Ralf Rangnick has stepped down as coach of FC Schalke 04 with immediate effect for health reasons.
The 53-year-old, who was in his second spell at Schalke, said he currently does not have "the necessary energy to be successful and to develop the team and the club". He added: "Making this decision was incredibly tough for me, but after long and careful consideration I came to the conclusion that I need a break.
"I am making this move for the good of the team and hope they are as successful as possible for the rest of the season." Assistant Seppo Eichkorn will take caretaker charge for Saturday's Bundesliga home match against SC Freiburg, with Maccabi Haifa FC the next to visit Gelsenkirchen next Thursday in UEFA Europa League Group J.
Rangnick, previously at the Schalke helm between 2004 and 2005, returned in March after a successful stint leading TSG 1899 Hoffenheim from the regional third level to the Bundesliga. Last season Rangnick helped Schalke to their first UEFA Champions League semi-final with a 7-3 aggregate defeat of FC Internazionale Milano and won the German Cup.
Schalke, sitting ninth in the Bundesliga after six games, opened their UEFA Europa League group stage campaign with a 0-0 draw at FC Steaua Bucureşti.
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