Hamann takes helm at Stockport

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LONDON - Didi Hamann, a World Cup runner-up with Germany and a Champions League winner with Liverpool, accepted a different type of challenge on Tuesday when he was named as manager of Stockport County.

Stockport lost their place in the English League after 106 years when they were relegated from League Two to the Conference at the end of last season and the ailing club have turned to Hamann to revive their fortunes.

The 37-year-old, who made 62 appearances for Germany including the 2002 World Cup Final against Brazil, played for Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Manchester City during a glittering career which peaked in Istanbul in 2005 when he scored a penalty in Liverpool's shootout victory over AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final.

Hamann, who also scored the last goal in 2000 at the old Wembley Stadium before it was demolished, was unveiled at Edgeley Park on Tuesday after signing a one-year contract.