VIENNA (AP) — Austria appointed former Germany international Franco Foda as the national coach on Monday.
Foda will become the first German to lead Austria, taking over from Marcel Koller, who has not been offered a new contract after six years in charge.
“He knows Austrian soccer well as a player and as a coach,” federation president Leo Windtner said about Foda, who has been coaching Austrian league leader Sturm Graz since 2014 after an earlier stint from 2006-12.
Foda will officially begin as Austria coach in January, though he will lead the team for a friendly against Uruguay in November.
“He is a meticulous worker and can build on the excellent work Koller has done,” Windtner said.
He added Foda was also a main candidate for the job in 2011, when the federation ultimately opted for Koller.
The German’s contract runs through the end of 2019, and will be extended until the following summer if Austria qualifies for the 2020 European Championship. Financial details were not disclosed but Windtner said Foda’s salary was “significant lower” than Koller’s.
The 51-year-old Foda, who also coached Kaiserslautern, won the Austrian Cup with Graz in 2010 and the domestic league the following year.
As a defender, he played twice for West Germany in 1987.