After speculation that German coach Joachim Loew would step down after Die Mannschaft won their fourth World Cup soccer title, the team’s general announced Wednesday that he was staying with the national team. Loew had already received a contract extension prior to the victorious run in Brazil. The coach took some time away right after the team raised the trophy over their heads, which led to speculation that the coach was going to leave after winning the sports most prestigious title.
However, in an interview posted Wednesday, Coach Loew told the German Football Federation (DFB) that there was nothing more that he wanted than to continue leading the German team towards France and the European Championship. Loew’s contract extension will keep him in charge of the national squad all the way through the 2016 championship tournament in France.
Loew began the road to the 2014 World Cup championship as an assistant coach for DFB under current United States Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in 2004. After Klinsmann left the top coaching spot for DFB in 2006, Loew took the reign’s as Germany’s head man. Now, going into the post World Cup break before a much-anticipated friendly and the start of qualification for Euro 2016, the head coach has his work cut out for him.
Loew will need to start a search for a new field general to lead Die Mannschaft after the World Cup captain, Philipp Lahm elected made the decision to retire from international play and not stay with the German National Team. Lahm, who wore the captain’s armband since 2010, notified Loew and the DFB soon after the team returned to Germany that he was no longer available for international matches with the national team. Lahm will be focusing solely on his duties with Bayern Munich, the 30-year old’s professional club team.
Besides search for a replacement for Lahm, the German coach is also in need of a new assistant coach. Long time assistant Hansi Flick is moving into the role of technical director for DFB. The vacancies will need to be filled by Loew and the DFB within the next month prior to next fixture for the team scheduled for early September.
On September 3rd, the World Champion German National Team will face off against Argentina in a rematch of the World Cup final. Instead of Rio de Janeiro as the backdrop for the match, this friendly match will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany, giving the World Champion’s fans their first opportunity to see the team since adding a fourth star to the team jersey. Four days later, the team gets back to official business as the quest for the Euro 2016 championship begins as Die Mannschaft will start with a qualification match against Scotland at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
The 1-0 victory over Argentina in Brazil brought Germany their first World Cup title since 1990, when they also defeated the same South American country for their third championship. The win in Brazil was not only the German’s first world championship in 24-years, it was also the first time a European team had won the World Cup in South America.
The 54-year old head coach feels as motivated after the victorious run in Brazil as he did when he took over control of the team from Klinsmann. While the World Cup is the ultimate soccer title, the German stated that there was much more the team wants to achieve. After naming a new captain and filling the vacant assistant coaching position, the next goal for Loew is a successful run over the next two years through Euro 2016 qualifying and the championship tournament. A Euro 2016 title for Loew and Die Mannschaft may extend the team’s sideline general’s contract to allow him to stay with the team through the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Commentary by Carl Auer