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7.18.2006

New coaches suggested by Ballack

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Local teams' coaches Juergen Klopp and Thomas Doll have been suggested by Michael Ballack as possible successors of Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann.

In a very interesting statement, Ballack mentioned the names in a column for Stern magazine, to be published on Thursday, before Klinsmann's post-World Cup retirement was confirmed by the ruling body DFB in the early hours of Wednesday.

"Coaches like Juergen Klopp and Thomas Doll could do the job," the popular midfielder said.

We must mention that Doll led SV Hamburg to third place in the Bundesliga last season, while Klopp is a popular coach at Mainz 05 and also got lots of attention as a World Cup analyst for ZDF television.

In fact, the DFB has announced a news conference for later Wednesday at its Frankfurt headquarters in which a possible successor could be presented. The stronger candidate appears to be Klinsmann's assistant Joachim Loew.

However, it was not known whether Klinsmann will remain involved in one way or another in the national squad affairs.

It's important to mention that Klinsmann told DFB co-president Theo Zwanziger on Tuesday that he will not continue despite a national euphoria around himself and the team at the World Cup which Germany finished in third place on Saturday.

Indeed, Klinsmann, 41, reportedly cited family reasons (he resides in California) and also allegedly told Zwanziger that he had not forgotten the massive pre-World Cup criticism on his training methods and the changes he enforced within the DFB structures.

Ballack admitted that he was cautious as well when Klinsmann started the job in 2004 after Germany's winless Euro 2004 exit.

"I am not thrilled simply because something is new. I was a bit hesitant, maybe even sceptical, for instance concerning training methods," Ballack wrote in the colum.

But the Chelsea midfielder Ballack, 29, was among those who wanted the coach to go on because the World Cup showed that "Juergen Klinsmann was right".

In fact, Ballack said that Klinsmann's philosophy of attacking football must "definitely" be continued, a view seemingly shared by the entire German football community.

"Whoever takes over the job from Juergen Klinsmann must continue in the same way," DFB co-president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder announced.