The Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) has paid tribute to Dietmar Constantini for "breathing new life into the side" after the 56-year-old stepped down as national team coach.
Constantini told ÖFB president Leo Windtner of his desire to leave the post with immediate effect on Tuesday in the wake of last week's announcement that his contract would not be extended into next year. Windtner accepted the coach's decision, and ÖFB sporting director Willi Ruttensteiner will lead Austria in their final UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan next month.
A top-two spot is already beyond Austria's reach but Constantini, who replaced Karel Brückner at the helm in March 2009, is credited for overseeing a changing of the guard – integrating a new generation into the senior set-up. "On behalf of all Austrian football I want to thank Didi Constantini for his commitment," said Windtner. "Even though we have not achieved the results we wanted, he breathed new life into the side."
Constantini added: "It was a good time and what pleases me most is that we were able to revive an enthusiasm for the national team from our fans. For me, that defines my tenure. I want to thank my staff and all the ÖFB staff."
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