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´Disappointed´ Stielike eyes move to Spain

SoccerNews in La Liga 16 Apr 2008

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Ulli Stielike is eyeing a move to coach a club in the Spanish first division after being let go as manager of the Ivory Coast.

The 53-year-old former Real Madrid and Germany international was informed Tuesday that the Ivory Coast national football federation (FIF) had decided not to extend his contract to guide the Elephants on the march to the 2010 World Cup.

“I don’t know the real reason why (they haven’t kept me on). That’s why I’m so upset, they’ve left me in the dark.

“I had really good relations with the players, it was my dream to manage this Ivory Coast team to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup,” he told Wednesday’s Kolner Express.

Stielike took over as Ivory Coast manager in September 2006 but then had to stand down in January on the eve of the African Nations Cup to care for his seriously ill son who subsequently died.

The FIF offered him a contract extension at the end of February until April 15, but they are now intent on hiring a new face to navigate the country through the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“Since the friendly game against Tunisia (on March 26) I haven’t spoken to anyone at the federation, it’s very disappointing,” said Stielike.

He claimed the FIF had held talks with one of his possible successors, Jean Tigana, behind his back.

Stielike, who was replaced by Gerard Gili for the African Nations Cup in which the Ivorians were beaten by eventual winners Egypt in the semi-finals, is now hoping to secure employment in Spain.

“A job in the Spanish first division interests me. I speak the language perfectly, we’ll see what happens in the coming four weeks,” the former Real Madrid player said.

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