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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Babbel quits as director of football

Markus Babbel has stepped down as director of football at Hoffenheim but remains as the Bundesliga club's coach.

Babbel will be replaced as director of football by former Schalke player and director of football Andreas Muller.

Babbel had asked the board to find a replacement for him last week after he had overseen Hoffenheim's summer transfers, telling kicker: "I told them: 'Please find someone else for the job'."

Hoffenheim have lost their last six Bundesliga matches, including the first matches of this season against Monchengladbach, Frankfurt and Freiburg, conceding 11 goals to slump to the bottom of the league. But Hoffenheim patron Dietmar Hopp last week spoke of his belief in Babel and said the club would remain calm.

The club's chief executive Alexander Waldi explained: "Andreas Muller has convinced us with his ideas. We believe he can be a key component in bringing another piece of stability to Hoffenheim.

"We thank Markus Babbel for his commitment as director of football. We are certain that he can lead the team out of the critical situation we are currently in."

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