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Loew is proud of his team but leaves his future open

Joachim Loew expressed immense pride in his Germany World Cup team today but left it open whether he will continue as coach.

sports Updated: Jul 11, 2010 19:17 IST

Joachim Loew expressed immense pride in his Germany World Cup team on Sunday but left it open whether he will continue as coach.

Germany finished third the previous night with 3-2 victory over Uruguay and were set to return home later Sunday while Spain and the Netherlands were playing the final in Johannesburg.

"We are enormously proud of the players," Loew told a news conference on behalf of himself and his staff.

"We played like world champions although we missed the big coup... The players acted like champions. They were admired not only in Germany but around the world."

Germany impressed at the tournament with attacking football for big wins over Australia (4-0), England (4-1) and Argentina (4-0) before being stopped in the semi-finals by Spain.

Loew took the job in 2006 and said he will need two or three days rest before deciding on his future. German football supremo Theo Zwanziger, the players and most Germans want him to continue, with the next match, a friendly with Denmark, set for August 11.

"Believe it or not, we switched off every thought on the situation after the World Cup (in the past weeks)," said Loew.

"I will need a few days rest. Then I will consider whether I have the strength and energy to further move this team forward ... There will be talks, and of course a decision has to be made in the near future."

Zwanziger said: "I always said I want Loew to continue. I hope that the talks will lead to a satisfactory result that will suit the team and the country."

Confronted with a string of injuries led by captain Michael Ballack, Loew had Germany's youngest squad since 1934. Established players like World Cup captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Scwheinsteiger and Miroslav Klose were fielded along rising stars such as Mesut Oezil and Thomas Mueller as the team exceeded expectations.

"The team worked hard for this ... We were very disappointed after the semi-finals but we showed yesterday that we have great morale and rebounded again," said Loew.

"There are so many positive moments. We scored many goals and our dominance against England and Argentina was unprecedented. The whole journey was very positive."

Many believe that the German team has a bright future, with Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil the next targets.

"My heart says we have a great future ahead of us," said Schweinsteiger, naming the 2010 team stronger than the group of 2006, which also came third. "We have become better and moved closer to the top."

Lahm said: "We played a very good tournament. Unfortunately we couldn't bring the title back home to Germany." Zwanziger said that Germany were now "firmly established among the world elite."

Meanwhile, German President Christian Wulff, who also attended the news conference, said that Loew will receive the Federal Cross Of Merit and the players the highest sports order, the Silver Bay Laurel Leaf later this year at a reception in Berlin.

Wulff praised the team as "the best ambassador of a colourful, open and friendly Germany ... The country can be thankful for the team and proud of it."

First Published: Jul 11, 2010 19:15 IST