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Apr 4, 2014

Rehhagel lands DFB achievement award

Otto Rehhagel has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the German Football Association (DFB).

The "child of the Bundesliga" [a nickname derived from the fact he played in its inaugural season in 1963] has been one of the dominant figures in the league's history, and during his spell in charge of Greece, became the oldest coach ever at a World Cup.

Rehhagel, 75, was honoured with the award for his "outstanding achievements as a coach and for his services rendered to football," DFB announced on Thursday.

"Otto Rehhagel has defined the German football with his incomparable style and his success," DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said. 

"He has won many titles as the coach of Werder Bremen and put his name into the history books through his sensational championship with then newly promoted Kaiserslautern, and the 2004 European Championship trophy with [tournament outsiders] Greece. Otto is a great personality and an absolute role model."

Rehhagel was proud of receiving the award, stating: "That's a great honour, I am delighted."

During his 40 years as a coach for clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Fortuna Duesseldorf, Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern, Rehhagel won three Bundesliga titles -- one of them with the newly promoted Kaiserslautern in 1998.

Rehhagel also won three German cups, two of them with Werder Bremen, the side he coached for 14 years.

In Europe, he also won silverware with Bremen, when the club lifted the 1992 Cup Winners' Cup trophy.

During his nine-year spell in charge of Greece, he led the southern European country to a sensational win at the 2004 European Championships.

Rehhagel ended his career at Hertha Berlin in 2012, the club for whom he made his debut in the first year of the newly created league.

During the awards ceremony, Rehhagel ruled out returning to any dugout other than at the Bernabeu: "Only if Real Madrid calls," he said.

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