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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Rehhagel snubs Germany
Greece coach Otto Rehhagel
Rehhagel masterminded Greece's astounding triumph in Portugal
Otto Rehhagel, who coached Greece to a shock European Championship triumph, has turned down the chance to manage his native Germany.

The German football federation (DFB) confirmed Rehhagel will honour his Greece contract which runs until 2006.

Rehhagel follows former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld in rejecting the 2006 World Cup hosts.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also ruled himself out after informal talks with DFB vice-president Franz Beckenbauer.

The Greek Football Federation (EPO) was always confident Rehhagel would stay in the post and try to guide them to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Words are too poor to express our feelings for the effort he has put in to this great achievement
Greek federation chief Vasilios Gagatsis

Since taking Greece to victory at Euro 2004, Rehhagel has become one of Europe's most in-demand coaches.

Greek federation chief Vasilios Gagatsis predicted: "Rehhagel will stay with us until 2006.

"It's absolutely normal if Germany want him - it is an honour for us and our choice to hire him."

He added: "Rehhagel is one of us, he believed in the Greeks.

"Words are too poor to express our feelings for the effort he has put in to this great achievement.

"We honoured our contract with him and he honoured his contract with us.

"Rehhagel had offers from abroad - and very good ones - at a time when everybody in Greece asked for his head."

However, Gagatsis admitted that Rehhagel was unlikely to extend his contract in order to help Greece defend their title in 2008.

"On the flight back from Portugal I offered him to extend the contract until 2008," he said.

"But he told me that he didn't want to be transported into the football ground on a wheelchair."

When asked, in the immediate aftermath of Greece's win, whether he would commit his future to the EPO, Rehhagel refused to discuss his future.

"Now is the time for the team," said the 65-year-old.

"I only have to take care of my team. We will go to the hotel and celebrate this victory. There is no place for other words."

Rehhagel's rejection of Germany's overtures plunges the three times World Cup winners into crisis.

Rudi Voeller stepped down in the immediate aftermath of Germany's poor showing at Euro 2004.

Germany's attempts to tempt Europe's top coaches have so far drawn a blank.



Links to more Greece stories


 

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