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By ESPN Staff

Klinsmann stepping down as Germany's coach

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Juergen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to a third-place finish at the World Cup, stepped down Wednesday and was replaced by his assistant, Joachim Loew.

Klinsmann told reporters he was leaving to spend more time with his California-based family.

"I feel burned out," said a tearful Klinsmann, adding that he would take a six-month vacation. "I have a great wish to be back with my family and my children."

Loew, 46, had worked with Klinsmann during his two-year coaching stint.

"He was never an assistant; he was a partner, who had his own areas of responsibility," Klinsmann said.

German soccer federation co-president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder thanked Klinsmann for a "wonderful time" and said "your performance was incredible."

Loew's two-year deal runs to the end of the 2008 European Championship in Switzerland and Austria.

Klinsmann's rejuvenated team went beyond expectations by finishing third, after losing to eventual champion Italy 2-0 in the semifinals.

Klinsmann, 41, had no previous coaching experience when he took over an ailing German squad two years ago.

After Germany beat Portugal 3-1 to take third place, Klinsmann said he would think about his future over the next few days and consult with his family.