Jurgen Klinsmann – Player to Manager
Many outstanding football players find that at some point in their soccer career, they make the transition from player to manager – as we have seen with the previous few articles we have published. Therefore, within this post we are going to look into the established career of Jurgen Klinsmann and how he coped with making the swap from the pitch to the side lines. We also look into his performance both as manager and player along with the number of club and individual awards he has acquired over the years.
Establishing His Soccer Career
Born in Goppingen 1964, Jurgen started his soccer career at only eight years old. This is where he started playing for TB Gingen, but after six months with the team he managed to score an outstanding 16 goals in a single match. He only played with TB Gingen for 2 years before he transferred to SC Geislingen at age 10. After four years with the squad his family relocated to Stuttgart but Jurgen continued playing for the team up until he was 16 years old. At this age he joined Stuttgarter Kickers and in two years’ time he then signed his first senior contract with the squad to play professionally with them. However, this did not take effect until 1982 as his parents wanted him to finish his baker apprenticeship within their family business.
During his first season with the Stuttgarter Kickers, Jurgen eventually became a regular in the first team. And during the 1983/84 season he scored a total of 19 goals for his team. But after this success he was recruited by the club’s first division rivals, VfB Stuttgart and within his first season with the team he netted 16 goals which made him the club’s top scorer, tying with Karl Allgower. One of his most impressive moves with the team was during the 1987/88 season where he made 19 goals which included an overhead kick during their match with Bayern Munich, and subsequently earnt himself the title of the Bundesliga top scorer.
But with this success came interest from soccer clubs outside of Germany and in 1989 Klinsmann signed a contract with Inter Milan which spans for 3 years. This meant that Klinsmann was transitioning from his familiar competitors in the Bundesliga for the Serie A clubs. This was a fantastic move for Jurgen as he earnt respect from the fans and his club, not only for his impressive technique on the pitch, but due to the fact that he learnt Italian in order to communicate more with his fellow team mates and spectators.
In 1992 when his contract with Inter Milan expired, he moved to AS Monaco where he played for two seasons. This was again a change of pace and language for Jurgen as he was now entering the Ligue 1. He had a great impact on this team as they sky rocketed up the top of the league tables and finished in second place after only one season with Jurgen on board. Unfortunately the club placed ninth the following season after Klinsmann was out for two months after suffering from a torn ligament.
After his amazing performance in the 1990 World Cup, Spurs had their eyes on this significant player from the get go. Eventually they purchased Jurgen in 1994 for £2m from Monaco. His stint in the Premier League had fans falling head over heels for his technique on the pitch and his charisma. He had such an impact on England as he was inducted into the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum in London. But his time with Tottenham Hotspur was short lived as he joined Bayern Munich in 1995 for only two seasons. During this time he set a new record for goal scoring by acquiring 15 nets in 12 matches during the UEFA Cup in 1995/96. He then also had a brief stint with Sampdoria before returning to Tottenham Hotspur in 1997 for one season. And finally he retired in 1998 he moved to the USA in 2003 and played for the Orange County Blue Star.
Below we have explored all of Jürgen’s goals acquired across his time playing with various squads around the world:
- Stuttgarter Kickers (1981/84) – 61 apps, 22 goals
- VFB Stuttgart (1984/89) – 156 apps, 79 goals
- Inter Milan (1989/92) – 95 apps, 34 goals
- AS Monaco (1992/94) – 65 apps, 29 goals
- Tottenham Hotspur (1994/95) – 41 apps, 21 goals
- Bayern Munich (1995/97) – 65 apps, 31 goals
- Sampdoria (1997/98) – 8 apps, 2 goals
- Tottenham Hotspur loan (1997/98) – 15 apps, 9 goals
- Orange County Blue Star (2003) – 8 apps, 5 goals
- West Germany U16 (1980/81) – 3 apps, 0 goals
- West Germany U21 (1984/85) – 8 apps, 3 goals
- West Germany Olympic (1987/88) -14 apps, 8 goals
- West Germany (1987/90) – 26 apps, 7 goals
- Germany (1990/98) – 82 apps, 40 goals
Klinsmann’s Greatest Football Achievements
As we have explored above, Jurgen Klinsmann played for a number of squads across Europe. From the Bundesliga to the Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Premier League, he most certainly had a global impact on soccer fans. Within this section of the article we are going to look at the achievements and awards Jurgen had accumulated over the years, both as part of a football team and individually as a player. We can see that his most successes were awarded for his technique as a vital player on the field, but he also contributed to a number of league wins for his clubs.
- Supercoppa Italiana (Inter Milan) – 1989
- UEFA Cup (Inter Milan) – 1990/91
- Bundesliga (Bayern Munich) – 1996/97
- UEFA Cup (Bayern Munich) – 1995/96
- FIFA World Cup (Germany) – 1990
- UEFA European Championship (Germany) 1996
- Summer Olympic Games (Germany) – 1988 Bronze Medal
- U.S Cup (Germany) – 1993
- Goal of the Year (Germany) – 1987
- Bundesliga Top Scorer – 1987/88
- Kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season – 1987/88
- West German Footballer of the Year – 1988
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team – 1990
- German Footballer of the Year – 1994
- Premier League Player of the Month – August 1994
- Tottenham Hotspur Club Player of the Year -1994
- FWA Footballer of the Year – 1994/5
- ESM Team of the Year – 1994/95
- IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer of the Year – 1995
- UEFA Cup Top Scorer – 1995/96
- FIA XI – 1996, 1999
- FIFA 100
Transition from Player to Manager
After his retirement he moved to the USA for a year where he played for the amateur fourth team tier club - Orange County Blue Star. However, in 2004 he started coaching the German national team. He also coached Bayern Munich and the United States national team too, as you can see below:
- Germany – 2004 to 2006
- Bayern Munich – 2008 to 2009
- United States – 2011 to 2016
When joining the German national team in 2004, Jurgen wanted to make a lot of changes to the make-up of the squad after a poor performance in the Euros. This is where he introduced a more ‘aggressive’ program to revamp the management of the players and introduced younger athletes into the squad in order to motivate and freshen up the team. He also fell target to a local tabloid called Blid after he took away their privileges which included 24/7 access to the players and pre-game line-up notifications. Backing the Germany national team, Jurgen got the squad to third place in both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.
However, in 2006 it was announced that Jurgen was no longer the coach of the German national side and he said quote ‘My big wish is to go back to my family, to go back to leading a normal life with them… After two years of putting in a lot of energy, I feel I lack the power and the strength to continue in the same way’. After this was mentioned in a press conference, he took a break from coaching, only to take the position of head coach for Bayern Munich two years later in 2008.
During his time with Bayern Munich he helped to create a new player development and performance centre for the club which then aided the launch of the team for the upcoming Bundesliga tournament. But unfortunately his technique with the squad was unsuccessful and disorganized which meant that the players had to meet up before kick-off to discuss strategy. Although they were third in the league, he was fired from his position of coach. Maybe his break after leaving Germany left him urging for a regular life outside of football which meant his focus on the game was lacking?
Joining Toronto in 2010, Klinsmann was appointed the technical consultant of the MLS club. While in this position he was there to advise and guide the club on reinventing the team’s image from the overhauling of the coaches and players. This then lead to Toronto hiring Aron Winter as head coach and Paul Mariner as technical director in 2011. However they were soon fired as the team came in last place in 2012 with their guidance.
Finally, his last managerial position was with the USA national team in which he was named the head coach in 2011. While working with the team he coached the squad to their fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title. But in 2014 one of his most controversial acts was when he cut the all-time leading U.S scorer Landon Donavon from the 2014 World Cup line-up. Jurgen stated that this was ‘the most difficult decisions of my coaching career.’ but he felt this decision was right as he could see more potential in other players and wanted to give them a shot at the limelight.
Below we have explored the number of personal and team achievements Jurgen Klinsmann has acquired as a coach after he transitioned to this position after his retirement.
- FIFA World Cup Third Place (Germany) – 2006
- FIFA Confederations Cup Third Place (Germany) -2005
- CONCACAF Gold Cup (USA) – 2013
- German Football Manager of the Year – 2006
- CONCACAF Coach of the Year – 2013
Did Jurgen Have an Impact on Football?
Within this article we have explored how Jurgen Klinsmann transitioned from his place on the pitch to coaching soccer teams across the globe. We have also acknowledged the wide range of personal and team honours he has gained across his career. However, we want to know your opinion on his soccer career. Do you feel that his prime was on the pitch and his move to coaching was a struggle? Or do you think that despite criticisms he made an effective coach as well as a player? Let us know how you think he impacted the football community over on our social media pages today.
Don’t forget that you can also shop our vast range of football shirts and jerseys over at our online store – Soccer Box. Sport the many crests worn by Klinsmann with pride by taking a look at our collection of authentic replica Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Spurs, Bayern Munich, Sampdoria, Germany and USA national sportswear.