Joachim Low set to step down as Germany coach after Euro 2020

Germany manager Joachim Low is set to step down from his role right after the UEFA Euro 2020, the German Football Association (DFB) has announced. Low’s contract was in effectuntil the end of the 2022 World Cup, but he asked for an early release which has been agreed by the DFB. The 61-years-old will leave the German FA after 17 years with the national team and 15 years as the head coach.

“The national team coach asked to end his contract, which originally ran until the 2022 World Cup, immediately upon completion of the European Championship tournament. The DFB agreed to this,” the DFB said in a statement. Low has been a coach to Germany for 189 games, having won 120 and lost 31. The World Cup winning coach expressed his gratitude with the team in a separate statement.

“I take this step very consciously, full of pride and enormous gratitude, but at the same time continue to be very motivated when it comes to the upcoming European Championship,” Low said in statement released by the DFB. Low has been in charge since 2006, replacing Jurgen Klinsmann. Under his management, Germany finished third at the 2010 World Cup before claiming the title four years later.

“Proud because it is something very special and an honour for me to be involved with my country and because I have been able to work with the best footballers in the country for almost 17 years and support them in their development,” Low added. ”I have great triumphs with them and painful defeats, but above all many wonderful and magical moments – not just winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”

Last year, Low was under fire after Germany faced its worst defeat in 89 years, with Spain winning 6-0 to advance to the final four. It was also their first loss of 2020, yet they won only three of their eight matches in Group A4, also drawing with Spain, Switzerland twice and Turkey. Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scorelinein a friendly in 1931.

Germany’s only five-goal loss in a competitive match had been West Germany’s 8-3 defeat to Hungary at the 1954 World Cup group stage. West Germany went on to beat Hungary in the final, while the friendlies in Austria in 1931 handed them the 6-0 score. The DFB held a meeting regarding Low’s status and later announced that Low should “unreservedly continue” with the team.

Low will now prepare his squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers from March and the Euro 2020 finals, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, next summer. Germany reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, losing to hosts France. In the qualifier last year, Toni Kroos struck twice as to clinch their spot with a 4-0 win over Belarus. Low’s Germany have qualified for the finals for a record 13th time in a row.

Germany has been drawn into a challenging group alongside France, Portugal, and Hungary for Euro 2020, which kicks off in June 2021. Low has been in charge for 189 games with a contract until after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and and the 2024 European Championship, which will take place in Germany. The federation expects him “to take all necessary measures to play an exciting EM 2021 with the team.”

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