Streich announces he will step down as Freiburg coach

football18 March 2024 10:33| © AFP
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Christian Streich © Getty Images

Long-time Freiburg head coach Christian Streich said on Monday he will step down at the end of the season after over a decade at the helm of the Bundesliga club.

"I have considered it for some time and carried out talks, but I think that... this is the right time to make way for new energy, new people and new possibilities," he said in a statement issued by the club.

Streich has spent the majority of his career at the club, first as a player before becoming a youth coach in 1995.

The 58-year-old took over as boss of the first team in 2011 and is the second-longest serving coach in the Bundesliga after Heidenheim's Frank Schmidt.

Streich said after they were knocked out of the Europa League last Thursday, a 5-1 aggregate loss to West Ham, he would make an announcement over his future imminently, although the heavy 5-0 second-leg defeat would not influence his decision.

Streich has elected to extend his tenure via short-term deals over the past few years.

He stayed with the side despite relegation in 2014-15, guiding them straight back up after winning the Bundesliga 2 title.

Under Streich, Freiburg have had the most successful period in their history.

Streich took Freiburg to the Europa League last 16 for the first time in their history in 2022-23, before repeating the feat this season.

Under Streich, Freiburg went the closest to major silverware in their history, reaching the 2022 German Cup final, which they lost on penalties to RB Leipzig.

He has remained steadfastly loyal to Freiburg despite being offered jobs by several German clubs with larger budgets.

The butcher's son who rides his bicycle to training has become a cult figure at Freiburg.

He has been outspoken on social issues.

In January, he called on Germans to stand up against a resurgent far-right, saying: "If you don't stand up now, you have not learned anything".

"I think it's very important to stand up against stupidity and right-wing extremism in any form."