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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Ribbeck quits as Germans head home
Erich Ribbeck is standing down as German coach following his side's dismal performance in the Euro 2000 finals.
Ribbeck told a news conference: "I have called the DFB (German football federation) president Egidius Braun this morning and informed him that I was stepping down immediately."
"The decision is a consequence of the team's catastrophic elimination." Asked if he felt let down by his team, he said: "Yes, I feel I have been let down. I have not succeeded in turning Germany's best players into a conquering team."
Germany were sent crashing out of Euro 2000 after a 3-0 defeat by a second-string Portugal side. Germany also lost 0-1 to England and drew 1-1 with Romania.
Ribbeck's was timed to run out at the end of Germany's participation in Euro 2000, and his decision not to seek a renewal saves the DFB the embarassment of having to sack the 63-year-old.
England manager Kevin Keegan paid tribute to Ribbeck, saying he had tremendous respect for him both as a coach and a friend.
"After we just edged the game against Germany, he came over and accepted what was a very difficult result for him with great dignity."
The usually restrained German press turned on the national team following their 3-0 defeat by Portugal, with the mass market daily Bild's front page screaming "Germany is ashamed of you!".
A utility player for several minor regional teams, Ribbeck was only 31 when he started a coaching career which took him to most great German clubs.
He trained Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich but won his only trophy with Bayer Leverkusen, leading them to victory in the 1988 UEFA Cup.
Assistant coach to West Germany between 1978 and 1984, he was appointed German head coach in September, 1998, but only after more glamorous candidates had turned down the top job.
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