Ottmar Hitzfeld's long and distinguished coaching career came to a close when Switzerland were knocked out of the FIFA World Cup by Argentina on Tuesday evening. The 65-year-old German had already committed to bowing out at the end of the campaign, leaving an impressive legacy that includes UEFA Champions League triumphs with Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München as well as countless other trophies. UEFA.com pieces together Hitzfeld's style and approach through quotes.
"I will go on working on TV. I can't lose when I work on TV. I will have a quiet life now. My job as a coach has finished. I'm proud of my career. I've had some marvellous teams. It's been a great honour and I have a heart full of emotion. Every moment in football sticks in your memory. We were so close to penalties but we did not make it. We can walk tall and leave with our heads held high."
Hitzfeld confirms his decision to retire after Switzerland's last-16 defeat by Argentina
"As a coach, you always feel the pressure, no matter if it's going well or not. If you don't win the next match, you will face problems. In football you are judged only by results – there are no style points."
Hitzfeld mulls over the difficulties of being in charge of FC Bayern München
"A coach has feelings too, but I can't make humane decisions – I have to do what is best for the club. I have a good relationship with my players, but I don't want them to get too close because I might have to hurt them again."
Hitzfeld contemplates the difficulties of selecting a squad
"Victory is not everything, but without victory everything is nothing."
Hitzfeld has one of his more philosophical moments
"Their equaliser was a stab in the heart. I couldn't bear the thought of extra time as they had a psychological advantage after scoring. Those were the things running through my head when they started preparing for another corner. Afterwards I was disillusioned. I remember meeting Sir Alex Ferguson and he almost seemed embarrassed to have won the match."
Hitzfeld recalls the 1999 UEFA Champions League final when his Bayern side conceded two last-gasp goals to lose to Manchester United FC
"I am fairly rational. It is true that I rarely celebrate. Sometimes I should celebrate a bit more, but this job doesn't allow it. I am very careful with my feelings. I don't want to celebrate too early and be disappointed later."
Hitzfeld seemed to be haunted by that defeat by United for many years
"Ottmar is similar to a deer standing in a clearing and looking to all sides. He's on the alert in case he is attacked because he is not as strong as he portrays himself."
Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness on his good friend Hitzfeld
"His setup is pretty much perfect. As a coach he has superb technical qualities. He has a genuine personality and creates an ordered heirarchy. But he also masters leadership outside of the sporting realm."
Hitzfeld's one-time Borussia Dortmund protege Matthias Sammer sings the coach's praises
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