Christian Streich has confirmed he will leave Freiburg at the end of the season after 12 years as head coach. - © IMAGO/Oliver Zimmermann
Christian Streich has confirmed he will leave Freiburg at the end of the season after 12 years as head coach. - © IMAGO/Oliver Zimmermann

Christian Streich announces departure from Freiburg after 12 years as coach


Christian Streich has announced in an emotional video to fans that he will be stepping down as Freiburg head coach at the end of the season after over 12 years at the helm.

Streich, 58, explained to fans that the time was right to step aside: “I’d like to share with you, with a very heavy heart, that I will not be continuing in my role as head coach of Freiburg from this summer.

“I thought long and hard, but I believe it’s the right time after 29 years to allow in new people, new energy, new possibilities here. I also believe our players and the people around us will need that new energy. It’s always been important to me that I don’t miss the time where I believe it’s time to go.”

Director of sport Jochen Saier added: “Over the past few weeks, we have had an intensive, very trusting and emotional exchange of ideas with Christian - which has resulted in a decision that we regret, but which we can fully respect and understand.

“Christian's work over the past 12 and a half years as head coach and almost three decades of coaching for our SC was and is as special as the joint decision-making process. However, the moment to finally honour this very special time has not yet come, as our journey together does not end here and now. There is still too much to achieve together in the eight remaining Bundesliga matches.”

Watch: Streich announces his departure

A former player and later youth coach at the Black Forest club for 15 years, leading the U19s to the Bundesliga title and three DFB Cups, Streich became assistant to Marcus Sorg in the first team at the start of the 2011/12 campaign. He then became head coach on 1 January 2012 and has guided the team to its most successful era.

Streich led the team to fifth in his first full season in charge, while the club stuck with him when relegated in 2015. He led them straight back up, topping the Bundesliga 2 standings ahead of RB Leipzig, and helped stabilise Freiburg as a top-flight side.

Last year he also led the Black Forest outfit to fifth with a club record of 59 points, ensuring back-to-back campaigns of European football for the first time in their history. Those UEFA Europa League journeys both ended in the knockout stages against Juventus and West Ham United.

The previous season he took Freiburg to the DFB Cup final the first time ever, losing on penalties to Leipzig. It was again Die Roten Bullen who knocked them out in the semi-finals last year.

Watch: Christian Streich: Freiburg Fairytale

At the time of his announcement, Streich had been in the job for 4,463 days, ranking him fifth among the longest-serving coaches at a Bundesliga club. None of the other 17 coaches in the division have overseen as many fixtures as him in the German top flight with 383.

And despite being in the position at Freiburg for five years fewer than Volker Finke, he has overtaken his legendary predecessor to claim the club record for most games, wins and goals scored as Freiburg boss in the Bundesliga.

He boasts an average of 1.3 points per game in the top division, which is again a club record. He has won 133 of those 383 matches, drawn 109 and lost 141. That amounts to a win rate of 35 percent, while his rate of defeat (37 percent) is the lowest of any Freiburg boss in the Bundesliga.

Watch: All about Streich's Freiburg

However, it isn’t just Streich’s exploits as a simple football coach that will ensure his legacy is never forgotten. The Baden-Württemberg native would rarely shy away from a comment about politics or social issues, speaking in his trademark local dialect that even some Germans struggled with.

As such, he received the Julius-Hirsch Honorary Prize from the German FA in November 2023, which is an award given to those in football who work to comeback discrimination. It’s among a raft of personal accolades Streich has earned for his work from nearly three decades at Freiburg.

“This club is my life and I’m extraordinarily grateful for the support and affection I’ve received. I’m full of gratitude that I got to experience it all. I’d like to thank you all. I’m excited about the future of this club. A great club, a great time for me, but it’s the right time for me to say goodbye,” Streich concluded.

The club confirmed that news on Streich’s successor will be made soon. There are eight games left to play this season, starting after the international break away at Borussia Mönchengladbach with the team in ninth place. Streich’s final home game will be on the penultimate day of the season against Heidenheim and Frank Schmidt, currently the only man in German professional football to be in charge of a single club for longer than Streich. His final match at the helm will be away at Union Berlin.