Joachim Low will step down as Germany head coach after Euro 2020, ending a 15-year stint in the role with the national team that included a World Cup triumph.
Appointed in 2006, Low led Germany to global glory in 2014 when Mario Gotze’s extra-time goal earned a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final.
Germany consistently challenged at the business end of international tournaments during Low’s reign, until the 2018 World Cup, when a group-stage exit raised the first major doubts about the coach’s continuing hold on his job.
Low was due to reach the end of his current contract following Germany’s 2022 World Cup campaign.
A new face will be in charge for Qatar 2022, however.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) March 9, 2021
Low said: “I take this step very consciously, full of pride and enormous gratitude, but at the same time I continue to be very motivated as far as the upcoming European Championship tournament is concerned.
“I am proud, because it is something very special and an honour for me to be involved with my country.”
Low was previously assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann, who had two years in charge of Die Mannschaft before leaving his post after Germany’s run to the semi-finals at their home World Cup in 2006.
Germany were runners-up to Spain at Euro 2008 and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and Euro 2016, as well as advancing to the last four at the 2010 World Cup.
Low spoke of his joy at having the chance to lead Germany’s elite players on the world stage.
In a statement issued by the German Football Association (DFB), he added: “I associate them with great triumphs and painful defeats, but above all many wonderful and magical moments – not just winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“I am and will remain grateful to the DFB, which has always prepared an ideal working environment for me and the team.”
34 – Joachim #Löw has managed (34) and won (23) more matches at the European Championships and World Cups combined than any other manager in history. Danke. @DFB_Team_EN | @EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/uYkbQWeqyO
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 9, 2021
Low, who is 61, is eager to go out on a high.
A 6-0 defeat to Spain in the Nations League last November has prompted him to consider recalling Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, senior players that he exiled after the World Cup disappointment three years ago, and it could be there is a final flourish to come from Low.
“I still feel the unconditional will, great energy and ambition for the upcoming European Championship,” he said. “I will do my best to make our fans happy and successful at this tournament. I also know that this applies to the entire team.”
National teams director Oliver Bierhoff said: “Joachim Low and I have worked closely together for almost 17 years. We were able to experience so much together and also endure together.
“It is a special relationship that is characterised above all by absolute trust. Under Jogi, the national team once again stood for the joy of playing attractive and attacking football.
“This team and its players have developed incredibly with him. I regret that our professional paths will separate after the Euros.
“We will remain close on a personal level, but I’m not thinking about that now because I know that Jogi’s full concentration and energy in the coming weeks and months will only be used to prepare for the European Championship. We will continue to have a big common goal in the summer.”
The Euro 2020 finals, delayed by a year because of the COVID-19 crisis, will run from June 11 to July 11, with Germany in a tough first-round group that also includes France, Hungary and Portugal.