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Italian, German Team Coaches Resign Following World Cup


The Italian Football Federation says national team coach Marcello Lippi has resigned, just three days after guiding Italy to its fourth World Cup title.

Lippi said Italy's defeat of France in the final in Berlin on Sunday was a historic result that will live on in the hearts of Italian fans.

The coach says the two years he spent leading the Italian national team was "an extraordinary professional and personal experience" with "an exceptional group of players."

His successor has not yet been named.

The Italian coach suggested weeks ago that he would resign. Though he is not under investigation, Lippi reportedly felt that he and his son had been personally attacked in the corruption scandal that has tainted Italian soccer.

Italian soccer federation vice president Giancarlo Abete praised Lippi for his "extraordinary professionalism and his ability in leading the team."

Meanwhile, the coach of Germany's national football team, Juergen Klinsmann, also is stepping down, after leading his youthful squad to a third-place World Cup finish that sparked a wave of national euphoria.

Klinsmann's assistant, Joachim Loew, will succeed him.

The 41-year-old Klinsmann had tears in his eyes as he announced his decision Wednesday in Berlin.

Klinsmann said he feels burned out and intends to take the next six months off. He told reporters he wants to spend more time with his family, who live in California.

The German soccer federation's co-president, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, thanked Klinsmann for what he called an incredible performance.

The 46-year-old Loew, who has worked with Klinsmann for the past two years, will take over team leadership through the European Championship in 2008.