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Klopp rules out replacing Loew as Germany boss

China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-11 09:28
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Jurgen Klopp. [Photo/Agencies]

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Tuesday ruled himself out of contention to replace Joachim Loew as Germany manager, saying he intended to see out his contract with the English Premier League champion.

The German soccer association (DFB) on Tuesday said Loew will step down from his role as national team boss following the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, which is scheduled to end in July.

Loew will leave with a year left on his deal, having signed up until the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Klopp was immediately installed as one of the favorites for the job but the 53-year-old said he was not available at a Champions League news conference on Tuesday.

"I have three years left at Liverpool, that's a simple statement, a simple situation," he said.

"You sign a contract and you normally try to stick to that contract, don't you? I had a contract in Mainz where I stuck with them even though there was interest from other Bundesliga teams with more money.

"It is just timing and if it doesn't work out you don't have to lose any sleep over it.

"Someone else will do the job and I am pretty sure with the amount of really good German managers at the moment, the German FA will find a good solution."

The 61-year-old Loew, nicknamed "Jogi", has been in charge of Germany since 2006 and won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But he has faced three years of criticism since Germany crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia at the group stage.

In a statement, Loew said he was "full of pride and enormous gratitude" after nearly 15 years as national coach and that he was "motivated" for his swansong at the rearranged European championships, from June 11-July 11.

DFB president Fritz Keller said Loew's decision "gives us the necessary time to name his successor calmly".

"Jogi Loew did an incredible job for so many years, I think he is the longest servant we had in Germany but for sure one of the most successful," added Klopp.

"I understand that he wants to have this highlight for him of the European championships and try to squeeze everything out that he can from this tournament."

Klopp, whose team has lost its past six Premier League home games, was asked whether Liverpool could become European champion for a seventh time.

"Two things-the quality and football in general," said Klopp ahead of Wednesday night's last-16, second-leg clash at home to RB Leipzig. "You always have a chance in the next game."

Klopp bemoaned the absence of fans during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deprived the Reds of their passionate support at Anfield.

"Soccer would not be the game we love if no one could watch it in the stadium," said Klopp.

AFP

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