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Daum returns to Fenerbahce

GERMAN coach Christoph Daum has left FC Cologne after being given the chance to rejoin Turkish side Fenerbahce, the Bundesliga club said yesterday.

"We are sad that Christoph Daum is leaving," Cologne Chairman Wolfgang Overath said in a statement.

"Christoph thanked us for the collaboration and said he could not refuse the offer because of its very good sports and financial framework.

"We wish him all the best in his new job."

The 55-year-old Daum will join a team which sacked former Spain coach Luis Aragones on Monday after a disappointing fourth-place finish this year.

As well as his previous three-year stint at Fenerbahce from 2003, Daum has also had two spells with new Turkish champion Besiktas, winning a total of three league titles and one cup before signing a four-year contract with Cologne in 2006.

Daum steered Cologne to 12th place this term after helping it win promotion from the second division the previous season. He was also instrumental in getting striker Lukas Podolski, a favorite with the fans, back to Cologne for next season.

Podolski, who will return to his home club after an unhappy three-year spell at Bayern Munich, said Daum's departure was unexpected.

"This news comes as complete surprise," the striker said in Dubai ahead of Germany's friendly with the United Arab Emirates yesterday. "But I am confident the club will find a worthy successor."

Daum won the Bundesliga title in 1992 with VfB Stuttgart. He was designed to become coach of Germany but a cocaine affair derailed his career in 2000.


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