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Jürgen Klinsmann was in charge of the USMNT between July 2011 and November 2016. - © © gettyimages / Adam Hunger
Jürgen Klinsmann was in charge of the USMNT between July 2011 and November 2016. - © © gettyimages / Adam Hunger

Jürgen Klinsmann: 10 things on the Germany and Bundesliga legend


A Bundesliga and world football legend on the pitch, turned successful coach off it, Jürgen Klinsmann has given his life to the beautiful game. But where did it all begin, what journey did he take and what don't you know about the World Cup and European Championship winner? Let bundesliga.com tell you all you need to know about league legend, Jürgen Klinsmann.

1) Qualified Baker

As one of four sons to a master baker, Klinnsman Jr. successfully completed his baker's apprenticeship in 1982 at the family business in Stuttgart. Certificate in hand at 16, the promising young striker enrolled for his military service two years later. 

2) Youth phenomenon

Signs of Klinsmann's talent were evident when he was just eight years old and playing for TB Gingen, the young blonde once even leaving onlookers gobsmacked when he netted 16 goals in a single game. 

Klinsmann (r.) became a Bundesliga goalscoring king at Stuttgart. - © imago

3) Stuttgart success

Quickly gaining a reputation for his pacey runs and smart finishing in the German second division with Stuttgarter Kickers - the team with whom he turned pro in 1982 - the then 18-year-old forward had cheekily enrolled for lessons with one of the finest sprint coaches in the land, even knocking seven-hundredths of a second off his 100-metre time. Klinsmann's move to VfB Stuttgart in 1984 catapulted him to international fame. In five seasons with Die Schwaben, the striker registered 94 goals in 186 games across all competitions.

4) Goal-king Klinsy

The 1987/88 season saw the Germany legend finish the campaign with 19 goals, earning him the Torjägerkanone trophy as the Bundesliga's top scorer. In one of the division's outstanding, all-time moments, Klinsmann buried a stunning overhead kick against Bayern Munich. Unsurprisingly, his international debut for West Germany arrived in '87, with Brazil the opponents.

5) Player of the Year

Klinsmann's four goals in eight UEFA Cup appearances brought Stuttgart to the brink of European glory in 1989, however, a Diego Maradona-led Napoli would edge the two-legged final by 5-4. A year prior, Klinsmann's glowing reputation was rubber-stamped when he was named the German Footballer of the Year. 

6) Travelling far and wide

A thirst for foreign footballing adventures saw the striker head for Inter Milan in 1989 - where he would enjoy UEFA Cup glory - and later to Monaco. In 1994/95, Klinsmann became a firm favourite among Tottenham Hotspur fans in the English Premier League, scoring 30 goals in 50 appearances for the club. He returned to Spurs some years later with his goals helping the club to avoid relegation.

7) International honours

Klinsmann boasts a phenomenal international playing record in that he was crowned a world champion in 1990 before captaining Germany to UEFA EURO 1996 glory at Wembley. In all, he won 108 caps and scored 47 goals for his country.

8) When Jürgen met Bayern

Between 1995 and 1997, Klinsmann was a Bayern man. In his two successful seasons in Bavaria, the formidable forward netted 31 top flight goals while picking up UEFA Cup and Bundesliga honours.

9) Coaching highs and lows

After hanging up his boots, Klinsmann coached Germany for two years, leading a popular, attack-minded team to a third-place finish at their home FIFA World Cup in 2006. A brief spell in charge at Bayern followed two years later while in 2011, the Göppingen native was named as USA head coach. Success at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup preceded 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification with the USMNT enjoying a run to the Round of 16 at the finals in Brazil. Klinsmann was relieved of his duties late in 2016 following a poor run of results in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

10) Heir to the throne

Klinsmann's son Joanathan is a goalkeeper for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin and has featured prominantly at youth level for the USA, playing in a combined total of 28 games for the Stars & Stripes' U18 and U20 teams.

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