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By ESPN Staff

Laudrup to leave Getafe at the end of season

MADRID, May 16 (Reuters) - Getafe coach Michael Laudrup announced on Friday he will leave the Primera Liga side at the end of the season.

The former Denmark international steered Getafe to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in their debut campaign in Europe, a second successive final of the King's Cup and ensured they will remain in the Primera Liga for a fifth season in a row.

"My time at the club has come to an end," Laudrup told a news conference.

"I'm making this announcement so that the club can have a chance to look for a replacement and in order to express my thanks to them for having given me this opportunity.

"This club is a very recent arrival to the first division, but despite that people said to me when I took over here that I had gone to a club which had great expectations.

"I replied that they were right but that it was a great challenge and look how it turned out. I hope the person that replaces me will be able to do even better even though the club is going to be in the UEFA Cup again."

Laudrup, who played in Spain for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, took charge of Getafe at the start of the season after the club's previous coach Bernd Schuster left to take over at champions Real.

Although his club made an inconsistent start to the campaign, they notched up some impressive results in the league including victories at home to Barcelona and away to Real Madrid.

They surprised many by reaching the last eight in the UEFA Cup, knocking out more experienced sides like Benfica, AEK Athens on the way, and losing to Bayern Munich on the away goals rule after a dramatic 3-3 extra-time draw at the Coliseum.

Laudrup emulated Schuster's achievement in leading the side to the final of the King's Cup, were they lost to Valencia.

The Dane has been linked with a number of coaching posts at big clubs this season including Chelsea.