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How much do you really know about Jurgen Klinsmann?

Photo: Bobby Melok

Born in 1964 in Göppingen, Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann’s parents were bakers and Jurgen served his apprenticeship as a baker achieving a diploma.

His father said he could pursue a career as a footballer if he got a degree, and we are all thankful he studied hard! His family still run the bakery business in the suburbs of Stuttgart, Germany.

Jurgen is married to a former American model, Debbie Chin, they have two children and live in Huntington Beach, California.

Jurgen is fluent in four languages.

His son, Jonathan, is following in his fathers’ footsteps, but at the other end of the pitch. He is a goalkeeper and has been called up to the USMNT under-18’s camp.

He may look serious on camera but Jurgen has a good sense of humour. In 1994, when he was signed by Tottenham Hotspur, he was known as a diver by the British press following his appearances for Germany.

And when he arrived at the press conference he asked the journalists if they knew of any diving schools in London.

When he then scored his first goal for Spurs, he celebrated by diving headlong onto the pitch, and he became an instant hero among Tottenham fans. The fact that he scored 21 goals that season helped quite a bit too!

He has a helicopter pilot’s licence, and enjoys relaxing by flying around California.

The 49-year-old managed the German National side for two years and lead them to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup.

Now managing the USMNT, he made this statement about Brazil 2014:

In Germany it is a bit simpler because there is only one expectation … we say we want to win this thing, for us in the U.S., it is a growing process. We can surprise people in Brazil, but obviously our expectation is to get out of the group no matter who we draw. After that, we need to make the players understand it is all about mind games. Every game becomes 50-50 and will be won by the team who is better prepared and believes in themselves more.”

The US are not expecting Jurgen to take them to third place, but are hoping they put up a good fight in the group stages and then who knows? It’s a funny old game!

Jurgen runs a children’s charity foundation, Agapedia, together with some close friends. Agapedia translates from Greek into “Love for children”.

He is the 35th USMNT coach and he is currently contracted as coach until 2018.

Jurgen represented his country 108 times from 1987 to 1998 and scored 47 goals for Germany.

In 2003, he was enjoying retirement but missing the game, and at the age of 39-years-old he made a comeback, by playing in the American Development League for Orange County Blue Star.

He used the pseudonym Jay Göppingen, (His home town name in Germany), to disguise himself. He made 8 appearances and scored five goals.

He never lost his eye for goal. In 1988 he was top scorer in the Bundesliga and was voted German Player of the year.  He was also voted English player of the year in 1995, following his second stint at Tottenham Hotspur.

Jurgen donated the entire proceeds of his final testimonial game in Stuttgart to children’s charities. This amounted to around $1million.

Jurgen may or may not have a good World Cup run with the USA, but one thing is certain…he will give it his best shot!

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About Simon Pyne (6 Articles)
I am one of the founders of MLSGB, our aim is to bring the appeal of Major League Soccer to British fans and also to give our American cousins a British perspective of the beautiful game.

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