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Greece's Nicos Dabizas
"The whole world will be looking at the match"
 real 14k

Friday, 28 September, 2001, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Rehhagel plots England downfall
Otto Rehhagel
Rehhagel's first game in charge ended in a 5-1 defeat
BBC Sport Online's Phil Gordos profiles Greece's German coach, Otto Rehhagel.

England may have taken a firm grip of Group Nine following their 5-1 triumph in Munich, but they must vanquish another German before they celebrate qualification for the 2002 World Cup.

Otto Rehhagel took charge of the Greek national side on 9 August following the resignation of Vassilis Daniil.

The country's qualification dreams were already in tatters by then.

The former Werder Bremen and Kaiserslautern coach was chosen ahead of a number of other high-quality candidates such as Marco Tardelli, Nevio Scala and Javier Clemente.

Former England coach Terry Venables was also in the frame until he ruled himself out of the running at the 11th hour.

Rehhagel celebrates Kaiserslautern's Bundesliga success in 1998
Rehhagel celebrates Kaiserslautern's Bundesliga success
The 63-year-old Rehhagel hardly enjoyed the most auspicious of starts to his reign.

His first game in charge ended in humiliation, with Finland running out 5-1 winners in Helsinki.

The clash with England is therefore a chance for Rehhagel to redeem himself and make him a hero in his homeland.

If Greece can deny Sven Goran Eriksson's men at Old Trafford, Germany will clinch automatic qualification for the World Cup if they can beat Finland.

It may seem an impossible job, but no-one should underestimate Rehhagel's powers of motivation.

He transformed Kaiserslautern from minnows to Bundesliga champions in 1998, just a year after they had won promotion from the second division.

He was also a big hit in his second spell at Werder Bremen, which began in 1981 and lasted a staggering 14 years.

Franz Beckenbauer
Beckenbauer fell out with Rehhagel over style
He won both the Bundesliga and the German Cup twice as well as the Cup Winners' Cup in 1992.

During his 30 years as a coach, Rehhagel has also taken charge of Bayern Munich, although his stint at the Olympic Stadium ended in acrimony in 1996 following a bust-up with club president Franz Beckenbauer.

The Kaiser objected to the direct playing style Rehhagel advocated, although Bayern still went on to finish second in the Bundesliga and win the Uefa Cup.

See also:

09 Aug 01 |  World Cup 2002
Greeks go with Rehhagel
Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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