Loew ex­tends Ger­many reign un­til 2020

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ger­many coach Joachim Loew tar­geted a sec­ond World Cup tri­umph and Euro­pean glory yes­ter­day af­ter ex­tend­ing his con­tract un­til 2020. The 56-year-old, who took charge in 2006, has signed a two-year ex­ten­sion to lead Ger­many’s de­fence of the World Cup in Rus­sia in 2018 and to the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in 2020. If Loew-a pop­u­lar fig­ure in Ger­many-stays in of­fice un­til then his 14-year ten­ure would make him the joint sec­ond-long­est serv­ing Ger­many coach, equal to Hel­mut Schoen (1964-78).

Ger­many, un­der Loew, won a fourth World Cup in Brazil two years ago but lost to hosts France in the Euro 2016 semi-fi­nals in July. Ger­many have not won a Euro­pean crown since 1996. “We have vi­sions and things that we want to tackle, so the time of the ex­ten­sion was just right,” Loew told a press con­fer­ence in Frank­furt. “The goal is, of course, to re­peat our suc­cess story in Rio (World Cup) and we want to be Euro­pean cham­pi­ons, which is a big goal of mine. “When the head and the heart both say ‘yes’ at the same time, then there is not much to think about.”

Loew, who took charge of Ger­many af­ter the 2006 World Cup fol­low­ing two years as as­sis­tant coach un­der Jur­gen Klins­mann, will re­port­edly re­ceive a pay rise to earn four mil­lion eu­ros ($4.4m) per year.

Loew’s old deal is be­lieved to have earned him an an­nual salary of around three mil­lion eu­ros. “I feel the same mo­ti­va­tion as I did at the be­gin­ning of my term at the DFB (Ger­man FA) and I still feel their con­fi­dence,” he said. “It’s sim­ply great fun to work with this team and these play­ers. “We all have the same goal-to con­firm the Brazil suc­cess at the World Cup in Rus­sia.”

“Loew is the best coach that we in the DFB’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee can imag­ine,” said Ger­man FA pres­i­dent Rein­hard Grindel. “We have the same goal-we want to de­fend our World Cup ti­tle in Rus­sia and, af­ter we were so close to it in France this year, we want to try to be Europe cham­pi­ons in 2020.”

Grindel added that Loew’s new deal was “re­ward” for the coach’s hard work, but the pres­i­dent wanted to get the con­tract signed be­fore the Ger­man FA meets in Er­furt on Thurs­day and Fri­day. Ger­many, top of their 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing group with three straight wins, play min­nows San Marino away in their next qual­i­fier on Novem­ber 11 be­fore fac­ing Italy four days later in a glam­our friendly in Mi­lan. Loew, who coached VfB Stuttgart to the 1997 Ger­man Cup ti­tle, has ruled out a re­turn to the Bun­desliga once his Ger­many reign is over. Un­der his ste­ward­ship, Ger­many have reached at least the semi-fi­nals of ei­ther the World Cup or Euro­pean cham­pi­onships for the last decade. He is though prone to the oc­ca­sional side­line gaffe, caught on cam­era, in­clud­ing pick­ing his nose on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and thrust­ing his hand into his trousers to scratch his gen­i­tals dur­ing a Euro 2016 game.

Sepp Her­berger holds the 28-year record for a Ger­many coach, from 1936-64, dur­ing which time he led West Ger­many to their first World Cup ti­tle in 1954. —AFP

FRANK­FURT: Coach of Ger­man na­tional soc­cer team Joachim Loew, left, speaks as the Pres­i­dent of Ger­man soc­cer fed­er­a­tion Rein­hard Grindel looks on af­ter sign­ing a new con­tract in Frank­furt, Ger­many, yes­ter­day. — AP

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