Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is set to end one of the most successful coaching careers in recent history after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hitzfeld, 64, announced he will retire following the tournament during a press conference in Bern on Thursday, speaking of “the most difficult decision of my career.”
The former Bayern Munich boss explained that, after over 30 years as a coach, the time had come to call it a day, saying: “This is my last gig. After that, I will no longer be a football coach.”
Hitzfeld said that his decision will not undermine Switzerland’s World Cup ambitions in Brazil, adding: “I announced that I will step down as the FC Bayern coach in December 2007, and in May 2008 we won the championship and the cup.”
Hitzfeld started his coaching career at SC Zug in Switzerland in 1983. Eight years later, after winning two Swiss championships with Grashopper Zurich, he joined Borussia Dortmund and turned the club into a European powerhouse, winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 1995 and 1996, and, a year later, BVB became the first German team to win the Champions League.
Following a season as Dortmund’s sporting director, he joined Bayern Munich in the summer of 1998 and became one of the most successful coaches of all time.
During his two stints (from 1998 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2008) as the coach of Bayern he won a total of 10 major trophies -- five German championships, three German cups and, in 2001, the Champions League once again. Bayern also won the Club World Cup in 2001.
He is one of the few coaches to have lifted the European Cup with two different clubs.
Hitzfeld took charge of the Switzerland team after the 2008 European Championship. During his spell as Switzerland boss, the German secured qualification for the 2010 World Cup, where they beat future champions Spain in their opening match, but failed to get out of their group.
After failing to qualify for the 2012 European Championship, Switzerland booked their tickets to Brazil early. The Alp state will also be seeded when the World Cup groups are drawn in Rio de Janeiro on December 6.