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Germany Wants to Keep Coach Loew Beyond 2010 World Cup

German Soccer Federation (DFB) President Theo Zwanziger said he would like national team coach Joachim Loew to stay on beyond the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. But Jogi wants to keep his options open.

Loew during a press conference with the DFB logo in the background

Loew wants Germany qualify for the World Cup before signing on the dotted line

The head of the German soccer federation gave the national team coach the kind of job multi-year job guarantee most German employees could only dream of.

"There's no cause at the moment to think about any other solutions," Zwanziger told German Press Agency dpa on Wednesday, March 25, when asked about possible replacements for the men's team coach.

Loew has said he wants to wait until Germany has qualified for South Africa before considering extending his contract beyond 2010.


Loew holding two soccer balls and kicking a third

Will Jogi be watching over the national team after 2010?

"When he thinks the time is right to talk about these things then we will certainly do so," Zwanziger said.


The DFB boss said he was not only "highly satisfied" with Loew's work as coach but had a high regard for him as a person.

Discussions about the future of national team manager Oliver Bierhoff are also ongoing. The former international striker's name is often mentioned in connection with managerial posts in the Bundesliga. His contract with the national team ends in 2010.

"What I do will be clear in the summer," Biefhoff told the daily Express. "One year notice is more than enough."

Qualifier training begins

The Germany squad meanwhile met for training in Leipzig, ahead of Saturday's Group 4 World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein.

Germany is hoping that a solid performance Wednesday will help the team put an end to months of internal turmoil after captain Michael Ballack publically criticized Loew's treatment of veteran players.

Encumbered by large rubber bands, German players hop forward

Germany hope to hop along wtih a pair of wins

"If the team plays well against Liechtenstein and Wales and delivers the six points, I expect issues which have been discussed in the past will quickly become a topic no more," Zwanziger told the Sport Bild newspaper, referring to last year's spat.

Injuries leave Loew without three members of his 21-man squad: goalkeeper Rene Adler, defender Per Mertesacker and midfielder Piotr Trochowski. Midfielder Torsten Frings and striker Miroslav Klose have also dropped out of the squad with injuries.

The fitness tests in Leipzig come after two home defeats to England and Norway and some 18 months after the Germany squad took part in a similar fitness check.

"This is a stocktaking a year before the World Cup in South Africa," Loew said of the tests which among other things included sprint, stamina and reaction checks. "We want to see where players need to work in physical areas. We have to work where we see the need. We can't stay still."

Loew has highlighted perceived deficiencies in the German game, saying teams in England and Spain were playing faster football than in the Bundesliga.

After the match against Liechtenstein, the Germans will travel to Cardiff to meet Wales on Wednesday. Germany leads its group on 10 points, four more than Russia who have a game in hand.

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