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Jürgen Klinsmann

Jürgen Klinsmann (born July 30, 1964 in Göppingen) is a German football manager and former football player, who played for several prominent clubs in Europe and was part of the West German national team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He was one of Germany's premier strikers during the 90s.

He managed the German national team to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup, a much better result than the general expectations, including those from Germany's own fans.

On 12 July 2006, Klinsmann officially announced that he would step down as Germany's coach after two years in charge and be replaced by assistant coach Joachim Löw.

Club playing career

Klinsmann was born in Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg. He was first introduced to football at the age of eight, playing every position in his youth, including goalkeeper. He started his professional career at the age of seventeen at Stuttgarter Kickers, which at the time was a second division club. In 1984 he joined the more prestigious Stuttgart club VfB Stuttgart, a perennial first division member.

Jürgen Klinsmann
Personal information
Date of birth July 30, 1964 (1964-07-30) (age 43)
Place of birth     Göppingen, West Germany
Height 182 cm (5' 11")
Playing position Striker (retired)
Youth clubs
TB Gingen
SC Geislingen an der Steige
Stuttgarter Kickers
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Stuttgarter Kickers
VfB Stuttgart
AS Monaco
Tottenham Hotspur
Bayern Munich
→ Tottenham Hotspur (loan)
Orange County Blue Star
061 0(22)
156 0(79)
095 0(34)
065 0(29)
041 0(21)
065 0(31)
008 00(2)
015 00(9)
008 00(5)
514 (232)   
National team2
1987–1998 Germany 108 0(47)
Teams managed
2004-2006  Germany
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of June 3, 2006.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of June 3, 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)

Besides playing for German clubs VfB Stuttgart and Bayern Munich, Klinsmann played abroad for Internazionale, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Sampdoria. During this time he was under the tutelage of such coaches as Arsène Wenger and Giovanni Trapattoni, among others.

The first time he arrived at Tottenham he was not popular in England, partly because he played in the 1990 Germany team that knocked England out of the World Cup, and partly because of his reputation as a diver. After his Tottenham debut, when he poked fun at himself by diving across the pitch to celebrate his first goal, he became much more popular. One Guardian journalist, who had written an article called "Why I Hate Jürgen Klinsmann", wrote another two months later called "Why I Love Jürgen Klinsmann". Klinsmann went on to win the 1995 Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year[1]

During his second stint at Tottenham, Klinsmann decided to retire from playing professional football in the summer of 1998 after the World Cup. Under the pseudonym Jay Goppingen, Klinsmann made a comeback as a player in 2003 for Orange County Blue Star in the American Premier Development League. The 39-year-old was able to score five goals in eight appearances, helping his team to reach the playoffs. The name is taken from the town of Göppingen, where Klinsmann was born.

National team playing career

Olympic medal record
Competitor for West Germany
Men's Football
Bronze 1988 Seoul Team Competition

Klinsmann had a fruitful international career, seeing his first Germany duty in 1987 and in the end collecting 108 caps along with 47 international goals. He participated in the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal; the 1988, 1992 and 1996 European Championships, reaching the final in 1992 and becoming champion in 1996. He was also an important part of the German team in the World Cups of 1990 (in which he scored 3 goals), 1994 (5 goals), and 1998 (3 goals), winning the World Cup in 1990. He was the first player ever to score at least 3 goals in each of 3 World Cups, later joined by Ronaldo of Brazil. He still remains second all time in World Cup goals scored by a German with 11.

Coaching career

Upon retiring from active play, Klinsmann started his commercial career. He became the vice-president of a sports marketing consultancy based in the United States and was involved in Major League Soccer as part of the Los Angeles Galaxy team.

On 26 July 2004, he returned to Germany as the new coach of the national team, succeeding former teammate and strike partner Rudi Völler. Klinsmann subsequently embarked on an aggressive program to revamp the management of the team. Bringing fellow German striker Oliver Bierhoff on board helped diffuse public relations duties of the previous combined post away from the actual coaching aspect of the position. Furthermore, he created a youth movement to breathe life into an aging squad on the heels of a disastrous showing at Euro 2004. In the run up to the 2006 World Cup, Klinsmann attracted criticism from German fans and the media following poor results, such as the 4-1 loss to Italy. A particular subject of criticism was that Klinsmann commuted to Germany from the United States, which was the target of a campaign by the "Bild" tabloid. It should be noted that Klinsmann had previously eliminated some privileges Bild traditionally had with the national team, such as receiving the team lineup the day before a match, and 24/7 exclusive access to the team. His largely offensive tactics have irritated some, who complain that he ignores defensive football. He announced a squad of young players for the 2006 World Cup, basing his selection policy on performance, not reputation.

During the 2005 Confederations Cup, he regularly rotated his goalkeepers regardless of their performances, which drew the ire of Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn. On April 7, 2006, Klinsmann finally decided to relegate Kahn to the bench and designated Arsenal's Jens Lehmann as his first choice goalkeeper. This choice followed Lehmann's performances in the 2006 Champions League in which his Arsenal team bowed out in the final against Barcelona.

2006 World Cup

In the 2006 World Cup, the performances of Klinsmann's team silenced his critics. The team recorded three straight wins against Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador in the first round, earning Germany the first place in Group A. The first game of the knock out stage was a 2-0 victory over Sweden, and in the quarter-finals, Klinsmann's team defeated Argentina, winning 4-2 on penalties. The teams drew 1-1 for 120 minutes after an equalising goal from Miroslav Klose in the 80th minute.

In the semi-final on July 4th, Germany lost a close match with Italy 2-0 after goals in the final minutes of extra time from Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero. After the match, Klinsmann praised the performance of his young team. They beat Portugal 3-1 in the third place play-off, where he played Kahn instead of Jens Lehmann. The victory triggered a massive Berlin parade the following day where Klinsmann and the team were honoured by the public.

Afterward, Franz Beckenbauer, previously a strident critic of Klinsmann's, declared his desire to see Klinsmann continue as coach. There was also widespread public support for Klinsmann due to his team's spirit and attacking style of play. The team's strong performance is thought by some to have renewed national pride and restored Germany's reputation as a top footballing nation. Due to his success coaching the national team, Klinsmann was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz. He was even referred to as "Kaiser", a term meaning "emperor" in German, usually reserved for German footballing greats, e.g. Franz Beckenbauer.

Resignation as national coach

Despite the satisfactory performance at the World Cup and the praise earned, Klinsmann declined to renew his contract, informing the DFB of his decision on July 11, 2006. The decision was officially announced by the DFB on the 12th of July 2006. Klinsmann's assistant Joachim Löw was appointed as the new head trainer at the same press conference. [2] [3] [4] Said Klinsmann, who is based in California, "My big wish is to go back to my family, to go back to leading a normal life with them." He continued "After two years of putting in a lot of energy, I feel I lack the power and the strength to continue in the same way." [5]

Coaching after the 2006 World Cup

Klinsmann was also linked repeatedly with the vacant United States coaching job after the decision not to renew the contract of Bruce Arena after the 2006 World Cup.

On April 14, 2007 The Sun reported, Roman Abramovich wants Klinsmann to coach his team Chelsea F.C.[6] Klinsmann reportedly rejected the offer.[7]


Club playing career

  • UEFA Cup 1991 (with Inter Milan), 1996 (with Bayern Munich)
  • German Footballer of the Year 1988 and 1994
  • English Footballer of the Year 1995
  • Bundesliga Championship 1997

International career

  • 1988 Olympic Games Bronze medal
  • 1990 FIFA World Cup winner
  • 1996 European Football Championship winner


  • Named to the FIFA 100, Pelé's list of the 125 greatest living players announced as a part of FIFA's centenary celebration in March 2004.

Personal life

Klinsmann's family operates a bakery in Stuttgart's Botnang district and consequently he is sometimes affectionately referred to as the "baker's son from Botnang". Klinsmann is in fact a qualified baker's apprentice. He is married to Chinese-American Debbie Chin, a former model. Klinsmann currently lives in Huntington Beach, California (closer reports say Newport Beach, California) [8] with his wife and two children, Jonathan (b. 1997) and Leila (b. 2001).


  1. ^ Observer Klinsmann: The rise... and the falls. Accessed 4 January 2007.
  2. ^ McNulty, P. (2006, July 7). Klinsmann dismisses USA job link. BBC Sport - World Cup 2006. Retrieved on July 12, 2006.
  3. ^ Klinsmann quits due to 'burned out' feeling. (2006, July 11). CBS SportsLine.com wire reports. Retrieved on July 12, 2006.
  4. ^ Shock for Germany - Klinsmann quits as German coach. (2006, July 12). Spiegel Online. Retrieved on July 12, 2006.
  5. ^ Klinsmann quits as Germany coach. (2006, July 12). BBC SPORT - World Cup 2006. Retrieved on July 16, 2006. Also includes audio (1:06) link for interview on Klinsmann's achievements as national coach with German journalist Gunter Schwort.
  6. ^ The Sun Online Chelsea target Jurgen as boss. Accessed 15 January 2007.
  7. ^ Jurgen in final Blues rejection (2007, April 26)
  8. ^ Reid, S. (2006, June 30). Klinsmania rules Germany - The German coach, who lives in Newport Beach, has his native country smiling. Orange County Register. Retrieved on July 21, 2006. The Orange County Register is the local newspaper for both the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach--both located in Orange County, California--and may therefore be more knowledgeable about Klinssman's precise residence than other reports.

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