Joachim Löw will stay on as Germany coach at least until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This contract extension - dispelling rumors that he might be going to Bayern Munich - was quicker and less acrimonious than the last.
Sign on the dotted line, then bring us some silverware
The German Football Federation on Tuesday confirmed that national soccer coach Joachim Löw has extended his contract for another two years, until the end of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff, assistant coach Hansi Flick and goalkeeping trainer Andreas Köpke have also signed on until July 31, 2014. Meanwhile, the secretary general of the German Football Federation (DFB), Wolfgang Niersbach, has extended his contract until 2016.
"Hansi Flick, Andreas Köpke, Oliver Bierhoff and I are having enormous fun tackling this challenging task," Löw said after the announcement. "We have faith in the quality of our players and see a bright future for our team. That's why we were happy to accept the early extension offered by the DFB's management."
Löw took up his current post after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, graduating to the starring role after playing understudy to Jürgen Klinsmann during his two-year tenure. Under his guidance, Germany were runners-up to Spain in Euro 2008, and third-placed at last year's World Cup.
An early, and easy, extension
Löw - and precocious talents like Thomas Müller - helped dour Germany play sexy football
Löw's fresh deal with the German team, signed over 15 months before the end of his existing contract - dispelling rumors that he might be taking over the reins at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich after Euro 2012 - was considerably less acrimonious than his last round of negotiations.
Germany went into World Cup 2010 with no idea who would be stewarding the side after the competition, after a protracted war of words between Löw and the DFB president, Theo Zwanziger, which overshadowed preparations for the tournament.
But for a set of stunning German performances in South Africa - most notably the demolitions of England (4-1) and Argentina (4-0) in the knockout stages - the DFB might have replaced their national team coach, who Zwanziger said was showing signs of "being tired of the job" in the run-up to the competition. Löw finally confirmed that he would remain at the helm ten days after the World Cup finished.
The 51-year-old coach's first order of business remains guiding Germany to the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine. So far, the team's qualification campaign is running smoothly; Löw's men have won all four of their matches, and are heavy favorites to win their next match against Kazakhstan in Kaiserslautern on March 26.
Author: Mark Hallam (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Michael Lawton