Loew to stay on as Germany coach

Germany coach Joachim Loew pictured during his side's World Cup semi-final against Brazil at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on July 8, 2014 (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

Berlin (AFP) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Wednesday that he never considered leaving his post after winning the World Cup title and insisted he would see out his contract which runs until Euro 2016.

"I didn't think of stopping for one second," said Loew, 54, in an interview published on the German Football Federation (DFB) website.

Loew took over as German head coach in 2006 after two years as assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann and extended his contract until 2016 before the World Cup in Brazil.

"I didn't extend my contract with the DFB until 2016 to prematurely break it," said Loew, who had refused to answer questions about his future after guiding his side's defeat of Argentina in this month's World Cup final.

"I simply kept to what we had agreed before the World Cup that we were going to calmly sit down and analyse the tournament as we have done after every tournament," he explained.

Loew said that he was already looking forward to leading Germany to a fourth European title at Euro 2016 which will be played in France.

"I can't imagine anything more beautiful than to continue working with this team, to lead them to the European championship in France, to continue to develop the group and each of the players," he said.

"I'm as motivated as the first day. We celebrated a huge success in Brazil, but there are other objectives that we want to achieve. The 2014 World Cup was a summit but it wasn't a conclusion."

Germany beat Argentina 1-0 after extra time in the World Cup final after humiliating hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals.

It was their fourth World Cup title and the first since reunification in 1990. Their previous titles were in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Since the rapturous celebrations in Berlin after the German team's return home, Loew has been holidaying in Freiburg, southwest Germany.

"I was at home in Freiburg and I think that all those who were in Brazil needed a little time to come down," he explained, adding that he had "withdrawn a little to enjoy the moment with family and friends".

One of his first tasks will be to find a new captain after defender Philipp Lahm's surprise international retirement, with Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger favourite for the job.

Loew said: "His retirement is a big loss for us from a sporting and human point of view.

"I couldn't have wished for a better captain than him. That's why I regret that he is no longer available to the team. But I accept and respect his decision."

Lahm meanwhile said that it had been a difficult decision to leave but one he had taken in late 2013.

"It's not easy to leave. But I'm proud of this decision," he told weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

"Maybe I could have maintained my level until the Euros, but I'm happy and liberated," said the 30-year-old Bayern Munich captain.

"My life belongs to me again. I want to remain happy, in addition to my footballing career, I have to stay in control, that is to say to make decisions before they are made for me."

"I still feel in form and competitive. But it is time to bring new structures to my life and in the Nationalmannschaft," added Lahm, who is under contract with Bayern until 2018.