Kahn gives his nod to Klinsmann as coach

22nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 July 2004, HAMBURG - Team captain Oliver Kahn on Thursday gave his nod to the reported appointment of former international Juergen Klinsmann as Germany coach in a scheme including Oliver Bierhoff and Holger Osieck.

22 July 2004

HAMBURG - Team captain Oliver Kahn on Thursday gave his nod to the reported appointment of former international Juergen Klinsmann as Germany coach in a scheme including Oliver Bierhoff and Holger Osieck.

"I know Juergen well. He is a very intelligent and experienced man who has a very good knowledge of international football," Kahn told SAT 1 television ahead of his club Bayern Munich's trip to the United States.

The ruling body DFB did not want to confirm Thursday's report by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) daily that Klinsmann will succeed Rudi Voeller as coach, his former Germany team-mate Bierhoff will become team manager and Osieck assistant coach.

"We want to have the issue resolved by Sunday," said Werner Hackmann, head of the German football league DFL and part of a DFB commission to find a successor to Rudi Voeller, who resigned in June.

But the DFB didn't deny the report either after confirming Wednesday that Klinsmann had agreed at a meeting Tuesday in New York to take an "important role" within the national team.

Klinsmann said: "Of course I will help the DFB, regardless of the function. I owe a lot to the DFB, the national team was like home for me, especially during the time I played abroad."

The 108-times capped Klinsmann, 39, won the World Cup in 1990 and captained Germany to the Euro 1996 title.

Klinsmann started his career at VfB Stuttgart and also played at Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Sampdoria Genoa, AS Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur.

Klinsmann, who left Germany in 1998 after his playing career to live in California with his American wife Debbie and their two children, obtained his coaching licence in 2000 but has no experience in the job.

Like Klinsmann, Bierhoff is a former Germany captain and scored both goals in the 2-1 victory against the Czech Republic in the Euro 1996 final. The 36-year-old played for most of his career in Italy with Udinese, as well as having spells with AC Milan and Chievo Verona.

Osieck, 56, was national team assistant coach 1984-1990 under Franz Beckenbauer. He also coached Canada 1998-2003, winning the Gold Cup title in 2000.

Kahn welcomed the new trio: "It is a step in a different direction, but with very experienced people."

Bayern Munich club manager Uli Hoeness agreed: "Juergen Klinsmann is everybody's darling like Rudi Voeller. It is a daring move, but a good one. I can't imagine that it won't work out."

A positive image is important because the trio need to reshape the national team after poor results in recent years ahead of the 2006 World Cup which Klinsmann named "the most important sports event in Germany in the next 40 years".

Voeller, who together with Klinsmann formed Germany's attack in the successful 1990 World Cup team, resigned last month in the wake of Germany's first-round elimination at Euro 2004.

Until the agreement with Klinsmann, Dutchman Guus Hiddink and Morten Olsen of Denmark were rated favourites for the job after German coaches Ottmar Hitzfeld and Otto Rehhagel rejected DFB offers.

But there were also critical voices on Klinsmann, who was offered the job although he last week issued harsh criticism of the DFB, calling for a restructuring of the world's largest single sports federation with more than 6 million members.

"The selection of Juergen Klinsmann would be a slap in the face of the DFB coaches," said Juergen Heidel, manager of promoted Bundesliga club Mainz 05.

Hertha Berlin coach Falko Goetz named the choice "a very interesting model", but warned of too high expectations.

"The experience factor speaks against it. The stakes will be very high at the 2006 World Cup," said Goetz.

DPA

Subject: German news

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