Berlin (AP) – For many experts and ex-colleagues, Jürgen Klinsmann made the game of his life in the World Cup round of 16 against the Netherlands in 1990.
For the striker himself, “the serenity and charisma” of Franz Beckenbauer as team boss, “Matthäus’ super goal “in the opening game and the” extreme hunger for success “of the entire team were the keys to the triumph of 1990 shortly before German reunification. 30 years later, Klinsmann still plays as a senior, sometimes even in the football shoes from back then.
Question: Which moment of the World Cup tournament in Italy stuck with you in particular. And which of the dozens of celebrations afterwards still had a special aspect?
Answer: Before the final, I simply stared at Franz Beckenbauer in the cabin and told myself that Franz has already seen it all and is so confident. Everything will be fine and we will win the thing. His serenity and charisma gave us infinite confidence. I don’t remember celebrating so much anymore, we were all overwhelmed by the feelings.
Question: Without question, it was a golden generation in 1990 with you Völler, Häßler, Brehme, Matthäus, Kohler, Buchwald etc. What was it that made this generation so special?
Answer: We were extremely hungry for success, almost beyond our imagination. Many of us were at clubs in Italy at the time. Our focus was entirely on profits, no matter how! It was no longer possible to maintain this hunger for the title. That’s why the disappointments at the 1992 European Championships and the 1994 World Cup came.
Question: Was there a sticking point before or during the tournament after everyone said: We can do it?
Answer: The starting shot with the victory over Yugoslavia gave us the confidence to be able to win everything. Lothar Matthäus’ Super goal against Yugoslavia was like a big exclamation point for us – but also for the other teams. Nevertheless, we met Holland and England in the round of 16 and semi-finals on two teams that could have beaten us.
Question: It was also a historic triumph because the Iron Curtain had opened half a year earlier and Germany was celebrating together again. Was one immediately aware of this meaning?
Answer: We felt a bit responsible for Germany as a whole. Exactly when the wall came down, we had the decisive qualifying game against Wales in Cologne, where “Icke” Häßler saved us with his goal to 2-1. From that day on it was the overall German World Cup for everyone! It was a great feeling and we also had a lot of home games at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Question: where’s your medal? Do you still have an original jersey or shoes or another souvenir that you have given to your children?
Answer: My medal and a copy of the World Cup trophy are in my office at home. Unfortunately I no longer have the jersey, I don’t know where it ended up. It was a wonderful design in 1990. I still play in a senior team like I did then with my adidas Copa Mundial cam shoes.
Question: When was the last time you saw a video from 1990?
Answer: Lastly, I made a video switch for FIFA with Gary Lineker, in which we discussed the semi-finals Germany – England and watched the entire game again. Unbelievable how tight everything was, not only when it came to penalties.
Question: Have you now digested the Hertha BSC chapter and do you regret afterwards how it all went?
Answer: I am very sorry how my departure from Hertha BSC came about after placing six points between us and the relegation place. Back then, unfortunately, in ten weeks we were unable to reach a written agreement. I have certainly made mistakes in the implementation of my departure and I would like to apologize again. The fact that an analysis that I then made in my capacity as an adviser to the investor for internal use subsequently came to the public’s eyes was detrimental to everyone involved. I still have a riddle today of how it got to the media. But that is past. The most important thing is that Hertha has managed to stay in the class and remains in the Bundesliga.
PERSONAL: Born in Swabia Jürgen Klinsmann, as a goal scorer, shaped German football for 15 years and became an international star. In his career he scored 274 goals in 606 competitive games, became world champion with Germany in 1990 and European champion in 1996. As national coach, he was responsible for the 2006 World Cup summer fairy tale in Germany. He ended his last chapter as coach of Hertha BSC abruptly and was heavily criticized for it.