Former Germany international Stefan Effenberg has been appointed as the new coach of SC Paderborn. The second division club has got off to a shaky start to the season after being relegated from the Bundesliga last year.
SC Paderborn announced the appointment of the 47-year-old former Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich midfielder in a statement posted on their website on Tuesday.
"It's really me, I'm here," said Effenberg at his opening press conference on Monday. The new Paderborn coach even answered a question on his nickname, in comparison to Premier League coaches Jose Mourinho and Jürgen Klopp.
For his part, Effenberg, who has been working as a television commentator and pundit since his retirement from playing, said the second-division side was the perfect place to begin his professional coaching career, more than a decade after he played his last game.
"I had been thinking about working as a coach for some time now and starting at a club like Paderborn is a top address given the impressive careers of my predecessors," he said, referring to Roger Schmitt of Leverkusen, Andre Breitenreiter of Schalke and Andre Schubert of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
If his past is anything to go by, Effenberg, who has signed a contract that runs through the end of next season, is bound to give the the fans and the media plenty to talk about. Known for his leadership qualities and passion on the field, he has also been known to let his temper get the best of him, as he did during an incident at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, when he showed German fans the middle finger. He was subsequently dropped from the squad and sent home.
Paderborn, relegated to the second division after just one campaign in the top flight, clearly believe he is the man to turn their season around their season, which has got off to a disappointing start and are in 15th place in the standings, just above the drop zone.
"I don't just see this as a springboard for me to bigger clubs," Effenberg stated. "I have a contract until 2017 and I intend to see it out. We have a strong team with a lot of potential in a wide-open league. There can always be surprises."
Effenberg, who replaces Markus Gellhaus in the leading role, had over 200 fans present for his first training session with the team on Wednesday afternoon.
pfd/apc (dpa, SID)