Anyone coaching a team abroad not only needs to know football, but has a lot to offer. Coaches from the southwest, such as Jürgen Klopp and Otto Rehaegel, believe in a very successful work abroad. But they are not the only people.
The man who has completed most of his training stations abroad comes from Rhineland-Palatinate: Rudi Gottendorf, born on August 30, 1926 in Koblenz, has trained a total of 55 teams from 32 countries on five continents. With this, he won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as a coach in the largest number of international appearances. Gottendorf, nicknamed Rudi Rastlos, earned his training diploma in Cologne in 1953. In the German Bundesliga, he coached at VFB Stuttgart, Schalke 04 and HSV, among others. However, his international training stations are much more exciting: Peru, Chile, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Rwanda or his last foreign position in Samoa in 2003. He was already 76 years old. Gottendorf passed away in 2019 at the age of 93.
King Otto and the Greeks
While Gottendorf had too many stops, Jürgen Klopp and Otto Rehaegel had extraordinary successes: choosing a world coach twice is more than an amazing feat. But Jürgen Klopp is also a very special coach and person. His appointment date was already unusual: on Pink Monday 2001, Christian Heidel, the Mainz 05 coach, promoted Jürgen Klopp to the position of coach. “It was pure despair,” Heidel recalls, who certainly did not expect his decision to have such consequences at the time. Rehhagel’s success in Greece, who had shaped his national team from underdog to European champion, was totally unexpected. The secret of his success: “The Greeks invented democracy, and democratic dictatorship was introduced.”
Marco Curtis in Australia
Marco Curtis also celebrated huge success away from his home country. The Stuttgart national, who wore his soccer boots with VFB and Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, signed as coach of Australian first division club Adelaide United and won the FA Cup with his team. His dealings with league competitor Melbourne Victory, as he had to leave in January 2020, were not entirely happy. However, time in Australia was very formative for Curtis – as it likely is for anyone who has to find their way in a country other than his own for a longer period of time.