Joachim Low to stay on as Germany coach: ‘I continue to see great potential’
Germany’s Joachim Low has confirmed he will stay on to lead the World Cup winners to their title defence in Russia in 2018 despite an initial hesitation on whether to continue after a disappointing semi-final defeat to France last week at Euro 2016.
Low, who has coached Germany for 10 years and to five successive semi-final appearances at World Cups and European Championships, said in a statement yesterday that he planned to continue, ending speculation that he was thinking of stepping down.
“Despite our disappointment, the team didn’t disappoint,” said Low, 56, who was Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant coach for two years before taking over in 2006 after Klinsmann had guided the Germans to the semi-finals at the World Cup played on their home soil.
“It was the youngest team in the tournament and I continue to see great potential,” added Low, referring to his team’s average age of 25.4 years that, next to England, was the youngest at the tournament.
Italy had the oldest team in thetournament with an average age of 29.4 years.
“I’m sure that they’ll give us plenty of joy in the future,” Low said, “and that’s why I remain enthusiastic about continuing to work with these players and accompany their developments going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”
Low had triggered speculation that he might step down right after Germany lost to France 2-0 in the semi-final when he was asked about his future.
“I don’t know,” he told ZDF television just minutes after the final whistle. “It’ll take a while”to make a decision.
That non-committal statement prompted a wave of support for Low. An opinion poll by the Emnid polling institute for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed that 84 per cent of Germans wanted the man they call “Jogi” (pronounced “Yogi”) to continue.
Also known as the “Bundestrainer”, Low has enjoyed consistent success in charge of the German side, reaching the Euro 2008 final and then defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final to lift the World Cup two years ago.
Low’s record stands at 137 matches with 90 wins and 23 defeats.
Germany’s World Cup defence starts on September 4 with a qualifying match against Norway. Also in Group C of the qualifying group are Northern Ireland, who they defeated 1-0 at Euro 2016 last month, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and San Marino.
Low is one of the longest-serving national team coaches anywhere but ranks only third in Germany after 10 years at the helm.
Sepp Herberger coached the national side for 20 years and Helmut Schoen served in the role for 12 years.
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Published: July 12, 2016 04:00 AM