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Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006

Buchwald to quit as Reds boss

SAITAMA (Kyodo) Guido Buchwald, who has just guided Urawa Reds to their first J. League championship title, said Monday he will leave the club at the end of the season and return to Germany.

Urawa offered Buchwald a new contract but the 45-year-old turned it down because he wants to spend more time with his family living in Germany after spending three seasons as manager of the Saitama club.

"This has been a very difficult decision for me to make but I feel if I am going to leave then now is the right time," said Buchwald, who will remain in charge of the team until the end of its Emperor's Cup campaign.

Buchwald will take time off after returning to Germany, while the Reds are hoping he will continue working with the club in an advisory role.

A member of West Germany's World Cup-winning squad in 1990, Buchwald played for Urawa from 1994-97 and became its manager in 2004, when he led the team to the J. League second-stage title and the final of the league cup.

He also guided the team to victory in the 2005 Emperor's Cup, guaranteeing the Reds a berth in next season's Asian Champions League, the continent's premier club competition.

Urawa beat defending champions Gamba Osaka 3-2 on Saturday to secure the league crown thanks to goals from former Brazil striker Washington and Robson Ponte.



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