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Germany's Skibbe named new Greece coach

Greece's FA has announced the hiring of Germany's Michael Skibbe as the new coach of the country's national team. His contract runs through the 2018 World Cup.

The EPO, Greece's football association announced on Thursday that it had appointed the 50-year-old German as its national team coach in the hope that he can lead them to the finals of the World Cup, to be played in Russia in the summer of 2018. Should he achieve that goal, his contract is to be extended.

Skibbe, who had a very short playing career with Schalke, has coached a number of professional teams, including Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha BSC of Berlin. He is also well-known in Turkey, where he has coached Galatasaray, Karabuksport and most recently Eskisehirspor. From 2000-2004 he was an assistant coach with the German national team.

The Greek national side have been struggling since the departure of Fernando Santos, who left to coach his native Portugal following the 2014 World Cup. They failed to qualify for the finals of next year's European Championship in France, finishing bottom of Group F.

Skibbe, who is Greece's fourth coach in the space of just 12 months, is expected to be on the touchline when they face Luxembourg in a friendly next month.

The Gelsenkirchen native is the second German to coach Greece's national side, after Otto Rehhagel who lead them to the title at Euro 2004.

pfd/ (dpa, AP)

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