This weekend’s Bundesliga clash between Mainz 05 and Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Opel Arena will see the usual pre-match handshake between the two trainers. More likely, we will see a proper example of the ‘man hug’ as close friends Sandro Schwarz and Marco Rose go up against each other.
In football nowadays with the huge movement of both players and coaches, it is not rare to come up against former team-mates, who you used to be close to. The friendship between Rose and Schwarz however goes a little deeper. They got to know each other first when both played for Mainz between 2002 and 2004. When Schwarz moved from Rot-Weiβ Essen to Wehen Wiesbaden in 2005, he moved into a shared house with his buddy Rose.
They remained friends with Rose acting as Schwarz’s best man at his wedding to Croatian handball star Katarina and is godfather to his son Carlo. Schwarz on the other hand is godfather to Rose’s daughter Maria. They regularly holiday together during the summer break.
This weekend however, that friendship will be put to one side as the Nullfünfer host the Fohlen on matchday 2. Marco Rose made his Bundesliga debut as a trainer last weekend at home to Schalke, securing a goalless draw, so will be seeking his first win.
Schwarz has been Mainz trainer since May 2017 when he succeeded Martin Schmidt. Last weekend saw his side cruelly beaten by three late goals away to SC Freiburg, so they too are desperate for their first points of the season.
”When I get a quiet minute and think about it, the fact that I’m going to my FSV Mainz 05, where I spent ten years, got to know great people who still work there, where the trainer is my best friend, that is something special” Rose explained to SWR this week.
”We make jokes about it and are looking forward to it, but at the end of the day, none of us know how we are going to feel” he added.
Rose has made his reputation with two Championships and a Cup triumph with Red Bull Salzburg, but he very nearly became co-trainer with Schwarz back in 2017. “I was the U-19 coach in Salzburg” Rose explained. “That was really the only constellation on the planet, that would have made me consider becoming a co-trainer.”
In the end, they stayed separated, but this weekend will the friends reunited. For 90 minutes however, that friendship will be on hold.
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