Greece coach Rehhagel is World Cup rookie at 71

Last Updated: May 18, 2010, 13:28 PM IST

Athens: His Greek experience is one of those feel-good stories that are made into blockbuster movies.

Otto Rehhagel`s term as coach of Greece has brought both him and the team more success than anyone could possibly have imagined, raising him to the status of national hero.

Rehhagel guided Greece to one of the sport`s biggest upsets when the rank outsiders won the 2004 European Championship, and he has now steered the national team to more major tournaments than all of his predecessors combined.

Yet, with his contract up after the tournament, it looks highly unlikely that the 71-year-old German will stay on after his World Cup debut.

In his nine years in charge he has nurtured a new generation of players who share his thirst for success instead of resting on their domestic laurels as previous generations had done.

Rehhagel had enjoyed considerable club success with Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern before taking over Greece in 2001.