Crazy days are over, insists Germany's Matthaeus

04 August 2011 07:00

Bulgaria coach and ex-Germany star Lothar Matthaeus insists he has put his problematic recent past behind him and is focused on his goal of one day coaching a German league side.

The 50-year-old is in charge of Bulgaria's bid to reach the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine, having captained Germany to their last World Cup triumph in 1990 before retiring in 2000 having won 150 caps for his country.

Since ending his playing days, Matthaeus has often been ridiculed in the German press and his colourful love-life -- he has been married four times -- is often a subject of tabloid speculation.

Matthaeus hit the headlines here last year after separating from his fourth wife, Ukrainian model Kristina Liliana Chudinova.

He has always insisted he dreams of coaching a Bundesliga team, but has endured a nomadic existence having worked with teams like Rapid Vienna, Brazilian side Atletico Paranaense, Red Bull Salzburg and Israel's Maccabi Netanya.

He has coached Bulgaria since September last year, but his side are currently fourth in Group G for Euro 2012 qualification, six points behind leaders England and Montenegro.

Matthaeus says his days of making headlines in German newspapers for the wrong reasons are now firmly behind him.

"I'm not doing crazy things anymore," he told German football magazine 11Freunde.

"I am often at home now and enjoying my life very much.

"My name has often been used to make headlines in the past ten years.

"When a coach was fired, my name has been traded in the press, but these were all made-up rumours, which has led to my reputation being somewhat damaged in Germany."

The ex-Bayern Munich star has struggled to make his mark in coaching, but insists his heart lies in the Bundesliga.

"I am, and always will be, a child of the Bundesliga and if one day an offer comes from Germany, I would definitely think about it," he said.

Source: AFP