Jurgen Klinsmann is “focused and motivated” to bring success to South Korea, said a high football official on Tuesday, defending the appointment of the German as head coach.
Klinsmann had a successful career as a player for clubs such as Inter Milan, Tottenham and Bayern Munich, but some South Koreans questioned his credentials as a coach.
“Jurgen Klinsmann is a strong character,” said Michael Muller, a Korea Football Association official who oversaw the selection process, at a press conference.
“From the first second (of the interview) it was clear that he wanted the job, he was focused, motivated and he was happy. He wanted to succeed.”
Klinsmann managed Germany in 2004 and led them to third place in the 2006 World Cup on the ground, losing to eventual winners Italy in the semi-finals.
In 2011 he was appointed head coach of the United States but was fired in 2016 after two World Cup qualified loss.
His most recent spell, in 2019-20, was just 10 weeks at Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
The 58-year-old replaced Paulo Bento, who took South Korea to the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, where Brazil beat them 4-1.
Muller defended the reputation of his German friend.
“Football is not just tactics. Soccer is personal. It’s about teamwork, how to inspire your team in special situations,” said Muller.
“Jurgen Klinsmann is very talented.”
Klinsmann signed a three-year contract and will arrive in Seoul next week.
His first match will be a friendly against Colombia on March 24.
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