German team honours Zwanziger

The German football team has bid farewell to Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Federation (DFB), who will stand down on Friday. Germany host France in a friendly international today in Bremen and the team held a small reception at the team hotel for their last international with Zwanziger as DFB boss.

Captain Miroslav Klose presented the 66-year-old with a gift on behalf of the team of a framed photo montage under the title "The first team says thanks". Zwanziger has been sole president of the DFB since 2007 and he will hand over responsibility to his successor Wolfgang Niersbach in a special ceremony in Frankfurt on Friday.

In his leaving speech, Zwanziger wished the team good luck for UEFA EURO 2012, which starts on 8 June, and praised coach Joachim Loew and his team for going through the qualification campaign with ten straight wins. Under his recent stewardship, Germany reached the final of EURO 2008, came third at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and have beaten both Brazil and Holland in friendlies.

He has been popular with the players and midfielder Mesut Ozil paid tribute to him. "He has helped me a lot and it's a shame that he is standing down," said the Real Madrid star. "We have talked a lot internally, but I am sad he will not be around."