Greece appoint Skibbe for World Cup qualifying

Former Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray coach Michael Skibbe has his sights set on reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after taking the Greece reins.

Michael Skibbe during his time at Grasshoppers in Switzerland
Michael Skibbe during his time at Grasshoppers in Switzerland ©Getty Images

Michael Skibbe has been charged with guiding Greece through 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

The 50-year old German coach came to Athens on Friday and penned a deal which will be extended until summer 2018 should Greece qualify for the tournament in Russia. Skibbe fills the void left by Claudio Ranieri's departure in November last year, just three games into Greece's failed UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign. Kostas Tsanas has been in interim charge ever since.

"I know Greek football well," said Skibbe, who will be up against Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia and Cyprus in World Cup qualifying Group H. "It was a major surprise and quite an achievement for Greece to win UEFA EURO 2004. This is one of the reasons that I came here.

Watch highlights of the UEFA EURO 2004 final
Watch highlights of the UEFA EURO 2004 final

"I am proud to take over as coach of the Greece national team. It's an honour for any coach to work for a national team. I want to thank the president of the federation for trusting in me. I want to lead Greece back to success and to the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I promise that the players will give all they have for this team."

Skibbe started his coaching career in the youth ranks at Schalke and Borussia Dortmund, later going on to take the top job at BVB. A four-year spell as assistant to Germany coach Rudi Völler followed, before stints at Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Eintracht Frankfurt and Grasshoppers among others. He was in charge at Eskişehirspor until the end of last term.