Departing Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Stoger is delighted have returned the club to the Champions League.
Dortmund secured a fourth place finish on the final day of the 2017/18 Bundesliga season despite losing 3-1 to Hoffenheim.
Andrej Kramaric (26′) had opened the scoring at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Saturday ahead of a 58th minute leveller from Marco Reus.
But Adam Szalai (63′) and Pavel Kaderabek (73′) both netted for a comprehensive 3-1 win.
The result left Hoffenheim in third and Dortmund in fourth, both on 55 points, level with fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen but with a better goal difference.
Stoger had taken over from Peter Bosz in December 2017 and lifted the club out of a difficult period.
After the match Hoffenheim, the manager reveled he would not be continuing in the post, but was delighted to be leaving having secured Champions League football.
He said: “The discussions with Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc were always great. We already decided some time ago that some new impetus would possibly be good for the club, and that this would be most easily injected by way of a new manager.”
Dortmund were eighth when Stoger took over. He continued: “Unfortunately not in second or third place, but fourth. We really wanted to keep hold of third place. When we arrived here, we thought it would be easier, but we have still made it over the finishing line nonetheless.”
On the clash with Hoffenheim, he added that it was “a reflection of that which has accompanied Borussia Dortmund these last weeks, months, and maybe even across the entire season: we were not certain in our play, even though we were not on the back foot. Instead, we made it easy for our opponent to get into the match.”
BVB have yet to announce Stoger’s successor, but Nice manager Lucien Favre is reportedly the favourite for the job.