By Bill George
IF THE reputation of the two opposing coaches is anything to go by, Brazil v Germany in tomorrow’s World Cup final will be a real humdinger.
Brazil’s Luiz Felipe Scolari and Germany’s Rudi Voeller; two of the hungriest animals in the football jungle.
At Yokohama’s International Stadium, the pair will be on the edge of their touchline boxes, and sometimes beyond, as their players battle it out for the right to call themselves champions of the world.
Scolari, known affectionately as 'Big Phil', or less warmly, as 'donkey' depending on how Brazil are doing, has little playing pedigree compared to his German counterpart.
The 53-year-old was a muck and bullets central defender in southern Brazil and he has encouraged the team to play a game based more on physique than their traditional finesse.
Viewing Scolari’s expostulations in the technical area during a game are often as entertaining as watching his team. He berates everyone - referees, linesmen, his own players, reporters - in his quest for success, the ugly way.
Such mental determination is a major factor in the psychological make-up of Voeller.
"A few weeks ago when we played against high-calibre teams Cameroon and Ireland in the group stages, nobody expected us to reach the last 16," admits the ex-Bayer Leverkusen boss.
"But we have played really, really well and deserve to be in the final."
Voeller believes the organisational skills, for which his country is famous in manufacturing cars and running trains on time, will play a key role in the first clash between the two teams in the 72-year-old
"Plenty of order and discipline are required," Voeller said in Seoul before the three-times champions flew to the Japanese port city of Yokohama to prepare for the most watched sporting event on the planet.
"We must switch to the attacking mode but we must do it carefully because Brazil have players capable of using any opportunity to counter-attack.
"In terms of individual players they have more class than we have but that’s not something we should be ashamed of," Voeller said.
"All the other teams are in the same situation when compared to Brazil."
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari expects efficiency. "Germany are a traditional team, cold and calculating, they are a team we respect very much."