Matthaeus becomes Bulgaria’s national coach

Former Germany great Lothar Matthaeus will take over as coach of Bulgaria, the country’s football federation announced on Tuesday.

"Matthaeus will be officially presented in a few days and will lead the team in its next European Championship qualifier against Wales," football federation head Borislav Mihailov said. He added that Matthaeus had agreed on a one-year contract with an option for two more years.

Matthaeus, 49, replaces Stanimir Stoilov, who resigned Sept. 7 after the team’s two losses to England and Montenegro in the opening Euro 2012 qualifiers.

"We need a foreign coach with a strong background whom the players will respect," Mihailov said.

Matthaeus coached Hungary without much success in 2004-05 and has held coaching jobs with a number of clubs, including Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade, Austria’s Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg.

The midfielder played a record 150 games for Germany and West Germany, leading the team to the World Cup title in 1990 and the 1986 final. He played 302 matches for Bayern Munich and won the UEFA Cup with the team.