Struggling 1. FC Kaiserslautern have appointed Krasimir Balakov as coach on a deal that runs until June next year.
Balakov's predecessor, Marco Kurz, was dismissed on Tuesday after failing to engineer a Bundesliga win since 22 October, a sequence which leaves Kaiserslautern bottom of the table and six points from safety. Balakov, 45, has left his role as coach of HNK Hajduk Split in order to succeed Kurz.
"I've accepted the challenge at Kaiserslautern because I believe we can pull ourselves out of the current situation and stay in this division," said the former Bulgarian international, who lists Swiss sides Grasshopper-Club and FC St Gallen among his former coaching posts. "I played many times at Kaiserslautern's stadium and have not forgotten the amazing atmosphere there, nor the passion of the fans.
"Kaiserslautern are a club that everybody in Europe knows something about and I can't wait to get started. This is a long-term project that we are embarking upon and, hopefully, FCK can once more become a fundamental part of the Bundesliga."
Balakov's first task comes on Saturday with a trip to SC Freiburg, occupants of the league's relegation-promotion play-off place.
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