Denmark coach Morten Olsen to step down after Euro 2016 finals

Denmark coach Morten Olsen has announced he will step down from his role when his current contract runs out after the Euro 2016 finals in France.

Olsen, 65, has been the Danish national coach since 2000, making him one of the longest-serving managers in international history.

The former Denmark international has coached his nation to two World Cups and two European Championships, but told a news conference on Tuesday that it was time to step aside.

"After 19 years as a player in the red and white, and almost 16 years as coach, this is an emotional decision to take," Reuters reports him as saying.

"I have never seen this job as work -- more of a lifestyle. I have always been proud of it."

Olsen's decision came as Danish media gathered for the announcement of his squad to face the U.S. in an upcoming friendly on March 25.

Denmark currently top Group I in the Euro 2016 qualifying rounds with seven points from four games, with the four other sides in the group having played a game less.

Olsen expressed his relief at making the announcement early in order to avoid speculation nearer the tournament, with the next qualifier at home against Serbia on June 13.

"I will not have the distraction of people debating whether I'm here or not [after Euro 2016]," he said. "The Danish FA (DBU) will have more time to find a replacement."

The 65-year-old's most recent contract extension came in December 2013 after Denmark had failed in their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.