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Magath answers Bayern call

Published: Wednesday 19 May 2004, 18.00CET
FC Bayern München have appointed VfB Stuttgart coach Felix Magath to replace the outgoing Ottmar Hitzfeld.

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Published: Wednesday 19 May 2004, 18.00CET

Magath answers Bayern call

FC Bayern München have appointed VfB Stuttgart coach Felix Magath to replace the outgoing Ottmar Hitzfeld.
FC Bayern München have appointed VfB Stuttgart coach Felix Magath to replace the outgoing Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Arrival delayed
Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness said Magath would take charge from the 2005/06 season, although it is likely his arrival at the Olympiastadion will be brought forward. Hitzfeld had originally said he would stay for one more season but announced yesterday that he will leave after the final game of the Bundesliga season on Saturday.

Talks to come
"A few weeks ago, we agreed a contract with Felix Magath starting on 1 July 2005," Hoeness said. He added the club would discuss plans for next season after the home match against SC Freiburg. "We'll sit down and talk about what happens once we've got the final game of this season out of the way."

Magath relieved
Stuttgart have said they will not stop Magath from leaving immediately and the coach himself today said he was likely to move straight away. "I'm relieved that it is finally out of the bag," Magath said. "I'm very much looking forward to the task in Munich because it's my aim to coach a team that's chasing the league championship and the European title."

Successful season
Magath, 50, was voted coach of the year in Germany after the 2002/03 season when he guided his young team to second in the Bundesliga. He followed that up with a successful UEFA Champions League campaign in which Stuttgart reached the first knockout round. As a player, Magath won the European Champion Clubs' Cup with Hamburger SV, scoring the only goal of the 1983 final against Juventus FC.

Tense finish
A win or draw at Bayer 04 Leverkusen this Saturday will confirm Stuttgart's place in next season's competition, while a better result than Bayern achieve would allow them to leapfrog their rivals into second position. That would mean an automatic passage to the Champions League group stage, rather than having to negotiate the third qualifying round.

Last updated: 19/05/04 16.21CET

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