Frankfurt – Germany coach Joachim Loew has extended his contract beyond the 2014 World Cup until 2016, the nation's football supremo Wolfgang Niersbach said Friday.
“We signed the contracts this morning,” the DFB president Niersbach told a news conference, saying the deal runs until after the Euro 2016 tournament. “It is a clear signal from the DFB that we want to continue.”
Loew, 53, has been in charge of the team since 2006 after being Juergen Klinsmann's assistant 2004-2006.
Under Loew, Germany came second at Euro 2008, third at the 2010
World Cup and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012. Germany qualified for the 2014 World Cup in an unbeaten preliminary campaign and are rated among the top title favourites for the Brazil finals.
“We will enter the next months with big motivation and passion ... the team is not fully developed yet ... We want maximum success and achieve great things,” Loew said.
“We are convinced we will play a very good World Cup. We have a great team and will prepare well.”
Loew also reiterated that he would step down if Germany went out winless in the World Cup group stage, but neither he nor Niersbach wanted to comment on news reports Friday that both parties had a release clause in the new contract they could activate if necessary.
The contract renewal is a sign of appreciation for the work of Loew, who has transformed the German team to a skilful unit with stars like Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger or Mario Goetze. Germany has risen from 22nd in 2006 to second in the world rankings in the past seven years.
But expectations are also huge that the three-times world and European champions Germany finally get a major title again at Brazil 2014 or Euro 2016 in France - with the last trophy dating back to Euro 1996.
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff and goalkeeper coach Andreas Koepke will also stay on until 2016, while Loew's assistant Hansi Flick will become DFB sports director after the World Cup, starting the new job on a five-year contract in September 2014.
“It is a show of faith. He has been in the federation for seven years. He knows the structure, the main people and the regional officials,” Niersbach said about Flick.
The original contracts of Loew, Bierhoff, Flick and Koepke ran until after the 2014 World Cup. The early signings of new contracts will spare Loew and the team from distractions before and during the Brazil tournament. – Sapa-dpa