Ask Me Anything: Jurgen Klinsmann

Our mission has always been to provide you the most up-to-date, in-depth, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth soccer news. In an attempt to bring you ever closer to that ineffable something that motivates an athlete to don the kit of their club or national team every match-day, we’ve come up with a hard-hitting list of questions we’ll (in theory) submit to a player of the highest quality. The goal being, of course, to penetrate into their inner psyche and apply a vicious two-footed tackle to the barrier that is inevitably raised between player and fan.

O87: Jurgen…can I call you that?

JK: Well, the team mostly calls me Der Kaiser, but… Yeah, let’s go with that. Der Kaiser.

O87: Wasn’t that Beckenbauer’s nickname?

JK: Who?

O87: Uh… the guy who coached you to your 1990 World Cup?

JK: Ahh. Umm… Hm. Sounds familiar. Was he in an Adidas commercial advertising the 2006 World Cup?

O87: I think so, but…

JK [interrupting]: Hah! I’m kidding. Of course, of course. That’s his nickname, but… I guess I’ve always liked it. Uhm… You can just call me Jurgen.

O87: Right… So, how do you respond to the critics who claim that you aren’t quite the tactical mastermind?

JK: Wow! You’re not pulling any punches! Well, see, the thing about those critics, it’s really easy to sit on the sidelines and, ah, watch the match and say what should have or shouldn’t I have done based on what happens in the game. The US Team is, um, difficult, because I’m working within the, ah, strict, umm, foundations laid down by my predecessor.

O87: Did Bob give you any advice when you took over?

JK: I called him several times and either hung up immediately, or one time he told me to [bleep] myself and never to call back.

O87: Anyways, you were saying…

JK: Ah yes. Well you see, technically I prefer a 4-2-3-1 formation, like the one Joachim stole, uhm, plays rather in the German national team. When you have great central midfielders like Kyle Beckerman or Mo Edu or…

O87: Michael Bradley, or Ricardo Clark, or Jermaine Jones, or…

JK: Uh, yes. Those guys. Well when you have great central midfielders like those guys, you really feel confident in their ability to retain possession and protect the backline. But really, I like my fullbacks to attack. See, Steve Cherundolo is a great attacker.

O87: What about our persistent left back issues?

JK: Oooh ja, that’s a toughie. I think that we would be fine with … … or … … [away from the microphone] Martin psst! Martin! Who’s the name of that handsome guy that plays for Birmingham City? [back into the microphone] Spector, yes. Spector will be fine.

O87: Jonathan Spector isn’t even a left back by trade…

JK: Alright, well, in general I’ve been very happy with the way we’ve played recently. Did you see that performance against Italy? Man!

O87: Yes, that was great, but, don’t you…

JK [interrupting]: Enough! I’m the coach, you’re the stupid amateur blogger, I will not have any more lip from you.

O87: I was just going to ask whether or not you thought we would build on that performance and what your plan was going towards the 2014 World Cup.

JK: Ah. Right. Sorry… Uh, yes, I think we can build on that performance. I also think we can qualify for the 2014 World Cup. I honestly have already booked my flight to Moscow for training.

O87: Good luck with that. Let’s talk about your days as a player. What was your most memorable moment?

JK: Ah, there are so many. Well, there was the time I led Germany to the 1990 World Cup, or my several UEFA Cup appearances and wins. It’s a shame they changed the name of that competition.

O87: True. To he honest, I thought you were going to talk about your debut goal for Tottenham.

JK: Oh that thing? Overblown. I don’t believe I’ve ever dived in earnest in my entire career. I’m an awful lot like Messi in that sense. Boy, if I had the diminutive size and quickness of that little maestro, I’d have broken every scoring record in the world… [lost in thought].

O87: Do you think Messi will go down as the greatest player of all time? … [several moments later] … Jurgen?

JK: Shh shh. I’m thinking. … [several moments later] Yes, I’d have broken every scoring record in the world.

O87: Uhhh…. do you think Messi will win a World Cup?

JK: Not unless I’m coaching Argentina! Hah!… [under his breath] But seriously, though, I should look into that when this gig inevitably fails.

O87: What was that?

JK: Nothing. Thanks for your time. Gotta jet!

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