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Sports

Bundesliga winner Felix Magath appointed Fulham coach

Felix Magath has been appointed coach of Fulham, becoming the first German to lead an English Premier League club. It is also the three-time Bundesliga winner's first managerial role outside Germany.

Magath's appointment to the role of first-team coach was announced late on Friday, with Fulham understood to be in the process of sacking manager Rene Meulensteen. The Dutchman had lasted just 75 days in the role, having only replaced former Hamburg coach Martin Jol in November.

Meulensteen had failed to guide London club Fulham out of the relegation zone, despite making several high-profile additions to his squad during January's transfer window.

The job of saving Fulham - rock bottom of the EPL - from the drop now belongs to Magath. The 60-year-old was last in charge of Wolfsburg, who he left via mutual consent in October 2012.

With a reputation as an authoritative figure famed for his tough training methods, Magath won the Bundesliga three times as coach - once with Wolfsburg and twice with Bayern Munich.

"Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honors in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Premier League," Cottagers chairman Shahid Khan said via a statement on the club's website.

"I’m especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond. Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity."

Familiar faces

Magath inherits a squad he may be rather familiar with. German right-back Sascha Riether played under Magath at Wolfsburg from 2007 to 2009, while Danish midfielder William Kvist is on-loan from Stuttgart.

Germany international Lewis Holtby is also a loanee, at the club from fellow London outfit Tottenham.

Magath had been linked with a return to besieged Bundesliga club Hamburg, but he took to Facebook on Thursday to state he would not be interested in replacing under-fire head coach Bert van Marwijk.

"Unfortunately, too many of the old guard still prevail and are not interested in an honest new start," he wrote. "… How can you successfully lead a team through a relegation battle in such conditions?"

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