Swiss Marcel Koller will take over as coach of the Austrian national team, succeeding Dietmar Constantini who resigned last month after a string of losses, the Austrian football federation (OeFB) said today. Koller, 50, will take charge on 1 November and lead the Austrian side through the qualifying process for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Interim coach Willi Ruttensteiner will remain in charge for Austria's last two Euro 2012 qualifiers, against Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, although the small alpine country is already out of the running for the European tournament in Poland and Ukraine next year.
Koller praised his new team, noting: "there are young players there with talent who can develop it further... they play with a lot of passion." "I see potential there and I think we can work well together. I'm confident... we'll find a way to bring Austrian football forward and finally achieve the goals that one must have with a national side to reach qualifications."
Koller, a two-time Swiss league champion as coach of Sankt Gallen in 2000 and Zurich Grasshopper in 2003, was in charge of German Bundesliga side VfL Bochum until September 2009. He also had a brief spell as coach of Cologne in the 2003/04 season, while as player he won the Swiss title seven times with Grasshopper and was part of the Swiss national side at the 1996 European championships. Constantini stepped down on 13 September after the OeFB said it would not extend his contract at the end of the year. In 23 games under his leadership Austria won seven and lost 13.