News : Löw’s resignation: who will succeed him as national coach? – Sports
When Joachim Löw was sitting in the stands in Munich last weekend, as one of the few observers of the 4-2 between FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund in the stadium, he didn’t show anything. At half time he spoke to the Sky-Interview again about a possible return of Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng to the national team. He gave them a guarantee in the event of a nomination for the European Championship, which he would decide on in May, that was the news of the evening. And of course it would have sounded inappropriately casual for the occasion if he had already gone into his thoughts on another decision. Oh, by the way: from the summer onwards someone else will take over.
Löw, 61 years old and the last 15 of them national coach, asked to end his contract, which originally ran until the 2022 World Cup, immediately upon completion of the 2021 European Championship, the German Football Association (DFB) announced on Tuesday. The association agreed to this. “I take this step very consciously, full of pride and enormous gratitude, but at the same time continue to be very motivated as far as the upcoming European Championship tournament is concerned,” said Löw in the message. And as often as there was speculation about his resignation, the lively discussion about his successor, the time when this decision was announced came as a surprise.
In two detailed interviews with the Kicker and the “Sportschau” last reported back in winter after a few months to think about it. It was a kind of government statement that sounded militant. He had plausibly talked about a possible interruption of the generation upheaval in the national team, which he had previously resisted. He gave the impression of a coach who showed himself to be insightful with the steadily growing criticism of his decisions and who drew his conclusions from them. One had to imagine that this also meant his future withdrawal. And as idiosyncratic as the sequence of his statements now stands, it was again a typical decision for him.
Who will be Löw’s successor? Flick sees no reason to leave Bayern
After the last international match so far, the shockingly weak 6-0 in Spain in November, he was allegedly asked by DFB President Fritz Keller whether he could imagine resigning after the EM. At that time, Löw still said no. In an interview with the DFB Presidium, he did not present a sporting analysis of the defeat, but rather addressed the fact that the association’s external image had bothered him, he told the Kicker – and also meant how the discussion about his person in the DFB had been brought to the public. “Quiet has returned at the moment,” said Loew. But he fades that out in order to concentrate on the sporting tasks. Just as in previous years, since the preliminary round at the 2018 World Cup, he always seemed to ignore the fact that an end of his coaching time at the DFB has long been more plausible for many than its extension. Just as he always seemed stubborn as a coach, so that he celebrated the greatest possible success up to the 2014 World Cup, but then won less and ultimately had fewer arguments on his side.
“I have great respect for Joachim Löw’s decision,” said Keller in the statement on Tuesday. His regret “that after the Euro our paths will separate professionally,” said DFB Director Oliver Bierhoff. But even Bierhoff had not recently turned down the questions about possible successors of Löw. “Absolutely,” he said, for example, he trusts Löw’s long-time assistant and Bayern coach Hansi Flick with the job.
When it comes to the future national coach, two other names have been under discussion for weeks. On the one hand Jürgen Klopp, the most successful German coach in recent years, who last lost exceptionally games in a row at Liverpool FC. Klopp said on Tuesday, however, that he would “not be available as a possible national coach during or after this summer. I have a job”.
The other is Ralf Rangnick. Unlike Klopp, the former coach and sports director of RB Leipzig doesn’t have a job right now. “In principle, the office of national coach is not an office for any German coach that interests him,” he said recently. Flick, in turn, recently said he saw no reason to think about anything other than the job at Bayern. That won’t change the fact that he will be asked about it a few more times in the coming days.
Already last summer, when Flick won the Champions League with FC Bayern, the comparison was often made with his long-term superior. “Hansi is growing into this Jogi role right now,” said the former national player Per Mertesacker, 2014 world champion under Löw and Flick. On the other hand, nobody would probably say that Rangnick, 62, could become a Jogi. Above all, he would probably refuse that himself.
Rangnick’s way of interpreting and conveying football would be tantamount to a stylistic change of course at the DFB, which some would apparently welcome. It was only two hours after Löw’s resignation that record international player Lothar Matthäus Rangnick called his “big favorite” for the position.
Most recently, Löw fought for the young Munich Jamal Musiala
On Tuesday, however, even Matthäus, who had recently risen to the position of chief critic Löws, was also about praising the national coach. Löw had “shaped an” enormously successful era, “said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chief executive of FC Bayern, who recently had not held back criticizing the DFB either.
In fact, there are young people who can hardly imagine a national team without coach Löw. When the next international matches are due at the end of March, World Cup qualification against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia, Löw will nominate a debutant from FC Bayern in Jamal Musiala, 18, who was three years old when Löw took over the national coaching job after the 2006 World Cup. The fact that he was fighting for the Stuttgart-born man, who could also have opted for a national team career in the England team, and that he won over the DFB in a personal conversation in Munich, that was recently an occasion for which Löw, for once, once again received unreserved praise .
“Mr. Löw” showed him “a very clear path for me in the national team,” said Musiala. The path that talents like him and German football should lead into the future will soon be determined by someone else.