World Cup 2006 Features
Interview - Klinsmann: semi-final is the minimum for me - Part 3
By Barry Whelan Jun 24, 2006, 0:53 GMT
Berlin - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann says a place in the semi-finals is his minimum requirement for a successful World Cup tournament.
In the third part of a three-part interview, he discusses his own expectations and the thorny issue in Germany of his decision to remain living in California.
Q: You have said you are not going to make a decision on your future until after the World Cup and it depends on how the German team progresses at the tournament. But why should it depend on a single match? Isn't the long-term prospect of the team more important, and your own football philosophy?
Klinsmann: 'In Germany we always think that a philosophy depends on the person, but it depends on the philosophy itself. Otherwise Ajax would have the same coach for the last 30 years. They always found the right coach for their philosophy and that's what we try to tell people here.
'It is the philosophy that's the base of everything, and so if it's me as a coach or (assistant coach) Jogi (Joachim) Loew as a coach, or whoever would be the coach, he needs to fit into the philosophy.
'Everything that we built over the last two years will be measured right now, and in order to get highest credibility we need to advance to the final stage of the World Cup. That's what I think. Maybe some people now, even at the federation, think differently. They say 'OK you already proved its working' - this style of football and this kind of work. But I played six tournaments and I know that a football-crazy country like Germany, or if would be England or another, you can't lose in the round of the last 16 and you can't lose in the quarter-finals. That's simply the way it is.
'My own expectation is the same. I want to go all the way through. It's my measurement, and everything else we will see after the World Cup and all the discussion that they have.'
Q: You say it's your own expectations rather than the DFB's (German Football Federation's) expectations or the German public's expectations?
Klinsmann: 'At the end of the day once the tournament is over and you look back, it is the success rate (that counts). Everything will be analysed and for a nation like us playing a World Cup at home in front of your own fans, as nice as the start is, the minimum is being in the top four, there's no doubt about it.'
Q: Who will doing the analysis besides you as coach? There have been a succession of ex-players as coaches. One supposes there is a continuity of this philosophy. Who besides the coach is coordinating this philosophy?
Klinsmann: 'Oliver Bierhoff as manager of the national team plays a crucial role. He covers the technical side and Dr (Theo) Zwanziger also plays a crucial role (as sole president of the DFB after the World Cup). They need to be behind that philosophy and they need to be convinced.'
Q: You say that a country like England also can't lose in the last 16, but the way they are playing at the moment there is probably a good chance that is going to happen ...
Klinsmann: 'Everything we saw so far will get a totally different picture in the knock-out stage. Every team will show a totally different picture. Just think about Brazil. People say 'what's going on there?' But you will see a different Brazil in the knock-out stage. You will also see a very highly-motivated English side.'
Q: Do you think France will change too?
Klinsmann: 'Absolutely. Because you have players with the mindset that when it really, really, really counts they step up.'
Q: Could you imagine being coach at a club?
Klinsmann: 'No, not at the moment because schedule-wise it is not possible for me combined with my family life. A club coach's schedule is absolutely out of control. For me it's no option because family comes first.'
Q: Inevitably there has been a question on you to come and live here. How are you going to work that out after the World Cup and carry on?
Klinsmann: 'I am curious, too.'
Q: Can you understand the almost permanent discussion in the German press about living in California?
Klinsmann: 'I can understand them because it is a topic that sells, it is as simple as that. It simply sells the paper. As long as they don't have other stories they would rather put that story in and sell it.'
Q: Is that at all negotiable if the DFB comes and says we have to save money after the World Cup, we can't be as generous, we have to look at everything, everything is negotiable. Is something like that negotiable?
Klinsmann: 'That has nothing to do with saving money. I think I brought them a lot of money, because with the way we have worked for two years we have new sponsors on board, the highest television ratings for a long time and sold-out stadiums every time we play, so I don't think it's a financial issue.' dpa bw ms© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur