Germany coach Joachim Löw will step down after this year's European Championship, bringing forward his previous plan to quit after the next World Cup.

The German Football Association said on Tuesday that Löw asked to terminate his contract, which was to run through the 2022 World Cup, after this year's European tournament. Löw took over as coach after the 2006 World Cup and had been assistant coach to Jürgen Klinsmann for two years before that.

“I’m taking this step very consciously, full of pride and with gratitude, but still with the same motivation for the upcoming European Championship,” Löw said.

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“Pride, because it is something very special for me and an honour to be engaged for my country. And because I have been able to work with the best players in the country for almost 17 years.”

Löw led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, its fourth overall, but he has been under pressure since a first-round exit at the last World Cup and subsequent lacklustre performances. Germany’s last game was a 6-0 loss to Spain in the Nations League in November.

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“The federation knows what it has in Jogi. He is one of the biggest coaches in world football,” President Fritz Keller said.

“Jogi Löw has shaped German football like none other for years and helped it to the highest levels internationally.”

Löw said he would do all he can at the European Championship, which was postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I'll give my best," Löw said, "to make our fans happy and to be successful at this tournament.”