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Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 12:24 UK

World Cup 2010: Otto Rehhagel quits as Greece coach

Diego Maradona and Palermo celebrate

Highlights - Argentina 2-0 Greece

Otto Rehhagel has resigned as Greece coach following their elimination from the World Cup.

Greek Football Association officials confirmed the 71-year-old German's resignation after the team returned to Greece on Thursday.

Greece went out of the tournament following a 2-0 defeat by Argentina in Polokwane on Tuesday.

Rehhagel was appointed in 2001 and guided Greece to the European Championship title in 2004.

No replacement has been named, although Portuguese coach Fernando Santos has been widely touted as the likely successor in the Greek media.


Former Bayern Munich coach Rehhagel adopted defensive tactics to shackle Argentina's creative players in their final Group B match, employing defender Socrates Papaststhopoulos to man-mark Lionel Messi.

But Diego Maradona's side finally broke through when defender Martin Demichelis lashed home a loose ball from a corner in the 77th minute before Martin Palermo sealed the win one minute from time.

And Greece's fate was sealed when South Korea drew 2-2 with Nigeria, ensuring the 2002 semi-finalists took the second qualifying spot behind group winners Argentina.

"My players played with their hearts and with excitement," said Rehhagel after the Argentina game, although they were heavily criticised elsewhere for their perceived negativity.

Rehhagel's side lost their opener against South Korea 2-0 before raising hopes they might qualify for the knockout stages with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria, their first ever World Cup win.

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see also
Rehhagel wants Greece resurgence
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Greece
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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