Bundesliga cult-coach Streich staying on at Freiburg

BERLIN (AP) — He’s not done yet.

Christian Streich, the longest serving coach in the Bundesliga, is staying in charge of Freiburg after extending his contract yet again.

“Christian lives this club and has SC Freiburg’s philosophy in his heart,” club chairman Jochen Saier said of Streich on Friday.

Streich, who celebrated his 55th birthday on Thursday, has been in charge of the modest club from southwest Germany since December 2011, coaching it through 316 competitive games. He will celebrate his 250th Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg on Saturday.

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“We didn’t have to negotiate for long,” Streich told the club website. “We’re working together in a special constellation here. I’m not saying it’s better than elsewhere, but it’s special. I’m delighted to be able to continue developing our idea of soccer with the guys every day on the field.”

As customary, the club did not give details on the length of the new deal, which also includes Streich’s five assistant coaches. He previous extended his contract in 2019.

Streich has become celebrated for his witty quotes, delivered in his distinctive local accent.

“We’re not totally unsexy,” he said of Freiburg’s playing style. “On the other hand, I am relatively unsexy.”

Streich, who can often be seen gesticulating feverishly on the sideline to communicate with players, maintains a humble approach to management.

“Bodyguards? I don’t need any bodyguards. The stars have bodyguards,” he said.

Streich celebrates without restraint when his team wins, and is philosophical when it loses.

“We don’t have to win, we only have to die,” he said of facing pressure.

Streich took charge of Freiburg’s under-19s in 1995 after his playing career ended due to injury, and was named the senior team coach after a spell as an assistant.

“I should kneel ten times and give thanks that I am a coach,” Streich previously told the dpa news agency.

Freiburg was relegated in 2015, but bounced back to the Bundesliga the following season.

Streich’s team is currently eighth in the 18-team Bundesliga, two points behind Hoffenheim in the last place for European qualification. Four rounds remain due to the league being suspended for two months due to the coronavirus.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

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