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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Klinsmann quits as Germany coach
Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann surprised many by taking Germany to third
Jurgen Klinsmann has stepped down as Germany coach after two years in charge and been replaced by assistant coach Joachim Loew.

"My big wish is to go back to my family, to go back to leading a normal life with them," said Klinsmann, 41, who is based in California.

"After two years of putting in a lot of energy, I feel I lack the power and the strength to continue in the same way.

Loew, 46, had been Klinsmann's assistant for two years.

Klinsmann added: "The only sensible option has been to ask Joachim to lead them further. I am very glad that he has taken up this challenge.

"I have always said that he was much more than an assistant trainer. He was always a firm partner. My role was perhaps that of a supervisor.

"I did not manage to reach all of the players last night. I will call them over the next few days to thank every one to thank them for this incredible experience."

Klinsmann had been urged to continue as coach after steering Germany to third place in the recent World Cup.

All 23 players of the German World Cup squad, 93% of the public, according to opinion polls, and even some of his harshest critics have all said they wanted Klinsmann to continue.

The only sensible option has been to ask Joachim to lead them further

Jurgen Klinsmann

The former Germany striker had been heavily criticised for his decision to remain based in America while in charge of the national side - but that was not the only problem he faced.

He had a public fall-out with Borussia Dortmund defender Christian Worns and a string of poor results in friendlies at the start of 2006 led to calls for him to resign before the World Cup began.

But all that has been forgotten after his team's stylish displays on their way to the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champions Italy.

German football journalist Gunter Schwort told BBC Radio Five Live: "Jurgen was pretty much everybody's favourite person during the last few weeks.

"He had a great tournament and he was a great coach. He has shown everyone that his concept of football was the right thing to do.

"But what nobody wants to remember right now is that he had major problems trying to get across his new and scientific ways of reforming German football.

"And now that he has gone, everybody is saying 'what are we going to do now?'"

Germany have a friendly against Sweden on 16 August before their 2008 European Championships qualifying campaign starts in September.

Klinsmann, whose contract expired on Sunday, has dismissed reports he received a lucrative offer to coach the United States and has said he has no interest in coaching another national team.

After Germany's semi-final defeat against Italy in Dortmund, Klinsmann said he wanted to talk to his wife before deciding whether to lead his country's attempt to qualify for Euro 2008.

Germany finished third at the World Cup after beating Portugal 3-1 in Stuttgart on Saturday.

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