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Bierhoff threatens to quit football

Friday 3rd May 2002

Germany forward Oliver Bierhoff will retire from football if no-one offers him a deal when his contract with Monaco expires next month. "I have no offers and If I don't get a convincing one, I will have no problem quitting," he said before launching a fierce attack on coach Didier Deschamps.

The veteran forward, who has scored 33 goals in 62 games for Germany, has endured a miserable season after signing a one-year deal with the French club from AC Milan. But it could be the last of his career if no other club makes an approach to buy him.

"Physically I feel capable of playing for another season or two, I still get a lot of pleasure from playing but I have no offers and If I don't get a convincing one, I will have no problem quitting professional football."

The former Udinese hitman has only scored four goals in the league for Monaco this season - and he has laid the blame for his disappointing season squarely on the shoulders of coach Deschamps, who he fell out with in February.

Bierhoff explained: "I started off well with seven goals in first 12 games [including Cup matches]. Afterwards I had an ankle injury and then a bout of flu, and it all started going wrong. A guy of my physique needs three or four matches in a row to get back into form but instead of supporting me, Didier Deschamps let me down.

"He put me back on the bench and opted instead for defensive tactics. I'm a penalty area player, I depend on the team's system because I'm not the kind of player to create opportunities on my own. Why was Jerome Rothen second-highest assist-creater in the first division when he arrived from Troyes and has only made one assist since he's been at Monaco? There must be a reason.

"Deschamps was unable to give shape to the team because he had problems with the star players - Simone, Panucci, Gallardo and myself. We often found ourselves on the bench or in the stands.

"At the end of the season he blamed the players but when you use more than 25 of them and they constantly play badly, there has to be a problem with the system. It's the coach's job to get the best out of the players.

Bierhoff then went on to reveal why the pair had fallen out. "During the African Nations Cup, when Soulemayne Camara and Shabani Nonda were absent, he asked me to play with an injury. I did so and afterwards he sidelined me.

"When I signed for Monaco, I thought that Deschamps, who often played against me in Italy, knew me well and that he would adapt the system to my characteristics. I thought I'd be playing alongside Marco Simone and with wingers.

"But my disappointment is not only on a personal level - it is also to have seen the team play so badly all season when we had the potential to do much better."

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