Tarmo Rüütli Says Goodbye to National Football Team
The Estonian Football Association has announced that it will not renew the contract of head coach Tarmo Rüütli and will look for a replacement from abroad, with media speculation pointing to 37-year-old Swede Magnus Pehrsson as the prime candidate.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday evening where the announcement was made, Rüütli said that the only bitter feeling he has is the fact that the new coach will be foreign.
The association's president, Aivar Pohlak, said that the replacement coach, whose name will be unveiled in the next few weeks, will make way for a home-grown head coach in two years, adding that there is currently no suitable Estonian candidate available.
According to Swedish football website Fotbolltransfers.com, Pehrsson has already signed a three-year deal with the Estonian association.
The Swede has so far managed clubs in the Danish and Swedish top divisions.
As good as it gets?
Rüütli signed on for the national team for a short period in 1999 and 2000, and then again in 2008, guiding the team in a total of 91 games, chalking up 28 wins, 19 draws and 44 losses.
He achieved what no other coach in Estonia had: he guided Estonia to the play-off round of a major qualification tournament. That feat - something that neither Finland nor Lithuania has managed - was a distant dream before Rüütli's arrival.
ERR News compiled a list of the most memorable games under Rüütli's leadership:
Estonia vs Brazil, friendly on August 12, 2009. 0-1
Estonia vs Belgium, 2010 World Cup qualifier, October 14, 2009. 2-0
Serbia vs Estonia, EURO 2012 qualifier, October 8, 2010. 1-3
Estonia vs Uruguay, friendly, March 25, 2011. 2-0
Northern Ireland vs Estonia, EURO 2012 qualifier, October 7. 2011, 1-2
Estonia vs Ireland, EURO 2012 play-offs, November 11, 2011. 0-4
Ireland vs Estonia, EURO 2012 play-offs, November 15, 2011. 1-1
Estonia vs Netherlands, 2014 World Cup qualifier, September 6, 2013. 2-2