World Cup qualifier, Group Six, Belarus v England Venue: Dinamo Stadium, Minsk Date: Wed 15 October Kick-off: 1930 BST Coverage: Setanta TV, BBC Radio 5 Live & text commentary BBC Sport website
By Andrew McKenzie
A number of emotions will be running through Bernd Stange when his Belarus side host Fabio Capello's England in Minsk on Wednesday.
You can bet your life that fear will not be one of them.
England may have found their scoring touch under Fabio Capello but it will take more than nine goals in two games to put the frighteners on 60-year-old Stange.
Brought up in East Germany during the height of the Cold War, Stange was sacked by Hertha Berlin over accusations of spying on his players for the secret police and put himself in the line of fire during his time as national coach of Iraq.
"My car was shot at," he told BBC Sport. "I had death threats because there was a picture in the newspaper of me with the British foreign minister Jack Straw and 5,000 footballs that he had given us.
"A photo of me with the mortal enemy! After that I had to leave the country."
"I do like challenges but Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich didn't call me to take their clubs
It was not the first time that a photo of Stange had landed him in trouble.
He consulted football's world governing body, Fifa, and his own foreign office before taking the Iraq job, but when a picture of the smiling coach in front of a portrait of Saddam Hussein appeared in newspapers he became the victim of a tabloid hate campaign back in Germany.
Even six years on, any questions about the incident bring out a different side of the otherwise unflappable Stange.
After some choice words about the photographer in question, he adds: "It was not easy but it was a good schooling for life.
"The photographer told me to keep smiling and I didn't see that behind my back was a picture of Saddam Hussein. He made thousands of dollars from the picture. Now when someone asks for a photo the first thing I do is look behind me."
After a year out of work, Stange had decided to take the Iraq job late in 2002, despite escalating threats of an invasion of the country led by United States and British forces.
He was forced to flee when the conflict began but returned after the fall of Saddam.
Stange was criticised back in Germany for taking the Iraq job
However, on his arrival back in Baghdad he found their equipment supplies had been ransacked, the national stadium damaged and the pitch being used for the US army to park their tanks.
They were unable to play home games but Stange, despite going without pay for several months, arranged for the players to tour Germany, Korea, Japan and Australia and England.
The national team made it into the top 50 in the world and under Stange they qualified for the Asian Cup and the Olympics.
He received an award from Fifa president Sepp Blatter for his work in helping the rebuilding process in Iraq.
But Stange's life was increasingly in danger and his driver was shot after dropping him off at his hotel.
The worries deepened after Stange and his squad were invited to a reception at Westminster and his picture with British minister Jack Straw appeared on the front pages of newspapers in Iraq.
It proved to be the final straw. Two months before he was scheduled to take the side to the Olympics it became clear that he would have to leave.
His Iraqi assistant took over but Stange kept in close touch as the side reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup and then the Olympic semi-finals in Athens.
Stange was out of work but his reputation had been restored back home.
The man accused of being a puppy dog to a dictator was now painted as a hero who had taken a stand against the war in the name of the beautiful game.
"Everything changed after I got the award from Sepp Blatter in 2004," he said. "I did the job, I tried to educate the young people to do a good job on the pitch and not for political reasons."
His next mission took him to Cypriot strugglers Apollon Limassol.
BERND STANGE FACTBOX
Born in East Germany in 1948
Playing career ended by injury, he went into coaching with FC Carl Zeiss Jena
Coached East Germany national side in 1980s
Sacked by Hertha Berlin in 1992 over allegations he worked for the Stasi
Worked for clubs in Ukraine and Australia before brief spell as Oman national coach in 2001
He arrived in time to stave off the threat of relegation and a year later they were crowned champions after going through the league season unbeaten.
Last year Stange traded Cyprus for Belarus, swapping the sunshine coast for a country recently described by the US State Department as "Europe's only remaining outpost of tyranny" and with a president (Alexander Lukashenko) sometimes labelled the continent's "last dictator".
It is perhaps not such a surprising choice for a coach who once said: "I have worked for communist regimes, capitalists, for a sultanate and a dictator, but my work is always the same. It's only ever about one thing - putting the ball in the net."
He laughs off suggestions he gets a kick out of the jobs other coaches would not take.
"I do like challenges but Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich didn't call me to take their clubs. That's why," said Stange.
"I have to work and I like to work and that's why I chose what was available at the time.
"I was coaching in Cyprus but I was looking for a high-profile opportunity. There are not so many opportunities worldwide to get such a national team with such good players and that is why I was happy to get this chance.
"I live in Minsk. You wouldn't believe it - it's one of the cleanest cities I have ever seen in my life and I've seen many cities. It's a good lifestyle and I like it here. I like my job."
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