Klinsmann steps down as Germany coach

12th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 July 2006, HAMBURG - Joachim Loew was appointed Germany coach to succeed Juergen Klinsmann on Wednesday and named the European championship title in 2008 as his target.

12 July 2006

HAMBURG - Joachim Loew was appointed Germany coach to succeed Juergen Klinsmann on Wednesday and named the European championship title in 2008 as his target.

Loew, 46, who worked as Klinsmann's assistant since both took the job in 2004, signed a two-year contract and promised to continue Klinsmann's philosophy of attacking football that captivated the entire nation at the World Cup in which Germany finished third.

"We want to become European champions," Loew told a packed news conference at the Frankfurt headquarters of the ruling body DFB.

"I am very happy with the new task and it is a big challenge to continue in this way. It is our deep belief that we can only establish ourselves at the top in this way," said Loew.

Loew is a former coach of VfB Stuttgart and SC Karlsruhe in Germany, but has also worked in Austria and Turkey.

His first game will be an August 16 friendly against Sweden, the team Germany beat 2-0 in the round of 16 at the World Cup. His big task will be assuring qualification for Euro 2008, with Germany's first qualifier on September 2 against Ireland in Stuttgart.

Klinsmann did not renew his contract on Tuesday after leading Germany to third place at the World Cup which ended on Sunday.

"It was no easy decision over the past days. But it was a decision I had to reach. It is my biggest wish to be with my family and to lead a normal life with my family.

"I lost a lot of energy and don't feel capable to continue with the same power and energy. I am burnt out," Klinsmann told the news conference.

"I will now go on holiday for six months," said Klinsmann, who did not want to comment on his future, including a possible coaching job in the US where he resides.

Klinsmann said that not even the rousing reception by 1 million people on Sunday in Berlin after the third-place finish at the World Cup the previous night, 3-1 over Portugal, or the plea of the whole football community and nation made him stay.

"It is my only wish to continue the football philosophy and even to expand it. I am very happy that the DFB agrees and is committed to this philosophy," said Klinsmann.

Klinsmann told DFB co-president Theo Zwanziger on Tuesday that he would not stay in the job and personally recommended that Loew should take over.

The retiring coach reportedly also told Zwanziger on Tuesday that he had not forgotten the massive pre-World Cup criticism of his training methods (such as American fitness trainers and a psychologist) and the changes he enforced within the DFB structures.

"It is a pity that Juergen Klinsmann won't continue as coach. The co-operation with him was very successful and enjoyable. I respect his decision," said team captain Michael Ballack.

"But at the same time I am glad that we have a new coach in Joachim Loew who knows the team and will continue working in the same way."

Even Ballack, in a column written earlier for the Stern weekly, admitted that he was cautious as well when Klinsmann started the job after Germany's winless Euro 2004 exit.

"I am not thrilled simply because something is new. I was a bit hesitant, maybe even sceptical, for instance concerning training methods," Ballack wrote in Stern.

But Chelsea midfielder Ballack, 29, was among those who had to admit at the World Cup that "Juergen Klinsmann was right."

DFB co-president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder said: "He not only gave the team belief and optimism. The entire population of Germany was stirred up and rallied behind the team."

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "very sad" like millions of other Germans, but shared Mayer-Vorfelder's view.

"We should be grateful that he was coach for two years, that he built a team, let it play in a young and open way and that he managed to enchant Germany and to give us a wonderful World Cup," said Merkel.

But this was to continue in the same way under Loew who was "always more than an assistant," general manager Oliver Bierhoff promised.

"We have to respect Klinsmann's decision, but we have to look ahead. We are not finished yet, we are just at the beginning," said Bierhoff.


Subject: German news

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