Germany U-21 head coach Stefan Kuntz is to leave the DFB with immediate effect to become head coach of the Turkish national team. The DFB presidium announced on Friday that they would approve an early termination of Kuntz’s contract should he wish to work the Turkish FA, and an agreement has now been reached.
Stefan Kuntz commented: “I’m leaving the DFB with mixed emotions, because I had an amazing time at the DFB. I’m very thankful that the DFB offered me this job back in 2016 following my 12-year stint out of coaching. It turned out to be a pretty good decision for all involved as we can look back on all the recent success of the U-21 national team. I’m also very much looking forward to this new challenge in Turkey: I spent time at Beşiktaş during my playing career and have since kept in contact with many people from there. I’m grateful to the DFB presidium for allowing me to terminate my contract early so that I can begin my new job with the Turkish FA, and I’d like to take this time to wish the DFB, all the staff and above all the U-21 side and its incredible coaching staff the very best, and I hope that their success continues. I also wish to give thanks to the management team of Oliver Bierhoff, Joti Chatzialexiou and Meikel Schönweitz for their excellent communication and teamwork over the last few years.”
Oliver Bierhoff, national team and academy director, added: “I have no doubt that Stefan has what it takes to be a professional national team head coach, and he can now prove that with Turkey. We’ve known each other for a long time and achieved great things together, such as winning EURO 1996. At the time we were teammates but also rivals and what I learnt about Stefan back then is still applicable to his character today: he’s a fighter, a team player and he always gives it everything. He’s a great motivator of his players and his teams. Everyone who he coaches idolises him and thrives off the team atmosphere that he creates. I can only congratulate the Turkish FA on securing the services of a top coach, and the DFB is proud to have supported Stefan on this journey and helped him develop. All the best and good luck, Stefan!”
Kuntz took over from Horst Hrubesch as head coach of the U-21 national team in September 2016, and he celebrated great success with the team, reaching three consecutive European Championship finals (in 2017,2019 and 2021) and becoming European champions with the U-21s on two occasions (2017 and 2021). Kuntz recently took charge of the Germany team that played at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.