Think Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes or Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi had a special relationship? Well, the Bundesliga has a claim to the best player-coach relationship in football with two partners in crime in Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre and captain Marco Reus.
Everybody knows that strength comes in numbers and while Favre has forged a fine coaching career at Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and OGC Nice, he is flourishing at Dortmund with the help of one of the most lethal weapons in Germany.
Reus was given his big break at Gladbach by the Swiss tactician back in 2011, and that proved to be the beginning of a partnership which, after a six-year hiatus, has been reformed this season with stunning results. As the statistics prove, Favre and Reus is a winning combination.
It is not uncommon for coaches to have their favourites – that one player they can trust blindly to transmit their tactical directives on the field. They call him the coach's extended arm and he is usually the man – like Reus – wearing the captain's armband, receiving and passing on orders from the bench to tinker and improve the team.
"I've had quite a few club coaches and among them, [Favre] is probably the best I've ever had," Reus told the German Football Federation's website. "Of course a lot of time has passed since we worked together at Gladbach. It was great to see back then how much in detail he could work as a coach."
It is no coincidence that 22 of Dortmund's 33 goals in the Bundesliga this season have come in the second half, when a coach's influence on the team, with the aid of these correctly executed minor amendments and corrections, is at its strongest. Reus has supplied five of these second-half strikes, with just three of his eight goals heading into Matchday 12 coming in the precocious stages of games.
Watch: How Favre is getting the best out of Reus
Favre is renowned for his tactical knowledge and this is why it is crucial he has a key player on the field who knows, almost intuitively, what is required to turn a potential draw or even defeat into victory. For Favre, it is Reus.
"Marco is an experienced player now and as a captain, he must be a role model for others. I and the rest of the team count on him to do his job well on and off the pitch," Favre said.
Like other great combinations, from Ferguson and Scholes at Manchester United, through Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry at Arsenal, Guardiola and Messi with Barcelona, right back to Dortmund, where Jürgen Klopp had not just one but two such individuals to inspire his side to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 with Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski, success is so often built on a coach/player bromance.
If Dortmund do get their hands back on the Bundesliga title next May, Favre and Reus are bound to have made a major contribution with their goal-inspiring double act, which is so good it's almost criminal.