Werder Bremen have rewarded Thomas Schaaf for guiding the club into the UEFA Champions League knockout stage with a new contract until summer 2008.
The German side won 5-1 against Panathinaikos FC last night and that, coupled with FC Barcelona's 2-0 success at Udinese Calcio, was enough to ensure Bremen runners-up position in Group C. The 44-year-old's contract had been due to expire this term but he was keen to stay at the club he has served all his professional career.
Schaaf, a defender as a player, enjoyed a terrific 16-season stay at Bremen after breaking through in 1978, forming close ties which led to him joining the coaching set-up at the Weserstadion after hanging up his boots. He served his apprenticeship with the Under-18s and reserves before taking over the first team in May 1999, with his finest hour to date being the title achieved in the 2003/04 Bundesliga.
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