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Rehhagel steps down, reports say

A remarkable era for Greek football has apparently come to an end with reports out of South Africa Wednesday that national coach Otto Rehhagel had stepped down after nine years at the helm.

sports Updated: Jun 23, 2010 17:54 IST

A remarkable era for Greek football has apparently come to an end with reports out of South Africa Wednesday that national coach Otto Rehhagel had stepped down after nine years at the helm.

Greek sports websites reported that Rehhagel told his team after their 2-0 World Cup Group B loss to Argentina that he was leaving, a move that was expected from the 72-year-old German coach.

The Greek Football Federation (EPO) has not commented on the reports and will be waiting for Rehhagel to arrive in Athens to inform them of his decision.

The team is expected back in Greece on Thursday. A hint that Rehhagel would not renew his contract with the Greeks came after the Argentina match when his trusted assistant Giannis Topalidis quit following their failure to reach the last 16.

Rehaggel took over the Greek coaching job in August 2001 and his first match was a 5-1 trouncing by Finland in Helsinki. But Rehhagel, known as King Otto by the Greek fans, bounced back to lead the team to a surprise Euro 2004 title and participation in Euro 2008 and the World Cup 2010.

Rehhagel has been in charge for 106 matches with the Greeks winning 53, drawing 23 and losing 30. Most media reports say that the federation will most likely ask former PAOK Salonica coach Fernando Santos of Portugal to take over from Rehhagel.

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