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Klinsmann praises Matthaeus

December 24, 2004 21:44 IST

Hungary coach Lothar Matthaeus believes Juergen Klinsmann, who he described as a "killer" in October, has done a great job in his first five months in charge of the Germany team.

The praise was unlikely as the two former international team mates, who played together in the West Germany side that won the World Cup in 1990, have never got along off the pitch.

"One has to say 'Congratulations Juergen, you've done everything right so far'," Matthaeus told Friday's Bild newspaper.

Matthaeus was critical of Klinsmann and the German football association (DFB) after he was passed over for the Germany job, especially as the DFB cited Matthaeus's lack

of experience but then hired Klinsmann, who had even less.

"He's clearly brought in a fresh breeze," Matthaeus said of Klinsmann. "Finally, someone is cleaning house, shaking things up."

Matthaeus also retracted his criticism of Klinsmann for his decision to stay in California and clarified his remark that the Germany coach was a "cold-blooded killer" for firing goalkeeping trainer Sepp Maier.

"I only meant with that comment that Juergen has always gone the way he wants to go," he told the paper. "Perhaps the choice of words was too strong. But the fact is Juergen is selfish, and I mean that in a positive way. I wish sometimes that I could be as selfish."

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