Germany’s World Cup-winning head coach Joachim Low will step down after the European championships this July, the German football association said on March 9.
Low, 61, will leave with a year left on his contract having signed up until the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
In a statement, Low said he was “full of pride and enormous gratitude” after nearly 15 years as national coach, and that he was “motivated” for his swansong at the rearranged European championships from June 11-July 11.
Fritz Keller, the president of the German football association (DFB), said Low’s decision “gives us the necessary time to name his successor calmly”.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on March 9 ruled himself out of the running to replace Low.
“Am I available for the job after the summer? No,” Klopp said at a press conference in Liverpool.
“Someone else will do the job, and with the number of good German managers I am sure the German FA will find a good solution.
“I have three years left at Liverpool. You sign a contract and you stick to it.”
Low has vowed to go out on a high at the European championships but Germany face a tough task in the same group as world champions France and holders Portugal.
“I still feel the will, great energy and ambition,” he insisted. “I will do my best to make our fans happy and be successful at this tournament.”
Great wins, painful defeats’
Low, nicknamed “Jogi”, has been in charge of Germany since 2006. The 2014 triumph in Brazil, where his side beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the final thanks to Mario Goetze’s extra-time winner, was the highpoint of his reign.
But Low has faced three years of criticism since holders Germany crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia at the group stage.
The calls for him to resign grew louder after Germany were hammered 6-0 by Spain in the Nations League last November.
Until the 2018 debacle, the Germans had reached at least the semi-finals of every tournament under Low.
“I have worked with the best footballers in the country and supported them in their development,” Low said on March 9.
“I have had great triumphs with them and painful defeats, but above all many wonderful and magical moments - not just winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”
The fallout from the debacle in Russia tainted his legacy as he struggled to rebuild the team.
His decision in March 2019 to end the international careers of veterans Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels soon backfired.
The assured performances of Muller and Boateng in 2019-2020 helped Bayern Munich win the Champions League title and led to Low constantly having to defend his decision to sideline them from the national setup.
Recently, Low has hinted that he may recall the exiled trio for Germany’s World Cup qualifiers at the end of this month.
His record as coach is an impressive 120 wins in 189 games, with Germany with 38 draws and 31 defeats.
“I have great respect for Joachim Low’s decision,” Keller said in a statement.
“The DFB knows what it has in ‘Jogi’ – he is one of the greatest coaches in world football.
“Jogi Low has shaped German football like hardly anyone else over the years and has helped it achieve the highest international reputation.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of the heroes of Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph, said he had “a lot to thank” Low for.
“My respect goes to Joachim Low. I wish him and the team a European Championship title at the end,” said the 36-year-old Schweinsteiger.