The Panenka moves onto Group D now where it’s managed to uncover some real nuggets of Euro 2016 gold on the coaches of the group that contains holders Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey. Care to wager a bet on which boss is getting the beers in?
Vicente del Bosque, Spain – The Spain coach and a former player for Real Madrid has an interesting family history. Despite spending the majority of his career with Los Blancos, often referred to a ‘The King’s Club’ or ‘Franco’s club’, del Bosque has never hid his admiration for his socialist father who was a railway clerk imprisoned by Franco’s forces during Spain’s civil war for his left leaning sympathies. Perhaps consequentially, he is deemed as the man responsible for uniting the Spain dressing room over Real Madrid and Barcelona rivalries.
Ante Cacic, Croatia –Cacic is the only coach at the tournament who was not a former-player. He did not enter management until 1986 and in the meantime he was a radio and TV repairman. He landed his first break with his first club GNK in 1986 for reportedly, “living close to the stadium.”
Pavel Vrba, Czech Rep – Before the Czech Football Association activated a buy-out clause in his Viktoria Plzen contract his last act with the club was to defeat CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the dying moments in the Champions League group stage to secure a place in the Europa League knock-out stage. However his name was truly written into folklore when he won a bet and PR move with the Czech Plzen-based Gambrinus brewery. The bet stated that if the national team won at least four points in qualifiers against Turkey and Kazakhstan, everyone in the stadium would get a free beer in the following qualifier against Iceland, Vrba’s men won six points from those two games making him a hero. Vrba also carries the nickname, the Czech Alex Ferguson who’s first ever game in charge as a coach resulted in a 7-0 defeat back in 2003.
Fatih Terim, Turkey – The coach who’s nickname in both Turkey and Italy is ‘The Emperor” was hailed by Romanian football legend George Hadji as being “extraordinary” witht he ability to “could coach any side.” During a fortunate run at Euro 2008, Terim, then in his second term with Turkey, saw his side lead the three group games and two knockout games for collectively 13 minutes out of the estimated 490 minutes they played on their way to a semi final knockout to eventual runner-up Germany.