Legendary football coach Dettmar Cramer, who coached both Japan and Hertha Berlin (for one day!) is dead



In order to strengthen its national team ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games four years later, the Japan Football Association had the idea in 1960 of bringing in a foreign professional coach. Dettmar Cramer was ultimately selected for this role. Through Cramer’s coaching and leadership, and the efforts of his players, the Japanese national team achieved a surprise upset of Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics.

The significance of this result was not lost on Cramer who saw it as a confirmation that Japanese football was vastly improving. Cramer’s efforts were not limited to the national team, as he also formulated and implemented policies for general development. The foundation of a first national league, the training of other coaches, and the strengthening of the national team would all contribute to Japan’s success at the Mexico City Olympics four years later, where Japan would take home the bronze medal.

Photo 1: Ryuichi Sugiyama and Dettmar Cramer (right) at the 1964 Olympics
Photo 2: Dettmar Cramer coaching Hertha Berlin for one day only!

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