Schäfer Calls Time On Dynamo Adventure
Christian Schäfer Leaves Dynamo Dresden In Search Of A New Challenge
German manager Christian Schäfer today resigned from his role as manager of UEFA Champions League winners Dynamo Dresden. The forty one year-old had been in charge of Dynamo for seven whole seasons, and his achievements have written his name in footballing folklore, most notably winning last season's UEFA Champions League and guiding his side to three back-to-back Bundesliga titles.
The popular German manager, known as 'Der Professor', found the decision a "difficult one to make", but was quoted as to be "looking for a new challenge to complete".
Christian Schäfer opened his account as a football manager in the summer of 2015, when then Dynamo Dresden director of football Robert Schäfer (no relation) made the surprising appointment. Despite this being his first, and only to date, club as a manager, Christian had a remarkably successful first season in charge, guiding his team to the 3. Bundesliga title. His second season in charge saw Dynamo go from strength-to-strength, placing second in the 2. Bundesliga, and earning promotion to the Bundesliga. It was in this first Bundesliga season where Schäfer faced one of his greatest challenges; keeping a side heavily backed for relegation above the water. He did so, with aplomb, as Dynamo finished in a remarkable 15th position.
It was after these three seasons when Dynamo Dresden under Christian Schäfer began to take notice. The following season saw Dynamo qualify for the UEFA Champions League through a fourth place finish in the Bundesliga, and winning the DFB-Pokal that season brought home Schäfer's first major title as manager. European football brought great excitement to the city, but nothing could match the jubilation as Dynamo lifted the Bundesliga trophy in each of the next three seasons, the last of which proved to be the most famous. It was in this final season when, against all the odds, Dynamo Dresden defeated the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid and Manchester City to reach their first ever UEFA Champions League final. FC Shalke 04 stood in their way in the final, but a late Kenedy strike was enough for Schäfer's side to become champions of Europe, a fitting way for the gaffer to sign off as a Dynamo legend.
Christian Schäfer Was Popular Among The Dynamo Dresden Fans During His Tenure
"First of all I would like to say thank you to Robert Schäfer, who gave me the opportunity to work at what is a truly unbelievable club all those years ago, I would like to thank the current president, Frank Berthes, former president Andreas Ritter, the rest of the board, my coaching and staff team, the players who made such wonderful memories for the fans, who I have great affection for.
It is crazy to think we have come so far in the last few years and now we sit here, as champions of Europe, looking to defend our honour for yet another year. The Dynamo train keeps rolling on as always, collecting new faces and visiting new and foreign places every year. But for me, we are at the station where I must get off this train. It has been an unforgettable experience and one which I will cherish every second of.
Somebody told me that I was two games off making it to three-hundred games in charge of Dynamo, which is incredible really. Even now when I think about it, it only felt like yesterday when we played at home to FC Erzgebirge Aue in my first game. Aias Aosman opened the scoring that day I think. We have accomplished so much and winning as many trophies as we have in this short time is crazy. There is something special about this club, maybe the stadium is built on some ancient magic well or something of such prophecies!
As difficult as it is to say goodbye, it is something which I need to do. The decision was a difficult one to make, but a necessary one for me. My experience at the club is not something I would ever give up, but I feel as if I have achieved everything which I could at Dynamo. To leave now when we are the reigning champions of Europe is probably the best achievement of my life to date, and whatever lies ahead of me will have to be very special to come close to matching this.
I wish Dynamo and the next manager good luck for the future. Maybe one day I will return, only time will tell. For now, it is time to look for a new challenge to complete, for a new mountain to climb."
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