Joachim Low’s 15-year stint in charge of Germany came to an end following Tuesday night’s 2-0 Euro 2020 defeat to England, but the head coach leaves with positive feelings.
Low announced his decision to step down after this tournament earlier this year, but the 61-year-old would have been hoping it would have been at Wembley for the final rather than the last-16 tie.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane in the final 15 minutes meant Die Mannschaft suffered a first defeat to the Three Lions in knockout since the 1966 World Cup.
It was a disappointing end of a spell in which Low enjoyed the highs of winning the 2014 World Cup.
Low is hurting after this defeat, but reflected on a successful time in charge.
He said: “In these 15 years there were a lot of positive things, I participated at our home World Cup in 2006 (as assistant coach), we developed further, we won the title in 2014 as the highlight, then Confederations Cup in 2017 with a young team.
“There are very strong bonds that have been made, since 2018 we have had some problems – there were difficult spells.
“What remains is a lot of moments with a lot of people and the victories, some defeats as well, I have learned lessons.
“Disappointment is present, it will stay for a while, this is clear, you don’t forget about it immediately, you will need certain time but I am sure that there are a lot of positive things that I can take out of these 15 years.
“I want to thank the players who gave their best, the players who are not with us anymore.”
Low, who can now collect a pension in Germany, is undecided on what his future holds and says he needs time to decide.
“At the moment I have not taken any decision,” he said. “When I decided to stop after this tournament I had different thoughts but we will see in the next days and weeks.
“After 15 years at the helm it will do well to step back and there will be new energy in me and I will decide. I don’t really have a concrete plan.
“I need an emotional break so it is normal you need a little distance and not look for a new project. I will need this time but there will be new tasks that will be interesting for me.”
Things might have been different at Wembley had Timo Werner took a good opportunity to open the scoring or Thomas Muller not put the ball inexplicably wide when through on goal with the score at 1-0.
“It is clear that we are all very disappointed, me the team, the players, the staff.
“We really invested a lot and the team has worked very well, developed great spirit and we just didn’t make it to put it on the pitch and be effective.
💬 @ToniKroos: "It was an even game until England's opener. Both teams cancelled each other out. We got out of a tough group, but it hurts a lot to go home now."#DieMannschaft#GER#EURO2020#ENGGERpic.twitter.com/6PZKGPXd1P— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 29, 2021
“We didn’t take advantage of the two great opportunities we had and it was obvious that it was going to be all about patience.
“The English side scored on their first opportunity, we didn’t. It was difficult, we would have turned the match around after the chance of Muller, then they scored the second.
“The team threw in everything but we were not clinical enough.
“The team needs to mature to be more successful.”
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