Argentina and Germany go head-to-head on Saturday and coach Joachim Low has nothing but praise for his flamboyant opposite number, Diego Maradona. The Germany coach, whose team faces Argentina in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals here in Cape Town, has only fond memories of the former midfield maestro and says he is looking forward to crossing swords with him.
Asked where he was during the 1986 FIFA World Cup final when Argentina beat Germany, and in 1990 when Germany got their revenge, Low said: "Off the cuff, I don't remember exactly where I saw them. But in 1990 I was in Switzerland and watched with some friends. Back then of course we had the extraordinary Maradona playing.
"He galvanised the whole football world with the way he played. He was simply magic. Germany and Argentina of course is a big deal, an historical encounter. 1986 and 1990 were the culmination of Maradona's career and he left a mark on football like no other player has ever done before or since."
Looking ahead to Saturday's showdown, Low said it was not in Maradona's mentality to be careful and he expected Argentina to go for goals.
"I don't think Maradona will be more careful against us, it's not his mentality," he said. "As a player he was always an attacking player and I'm sure as a coach he will want to leave his mark on attacking play as well. They will definitely be extremely dangerous. I'm sure they will try and get a goal very soon. I don't think they'll come onto the pitch with any extra fear or respect."
The winners of the match will play either European champions Spain or South American outsiders Paraguay in the semi-finals.