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Rediff.com  » Sports » Klinsmann set to coach Germany

Klinsmann set to coach Germany

July 22, 2004 09:25 IST

Juergen Klinsmann looked set to take over from Rudi Voeller as the Germany coach after saying on Wednesday he had agreed to help the team he once graced.

"I was delighted to see the German Football Association accept my offer to help the German national team in their preparations for the 2006 World Cup in Germany," Klinsmann said in a statement.

The former Germany captain did not say what his exact role would be but it seemed likely that he would replace Voeller, who stepped down after his team failed to survive the group stage of Euro 2004.

The German Football Association (DFB), which had been desperately looking for a coach over the past few weeks, had said earlier on Wednesday that Klinsmann had been approached.

DFB president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder and his deputy Werner Hackmann met with Klinsmann on Tuesday in New York, the ruling body said.

The DFB said in a statement that the two officials had met Klinsmann "in relation to the future of the German national team".

The 39-year-old, who lifted the World Cup with Germany alongside Voeller in 1990, lives in the United States and has been involved in sports marketing since ending his playing career.

NO EXPERIENCE

The former Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur striker has a training licence but no coaching experience.

The DFB would not elaborate on the talks.

According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, Klinsmann would be named team chief and would work with two co-trainers.

Former assistant Germany coach Holger Osieck and former Germany striker Oliver Bierhoff should assist Klinsmann, the newspaper said in a report to be published on Thursday.

Former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and Otto Rehhagel, who guided Greece to their Euro 2004 triumph, have been offered the Germany job but both turned it down.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who steered South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002, and Denmark coach Morten Olsen were regarded as the favourites until Klinsmann's name was added to the list.

Hiddink and Olsen are respected coaches who speak fluent German but both are tied by contracts, to PSV Eindhoven and Denmark respectively.

CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS

Klinsmann, who played 108 times for Germany and ended his international career after the 1998 World Cup in France, said the talks with the DFB officials had been constructive.

"We had open talks for five hours in New York in which we analysed the situation of the national team," Klinsmann said.

"I repeated that I was ready to help working on new structures and we have agreed to continue talking," he added.

Germany great Franz Beckenbauer, who is a member of the DFB commission looking for a coach, suggested earlier this week that Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaeus and Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer could be considered.

A DFB spokesman said on Wednesday there had been no official contact between the ruling body and Schaefer.

If Klinsmann were to be chosen, he would probably not accept working with Matthaeus. The two have a notoriously difficult relationship dating back to their playing days.

With the 2006 World Cup finals on home soil fast approaching and a friendly against Austria next month coming up, the DFB need to find a solution quickly.

Beckenbauer said on Monday he hoped one could be found before the end of this week.


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