face enormous scrutiny and pressure at major tournaments, so mental strength is vital. Managers must provide support.

  • Captaincy shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a privilege that players should earn through consistent performances, not just status.

  • Appointing the right captain is an important decision for a manager. It can cause issues if the wrong choice is made.

  • Mick McCarthy had a strong relationship with Jack Charlton before Charlton became the Republic of Ireland’s manager. However, Charlton initially left McCarthy out of the squad to get to know other players.

  • When McCarthy was eventually made captain, he acted as Charlton’s enforcer on the pitch, reiterating the manager’s instructions and keeping players in line.

  • Bobby Robson also had good relationships with senior England players like Terry Butcher. He would consult them but remained in charge of tactics. The players trusted Robson so adapted well when he changed systems.

  • Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels had an almost father-son bond from Cruyff’s youth. As Dutch captain and manager their connection helped implement Total Football but also caused some private disagreements.

  • Managers need to balance having trusted captains as their extension on the pitch while retaining authority and staying close to certain players.

  • Coming into a new team as a foreign manager can be challenging, especially when gaining the captain’s and senior players’ trust and respect.

  • Managers need to establish their authority early on, even with language barriers, as Winfried Schäfer did when taking over Cameroon.

  • Choosing the right captain is essential. Sven-Göran Eriksson’s decision to make David Beckham England captain was easy as all respected him.

  • Sometimes, a manager’s initial judgment about a player can be wrong, as Louis van Gaal realized when he marginalized Robin van Persie at first before later making him Netherlands captain.

  • Good captains can act as an extension of the manager, communicating tactics and messages to the rest of the squad. Managers need to have confidence in them for this to work.

  • Allowing the captain to have input shows trust and can motivate players, as Ricki Herbert did with Ryan Nelsen and New Zealand.

  • The cultural context matters - captains in smaller nations often take on an important leadership role and can become figureheads. Strong captains like José Luis Chilavert of Paraguay can have influence far beyond the pitch.

  • Creating the right atmosphere and environment in a World Cup training camp is essential for team bonding and performance.

  • Managers must find a balance between giving players freedom and keeping them focused. Too much restriction can lead to boredom and homesickness.

  • Alex Ferguson relaxed with Scotland in 1986, allowing pranks like cling filming his toilet seat. He laughed it off to maintain a happy camp rather than scolding the players.

  • A harmonious, relaxed camp with some freedom helps players perform their best. Tension and boredom can negatively impact a team’s chances.

  • There’s no single formula for creating the perfect atmosphere, but managers should aim to keep players stimulated and avoid friction while maintaining focus on the tournament. The camp environment is a crucial factor that can make or break a team.

  • Alex Ferguson’s Scotland team at the 1990 World Cup had a great team spirit, with pranks and fun training games helping to foster camaraderie.

  • Gareth Southgate made a concerted effort to improve the atmosphere in the England camp when he took over, learning from other home nations. He introduced team bonding activities and positively engaged with the media to reduce pressure.

  • some players criticised Fabio Capello’s strict authoritarian style as England manager in 2010 after their exit. Complaints of overbanned ketchup were seen by some as excuses for poor performances.

  • Giving players more freedom and trust can motivate them, as shown by Denmark at the 2010 World Cup compared to the more restricted France camp.

  • Managers can use free time to reward good performances, like Vicente del Bosque did with Spain in 2010. A strong team spirit and morale seems a common factor in successful World Cup camps.

  • Vicente del Bosque allowed the Spanish team a night out during the 2010 World Cup, trusting they would behave responsibly. All returned on time with no issues, showing the mutual respect within the squad.

  • Managers can maintain control by building trust with leaders in the team to keep order, like Jack Charlton making the Ireland squad feel like a family.

  • Roberto Martínez studied past World Cups and felt isolating players from families for an extended period is unnatural. He allowed Belgium players family time in 2018.

  • The Netherlands in 1974 was one of the first teams to involve wives/families in World Cup prep publicly. This suited their free-spirited culture.

  • Wives and girlfriends (WAGs) with England in 2006 gained massive media attention. While often cited as a distraction, Jamie Carragher disagrees it affected results.

  • Managers who allow family time may risk extra criticism, which could influence decisions like Fabio Capello’s limit of one family afternoon per week in 2010.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • The 2010 World Cup saw a major controversy with the French national team, when players refused to train to support Nicolas Anelka after he was sent home for arguing with manager Raymond Domenech.

  • Anelka and Domenech had clashed at halftime of France’s match against Mexico. Domenech criticized Anelka, who responded angrily. Rather than resolve the issue, Domenech sent Anelka home.

  • In response, the French players protested, refusing to get off the team bus at training. Captain Patrice Evra confronted Domenech on the pitch. The situation spiraled out of control publicly.

  • Domenech made the bizarre decision to read a statement from the players criticizing his handling of the Anelka situation. France’s World Cup campaign soon failed.

  • The example highlights the need for managers to handle controversies and keep problems from festering properly. Clear communication and promptly addressing issues is critical.

  • Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had his high-profile player controversy with Roy Keane at the 2002 World Cup. Despite the media storm, McCarthy galvanized the squad, and they performed well.

  • Removing a disruptive player can be necessary, but it’s a tough decision for a manager, especially if it’s a star player. Katanec tried to smooth things over with Zahović but it backfired. Dalić swiftly sent home Kalinić for refusing to play, showing decisive leadership.

  • As Ramsey did with Stiles, backing a player over outside pressure can unite the team behind the manager’s authority. But mishandling a crisis like MacLeod did with Johnston’s ban can fracture morale.

  • An external scandal like Maradona’s drug ban can devastate a team’s confidence and focus. Basile defended Maradona but it dragged out the saga rather than moving on.

  • Creating unreasonable expectations like MacLeod’s overconfident predictions can come back to haunt a manager when things go wrong. Staying measured is usually wiser.

  • With the right leadership and team spirit, it is possible to overcome turmoil, as Bearzot’s Italy did in 1982 despite facing abuse from the press before the tournament.

  • Enzo Bearzot faced intense criticism from the Italian media leading up to the 1982 World Cup, with many questioning his team selections. He banned the press from the Italian camp, creating an “us against the world” mentality that helped inspire their eventual World Cup victory.

  • Arguments over unpaid bonuses have threatened to derail many World Cup preparations. In smaller footballing nations, the manager often becomes the conduit between the players and the federation. Their public support for the players can force the hand of the FA.

  • Otto Pfister threatened to strike alongside his Togo team unless they received owed bonuses from qualifying. His stance forced Togo’s FA to pay the bonuses with help from FIFA.

  • Cameroon’s 1990 team fought for bonuses hours before beating Argentina 1-0 in their opener. Their Russian coach Valery Nepomnyashchy refused to get involved.

  • Cameroon’s 2002 team held a pre-planned strike in Paris over unpaid bonuses, refusing to fly to the World Cup. Despite Winfried Schäfer’s offers of support, the ministry eventually backed down very late. The disrupted preparation contributed to their early exit.

  • When issues over money arise, even the best managers can be powerless to stop it, derailing preparations and performance.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

  • Rivalries in sports like football can sometimes reflect or exacerbate political and social tensions between nations. Matches at major tournaments take on extra significance.

  • The 1970 World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and Honduras sparked a brief war due to historical tensions and violence around the matches.

  • At the 1998 World Cup, Iran famously beat the USA 2-1 in a politically charged match. The Iranian team used the historic enmity between the nations as motivation, while the Americans underestimated this.

  • The 1974 World Cup saw a iconic match between West Germany and East Germany, which carried great symbolic significance amid Cold War divisions. West Germany’s coach Helmut Schön was originally from East Germany.

  • After East Germany won the match, Schön considered resigning but was denied. He made changes to the West German team which then went on to win the World Cup.

  • Football matches between rivals can become “grudge matches” with consequences beyond just sport. Managers have to handle political and social undertones carefully.

  • West Germany’s defeat to East Germany in the 1974 World Cup was a huge shock that led to questions about coach Helmut Schön’s leadership. However, it’s believed captain Franz Beckenbauer took charge behind the scenes, helping select the team and tactics.

  • Rivalries in football often stem from wartime conflicts or previous painful defeats. Managers must decide whether to use those bad memories to motivate the players or move on and focus on the present.

  • Netherlands vs Germany was a huge rivalry in the 1970s and 80s due to WWII and the 1974 World Cup final. The Dutch trauma wasn’t resolved until they beat West Germany at Euro 1988.

  • England vs Germany/Argentina also carried wartime connotations. Managers like Bobby Robson made light references but the players tried to concentrate on the football.

  • Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal vs England in 1986 caused an outcry. The sides’ rivalry continued into the 1998 World Cup when David Beckham was sent off, setting up another grudge match in 2002.

  • Cameroon’s impressive run at the 1990 World Cup, becoming the first African team to reach the quarterfinals, was not guided by the team’s Russian coach Valery Nepomnyashchy’s translator, as some have claimed.

  • Midfielder Emmanuel Maboang dismisses this myth, saying Nepomnyashchy knew enough French to ensure the translator conveyed his instructions accurately.

  • Nepomnyashchy’s authoritarian coaching style and intense fitness training were critical factors behind Cameroon’s success. His distance from the players motivated them.

  • Creating the right environment and mentality within a team is critical for underdogs to overperform, like South Korea did by reaching the 2002 World Cup semis under Guus Hiddink.

  • Hiddink broke down the culture of age hierarchy in the South Korean team, giving them the belief to compete with top teams. Home support and growing confidence from beating top sides also fueled their run.

  • Underdog successes often rely on obscure details like management, mentality shifts, and opportunism rather than just talent.

  • Guus Hiddink created an equal team environment when coaching South Korea in 2002 by not using hierarchical honorifics and encouraging players to show their abilities regardless of age. This helped team chemistry.

  • Hiddink told the players to show more anger and intensity on the pitch, saying Koreans were often too calm. This helped make the team more aggressive and communicate better with coaches.

  • South Korea benefited from the home support and some luck, but Hiddink motivated them to believe they belonged against top teams like Portugal, Italy, and Spain. This confidence helped their run to the semis.

  • North Korea similarly overperformed in 1966, benefiting from home crowd support and questionable Italian tactics. Their surprise win motivated their run to the quarters.

  • Sweden’s manager Tommy Svensson in 1994 knew his players’ strengths from their club teams. Sweden scored the most World Cup goals that year by putting trust in them and finding the right tactical framework.

  • Romania’s manager Anghel Iordănescu also knew his players perfectly to beat Argentina 3-2 in 1994 strategically. His tactical surprise was vital.

  • Iceland focused on their strengths, not weaknesses compared to big teams. Believing in their qualities was crucial to success.

  • Senegal were motivated by a shock 1-0 win over France in 2002. Their coach Bruno Metsu built their confidence and didn’t overly focus on respected opponents. This propelled their run.

  • Bruno Metsu motivated the Senegal team at the 2002 World Cup by using the ‘France B’ label to fire them up and make them feel they deserved a place alongside France’s stars. He focused on team spirit and human values rather than just tactics.

  • Miroslav Blazevic inspired Croatia at the 1998 World Cup by appealing to their national pride and the country’s fight for independence. He let the players’ quality shine through with a light touch as a manager.

  • Zlatko Dalic credits Croatia’s togetherness and belief as crucial factors behind their run to the 2018 final. He highlights their fighting spirit and willingness to sacrifice for the team.

  • Jack Charlton put debutant Niall Quinn, at ease before a must-win 1990 game by joking with him individually on the pitch rather than piling on pressure publicly.

  • Ottmar Hitzfeld took a realistic approach with Switzerland before their famous 2010 win over Spain, focusing on their strengths and being organised rather than trying to match Spain’s style. He limited expectations while instilling belief.

  • The “golden generation” tag is often applied to teams with exceptional talent, but these sides frequently fail to meet expectations and win major tournaments.

  • Some examples include Hungary’s “Golden Team” of the 1950s, the Netherlands in the 1970s, Brazil in 1982, and England in the 2000s.

  • The heavy weight of expectations and overconfidence may make these teams fall, needing to catch up. Smaller nations also have “golden generations” that exceed expectations without winning trophies.

  • The tag connects managers to the success or failure of these teams. Roberto Martínez was initially cautious about calling Belgium’s current crop of stars a “golden generation” due to high expectations.

  • Martínez worked to develop Belgium’s winning mentality and steel before embracing the “golden generation” label after their 2018 World Cup run. Changing the team’s mindset was more important than highlighting individual talent.

  • After exceeding expectations in 2018, Martínez feels the “golden generation” tag is positive for Belgium’s current players. Managing expectations remains integral in harnessing a golden generation’s talent.

  • The “golden generation” tag can create pressure and unrealistic expectations for talented groups of players. Martinez says Belgium previously struggled with this but are now better equipped to handle it.

  • Other countries may also have talented groups, so the “golden generation” label is introspective and doesn’t consider the competition. Carragher points out that France and Spain had better squads than England in the 2000s.

  • Decades of underachievement can hold back gifted generations when their time comes around. Löw helped Germany’s talented group finally win in 2014 after losing several tournament semifinals/finals.

  • Context matters - some “golden generations” lose to other great teams of the era, like Spain.

  • The difference between realizing potential or not often comes down to having a manager who recognizes the talent but makes slight tactical tweaks and squad changes. Examples are Aragones unleashing Spain’s potential and Zagallo organizing Brazil in 1970.

  • The manager needs to balance pragmatism with allowing natural talents to flourish. Building team chemistry and a winning mentality is also crucial.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • The key to getting the most out of a “golden generation” of players is taking your chances when they come along. World Cups only happen every four years, so opportunities are rare.

  • Managers can make a big difference in bringing out the best in a talented group of players. Tactical tweaks and sending the right messages at the right time can help turn a great side into a winner.

  • Some past “golden generations” were sunk by crucial moments, like injuries or nerves in big games, that could have gone differently. Acceptable margins often decide their stories.

  • Long-term development together as a core group is critical. Managers who know the players well from club level can foster camaraderie at international level.

  • Overcoming ingrained mindsets or historical failure narratives is essential for some nations. Ambitious players and belief can help end cycles of underachievement.

  • Managers sometimes need to go on a journey with a talented squad before succeeding, like Belgium learning from defeat in 2018 before progressing.

  • While inherits golden generations, managers can also take steps to create them through youth development, like Morten Olsen did with Denmark.

  • Star players can be a blessing and a curse for managers at the World Cup. They can produce magical moments but can also be temperamental and lose control.

  • Paul Gascoigne was the star player for England at the 1990 World Cup. He had boundless energy and lifted the team’s spirits but could also be exhausting and needs careful management. Sir Bobby Robson paired him wisely with roommates to harness his talent and give others a break.

  • Carlos Bilardo had an exceptional understanding with Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup, giving him certain freedoms not afforded other players. This unlocked Maradona’s genius as he led Argentina to the title almost single-handedly.

  • Managing star players requires striking a balance between giving them license to express themselves and keeping their volatile tendencies in check. The most successful managers find a way to get the most out of their unpredictable stars.

  • Getting the most out of star players at the World Cup often requires managers to adapt their usual tactics or give them special treatment.

  • Maradona was given freedom by Argentina coach Bilardo to express himself creatively on the pitch. This allowed Maradona to produce magical moments like his famous “Goal of the Century” against England in 1986.

  • Messi blossomed under Argentina coach Sabella at the 2014 World Cup, who built the team around him and allowed him freedom. Sabella said Messi was “irreplaceable.”

  • Sweden coach Svensson had the intuition to switch star player Brolin to the right wing at the 1994 World Cup, away from his usual striker position. This allowed Sweden to get the best out of their attacking talents and reach the semifinals.

  • Some strong personalities like Cameroon’s Roger Milla in 1990 can thrive without a close coach relationship. Milla impressed the skeptical coach in training and was used as a super-sub to significant effect.

  • Coaches like Queiroz had to make allowances for Ronaldo’s incredible professionalism and let him carry out his tailored preparation, which helped get the best from him.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Managers use various strategies to gain an edge over opponents in big World Cup games. This includes tactical tweaks, exposing weaknesses, and even underhanded tactics.

  • Sepp Herberger was an early innovator, using video analysis and adjustable studs in the 1954 tournament.

  • Some managers stick to tried and trusted methods they believe in rather than adapting.

  • International managers appear more noble but are just as competitive behind the scenes.

  • Berti Vogts once dressed as a Coca-Cola vendor to spy on an opponent’s training session and gain intelligence.

  • Managers will try any strategy within the rules to help their team in high-stakes World Cup games. The trophy is so coveted that the end justifies the means.

  • Psychological games, mind tricks, and subtle tactics are familiar, even if less visible than the obvious on-field tactics.

In summary, managers go to great lengths to find an edge by innovating and trying unorthodox methods to help their teams win big World Cup matches. The prestige of the tournament means the strategy is on track.

  • At the 1986 World Cup, Germany manager Franz Beckenbauer sent assistant Berti Vogts to spy on Scotland’s training session. Vogts dressed up as a Coca-Cola vendor to gain access after being denied entry, angering Scotland manager Alex Ferguson.

  • Managers frequently suspect opponents of spying during training and may use decoy tactics or avoid practicing certain moves to maintain an element of surprise. Sweden manager Tommy Svensson did this at the 1994 World Cup, not practicing the free kick routine that led to Tomas Brolin’s famous curled goal against Romania.

  • As tournaments progress, managers face the challenge of how much to control tactics versus allowing player freedom. Guus Hiddink struck a good balance with the Netherlands in 1998, giving veterans responsibility while keeping the team focused.

  • Germany’s 2002 run was credited to manager Rudi Völler but was more player-led, with a core group of veterans like Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack guiding tactics and selection.

  • A strong bond between manager and players is critical in later tournament stages to smoothly convey tactics and provide the freedom for inspiration. The manager’s direct impact during matches is limited, so putting trust in star players becomes increasingly essential.

  • Managers have two contrasting approaches to tactics for big games - stick with what has worked so far or make surprise changes to catch the opponent off guard.

  • Mick McCarthy prefers to stick with proven tactics to avoid making players nervous with sudden changes.

  • Aimé Jacquet selected France’s 1998 World Cup quarterfinal team precisely to match up against Italy, choosing players with Serie A experience who knew the Italian players well.

  • In tournaments, managers have less time to prepare tactics but can narrow down potential opponents. Roberto Martínez tweaked Belgium’s tactics flexibly during their 2018 World Cup run.

  • Over-focusing on stopping an opponent’s star player like Maradona can be counterproductive, as England found in 1986. A sports psychologist could have helped refocus Bobby Robson’s messaging.

  • Managers have resorted to rough, physical tactics to stop great players like Maradona when technical means failed. Claudio Gentile notoriously fouled Maradona 23 times in one 1982 game.

  • Hungary’s 1954 World Cup hopes were damaged when West Germany roughed up Ferenc Puskás earlier in the tournament, showing how extreme tactical fouling can influence games.

Here is a summary of the key points in the passage:

  • Penalty shootouts are a test of nerve and skill, but some managers embrace them while others seem to leave it to chance.

  • There are two contrasting approaches - some coaches take a scientific approach to improve their chances, while others resent that preparation can be undone by randomness.

  • Managers can influence shootouts more than they appear through preparation and tactics. Recent data shows fewer penalties being scored over time.

  • Louis van Gaal boldly substituted to bring on penalty specialist Tim Krul in the 2014 World Cup. This surprised the Dutch keeper Cillessen but Krul saved two penalties to win the shootout.

  • Krul said van Gaal’s surprise move put pressure on the opposition and he used everything in his power to succeed. It was the Dutch’s first ever World Cup shootout win.

  • The passage suggests managers who embrace shootouts and prepare thoroughly can gain an edge, while those who resent the lottery aspect struggle more. Tactics like van Gaal’s show managers can influence shootouts beyond picking the kick-takers.

  • Historically, the Netherlands has a poor record in penalty shootouts, with only a 20% success rate before the 2014 World Cup match against Costa Rica.

  • Coach Louis van Gaal made the controversial decision to substitute goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen for Tim Krul right before the shootout, believing Krul was better at saving penalties. This surprised Costa Rica and boosted Dutch confidence.

  • Van Gaal knew the strengths and weaknesses of each goalkeeper well, and felt Cillessen’s lack of penalty-saving ability could hurt the team. The substitution was a psychological ploy.

  • Many coaches focus solely on picking the proper takers, who feel immense pressure walking up to take a penalty. Even star players can crack under the pressure.

  • Coaches build their list of takers during training, but it can change based on who is mentally ready on the day. Some coaches have brought in unlikely takers who performed well in practice.

  • England historically struggles in shootouts, with multiple significant tournament losses. Coaches have tried various techniques to improve England’s record, like adjusting training penalty distances.

  • Gareth Southgate’s meticulous research and planning helped England finally win a shootout against Colombia in 2018. Good preparation on both physical and psychological elements is key.

Here are the key points I gathered from the passage:

  • Only five managers have led a team in more than 1 World Cup final - Helmut Schön, Franz Beckenbauer, Mario Zagallo, Carlos Bilardo, and Vittorio Pozzo (the only 2-time winner).

  • Beckenbauer and Zagallo appeared in finals as both players and managers. Didier Deschamps is the only other to win as a player and manager.

  • The World Cup final is the pinnacle of international football. Managers have this one chance to make history.

  • Decisions made by managers in the final can be pivotal. They must prepare carefully for the biggest game of their lives.

  • Aimé Jacquet kept calm amidst media frenzy about Ronaldo before 1998 final. He focused his team and had them stick to their style.

  • Marcello Lippi mixed motivation and concentration before 2006 final. He focused on details and used psychological techniques.

  • Managers balance team talks with avoiding over-hyping the occasion. They aim to get their team in best mindset to execute the gameplan.

  • In the build up to the 1998 World Cup final, Brazil star Ronaldo suffered a seizure before the match, throwing their preparations into chaos. However, he was later cleared to play.

  • France manager Aimé Jacquet remained focused on his team’s tactics and preparation, shielding them from the drama in Brazil’s camp. This helped France stay composed and win the final 3-0.

  • In big finals, managers must judge whether star players need special treatment or handling. For the 2002 final, Brazil’s Scolari avoided mentioning Ronaldo’s 1998 seizure to him to prevent stirring up bad memories.

  • Managers must also control their nerves before finals. Scolari felt anxious but was reassured seeing his relaxed players the night before the 2002 final.

  • Motivational team talks are often romanticized but are less important than we think by the final stage. Managers like Beckenbauer simply told teams to go out and perform.

  • Critical decisions on team selection and tactics earlier in the tournament build confidence leading up to the final. Examples include Ramsey sticking with Hurst over Greaves in 1966.

  • The England players should have discussed whether Jimmy Greaves was fit for the 1966 World Cup final discussed. Geoff Hurst says it was a huge decision to leave out Greaves, one of England’s greatest goalscorers, if he was fit.

  • Hurst felt his form was returning after scoring the winner against Argentina in the quarters and assisting the winner against Portugal in the semis. This gave him confidence going into the final.

  • Alf Ramsey believed in sticking with a winning side, so it wasn’t a massive surprise that Hurst kept his place over Greaves after his performances leading up to the final.

  • Successful World Cup teams need to build confidence and belief. Managers instill this mentality that the team can enter the pantheon of greats. Experience of winning is invaluable.

  • The Spanish gained confidence after recovering from an opening loss at the 2010 World Cup to go on and win it. The Dutch peaked too soon in 1974 after beating Brazil and lost the final.

  • Didier Deschamps credited France’s mental strength for their 2018 World Cup win. The pain of losing the Euro 2016 final drove them on. Experience of playing in major finals was vital.

  • Vittorio Pozzo is the only manager to win consecutive World Cups, leading Italy to victory in 1934 and 1938. However, his achievements are tainted due to being under Mussolini’s fascist regime which used the victories for propaganda.

  • Since Pozzo, only managers have been close to retaining the trophy. Brazil managed it in 1962 under a different coach than their 1958 triumph.

  • Carlos Bilardo came closest in modern times, taking Argentina to the 1990 final after winning in 1986. He maintained high standards and didn’t let the team get complacent after their victory.

  • Many former champions have failed spectacularly in defending their title, with early exits and humiliating defeats. There seems to be a “winners’ curse” where triumph leads to complacency.

  • Managers face the challenge of keeping players hungry and motivated after reaching the pinnacle of success. Avoiding complacency and retaining the edge is crucial but very difficult.

  • The bigger tournaments and greater tactical focus of modern football likely make retaining the trophy harder than in previous eras. But the repeated failures of past winners to defend their titles suggest a psychological factor makes it extremely difficult to repeat the feat.

  • Winning back-to-back World Cups is incredibly difficult, with only Italy and Brazil doing so in the 1930s. Since then, no defending champion has won the next World Cup.

  • Managers often struggle to maintain the same hunger and motivation when defending the title. There can be a subconscious drop in desire and intensity compared to winning it the first time.

  • Coaches who step down after winning, like Beckenbauer and Jacquet, avoid overseeing this decline.—Managers who stay on often lean too heavily on previous winners rather than rebuilding.

  • Defending champions frequently start slowly, failing to win their opening match. This can be a sign of overconfidence and entitlement after previous success.

  • Germany’s early exit in 2018 was partly due to Löw’s mismanagement. He set the wrong tone, relied too much on the 2014 winners, and displayed overconfidence.

  • France in 2002 also went in as favorites after winning the World Cup and Euros. But injuries, aging players, arrogance, and a lack of hunger saw them crash out in the group stage.

  • Lemerre appeared blind to the warning signs of France’s decline, even after their shock defeat to Senegal at the 2002 World Cup. He struggled to analyze what went wrong after they were eliminated in the group stage as defending champions.

  • The downfall of great teams often seems obvious in hindsight, but seeing the signs in real time isn’t easy. Small moments like conceding just before halftime can start the decline.

  • Like other World Cup winning managers before him, Lemerre’s loyalty to veteran players from previous tournaments backfired, as he selected players based on past form over current ability.

  • The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid players exhausted Spain’s stars mentally and physically leading up to 2014. Factions formed that hadn’t existed before.

  • Del Bosque didn’t notice Spain’s decline or couldn’t adapt. By 2014 it was “death by a thousand cuts” - exhausted players, lack of risks with young players, no spark.

  • International management is unique - less time with players, amplified pressure, intense schedules. Enjoyment and camaraderie in camps is critical. Man management matters despite tactical focus.

  • Consistency of message and environment is crucial to maintain over 4-year cycles. Long managerial reigns help stability. No quick fixes, just recognizing what a team needs.

  • The World Cup is a special tournament that captures the imagination like nothing else in football, thanks to the vision of its creator Jules Rimet.

  • The author is grateful to all the managers and players from past tournaments who shared their experiences and insights, which form the book’s backbone. Tracking some of them down was challenging.

  • Translations were crucial for conducting interviews with non-English speakers. The author thanks the three translators for enabling conversations that otherwise would have been difficult.

  • The author is thankful to his editor Matthew Lowing at Bloomsbury for believing in the idea for the book, guiding the writing process, and pushing the author to produce something they are proud of.

  • The support of Lowing’s colleagues at Bloomsbury was also invaluable.

  • The author hopes the book provides a fascinating new perspective on the World Cup and does justice to Jules Rimet’s vision in establishing the tournament.

Here is a summary of the key points from the passages:

  • The World Cup is the pinnacle event for national team managers, who can make or break their reputation on football’s biggest stage.

  • Managing strong egos and team harmony is a big challenge, as is managing expectations of fans and media. Tactical flexibility is also crucial.

  • Alf Ramsey led England to their only World Cup win in 1966 with his wingless Wonders formation.

  • Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo won back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938, but his fascist views have tainted his legacy.

  • Rinus Michels took over the Netherlands in 1974 at late notice but pioneered Total Football.

  • Franz Beckenbauer as West Germany captain strongly influenced tactics and team selections in 1974.

  • Enzo Bearzot showed patience with Italy’s Paolo Rossi in 1982 and was rewarded as Rossi fired them to the title.

  • Belgium’s Roberto Martinez made a bold tactical switch to help beat Brazil in 2018.

  • Joachim Low won the World Cup with Germany in 2014 but stayed too long after and exited embarrassingly in 2018.

  • Guus Hiddink led unfancied South Korea on a surprise run to the 2002 semis on home soil.

  • Carlos Bilardo built his 1986 Argentina team around Diego Maradona, who delivered the trophy.

  • Spain won their first World Cup, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. Andrés Iniesta scored the winning goal in extra time.

  • Iker Casillas, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa, Carles Puyol, and others were critical players in Spain’s victory.

  • Spain coach Vicente del Bosque led the team to victory. Other coaches who reached the later stages included Bert van Marwijk (Netherlands), Joachim Löw (Germany), and Diego Maradona (Argentina).

  • Uruguay reached the semifinals, their best finish since 1970. Key players included Diego Forlán, Luis Suárez, and Diego Lugano.

  • Germany finished 3rd, defeating Uruguay in the third-place playoff. Top German players were Mesut Özil, Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger.

  • Netherlands were runners-up, losing to Spain in the final. Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, and Mark van Bommel were standouts.

In summary, Spain was victorious in 2010, winning their first World Cup title with crucial contributions from players like Iniesta, Casillas, and Xavi.

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About Matheus Puppe