John Hertmann’s interest in football came from Diego Maradona
The beginning of a coaching career at a football school that promotes Brazilian football values
The coach wants to establish a football culture in the co-host of the 2026 World Cup
The year was 1986. In England, 11-year-old John Hertmann watched his country’s national team, Argentina, face Diego Maradona at the World Cup in Mexico’s Aztec Stadium. Some tears are shed. Back to 2021. Coach John Hertman stands side by side in the same stadium and runs a movie on his head. He is currently coaching Canada when they face Mexico in the Concacaf qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup. But this time the situation is very different and he is proud of it – that’s right.
Hertman restored Canadian football from the ground up, and with the victories over the men’s senior team USA and Mexico, the Concoff became a qualifying sensation. Now they want to build those victories at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“It was surreal to be there. I remember watching Diego Maradona play against England with my father. That’s when I fell in love with football. I was so proud of the first minute I was hit by Mexico. I shed tears in 1986, but not that evening,” the coach told Sky Sports. In the interview, he said he looked at two serious experiences.
The seed sown by Diego Maradona eventually bore fruit in Hertmann, but not on the pitch, but on the touchline. Britain also tried his luck as a player, but he soon realized that he had developed too much for the coaching career.
The trip to Brazil changed the vision of the coaching enthusiast at the time. Hertmann learned that football is an art. The lessons he learned from the five-time world champion opened the door for him in England, first at a football school that taught the values of Brazilian football and later at AFC Sunderland’s youth academy.
But Hertmann was drawn to distant lands. She first coached the New Zealand women’s team and later the Canadian women’s team on the other side of the ocean.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Hertman turned Canadian football off the ground. First, she elevated women into the world elite with two bronze medals at the Olympic Games and a gold medal at the Pan American Games. He has been the coach of the men’s national team since 2018 and he has been incorporated into a compatible unit over time.
“Since John’s inauguration, his focus has been on changing the identity of Canadian football.”
“He knows what he’s doing and there’s a trick to every game.”
“He brought a new kind of football to Canada, spirit, hope and fear.”
John Hertman is changing the way Canadians approach football.
“One comment was that we did not have enough courage when it’s really important. It turned out very quickly for me. We wanted to start with some tactical features, but the tactics are useless if the players do not see them. Trust the neighbor or their coach,” Hertmann said.
A good World Cup look will be crucial to Canadian football. After all, the country is hosting the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and the United States. This is more than the Englishman’s goals.
“The World Cup is needed to change the culture. This country is ready for the World Cup,” he predicts.
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