Hitzfeld undecided

Agence France Presse

Hamburg, June 27:

Germany’s search for a successor to Rudi Voller suffered an unexpected blow on Sunday when the hot favourite for the job former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said he was far from certain to take it. The 55-year-old said he was less than a 50 per cent chance to take over the German side as his wife wanted the former mathematics professor to do something else. “There is less than a 50 per cent chance that I will succeed him,” the coach known as the ‘Gentleman’ said. “My wife would be delighted that I do something else,” added Hitzfeld, who is the only coach to have won the Champions League with two different teams, Borussia Dortmund (1997) and Bayern Munich (2001).

Hitzfeld, who had said earlier in the week he would like to coach the team after Voller stepped down when the 2002 WC finalists went out of Euro 2004 in the first round, also said if he were to take up the challenge it would come with a condition. “If I do it, I will do it only if I have Michael Henke (who has been his deputy since 1991) as my assistant,” he said.

The cooling of interest by Hitzfeld, who won two domestic championships at Dortmund (1996, 1997) and four at Bayern (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003), follows Greek coach Otto Rehhagel’s declining to even be considered as a candidate. However for 44-year-old Voller, Hitzfeld is the logical choice.