SYDNEY • An emotional Ange Postecoglou quit as coach yesterday, just days after guiding Australia to a World Cup Finals spot and leaving them only months to find a replacement for Russia.
The Australian, 52, did not reveal the main reason behind his decision, which had been widely expected after he repeatedly refused to deny reports he was about to step down.
His departure, at the end of a five-year contract, leaves the Asian champions in turmoil ahead of the June-July World Cup, where they will hope to improve on their three straight defeats in 2014.
He gave no details, beyond saying he hoped to coach a club overseas. But he said he felt it was "the right time" to leave.
"After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I've decided that the journey for me ends as Socceroos coach," he told a press conference in Sydney, adding that the job had taken a toll on his family.
"It's been the biggest privilege of my life and probably not the ending I had envisaged, but at the same time, it's the right time for me and the right decision.
"It is with a heavy heart that I must now end the journey."
Postecoglou brushed aside questions about whether he had been affected by media criticism, and denied any conflict with Football Federation Australia (FFA).
Australian Graham Arnold, the Sydney FC coach, is touted as one of the top contenders to replace Postecoglou.