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By ESPN Staff

Buchwald to quit as coach of Urawa Reds

TOKYO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Former World Cup winner Guido Buchwald said on Monday that he will leave Japan's Urawa Reds at the end of the season and return to Germany.

The 45-year-old, part of the West Germany side who won the 1990 World Cup, led Urawa to their first J-League championship at the weekend in his third year at the club.

'It was time for me to take a step back from managing and look back at the last three years,' said Buchwald, who rejected a new deal in order to be with his family.

'Personal issues played a part but it was the right time to stop. It would have been nice to be involved in next year's Asian Champions League but the club is in good hands.'

Buchwald, who played for Urawa from 1994 to 1997, will formally step down after the Japanese season-ending Emperor's Cup.

He led Urawa to victory in last season's Emperor's Cup working alongside fellow German Gert Engels, securing Japan's best-supported club a spot in the 2007 Asian Champions League.

'I have enjoyed three wonderful years at Urawa,' said Buchwald. It's tough to walk away but coaches such as Gert can take the club forward.'

Buchwald has been linked to several clubs in Germany and turned down an offer from World Cup team mate Juergen Klinsmann to work alongside him at this year's World Cup.

'I think I will pay a visit to America to see Juergen,' Buchwald said, although he did not elaborate on whether his visit to Klinsmann's California home would be job-related.

'I need to take some time away and analyse the last three years. You always look for ways to improve as a manager.'