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Culture

Klinsmann Ready to Take Charge of Team Germany

German soccer shouldn't hail its new national coach yet. Although Jürgen Klinsmann says he's keen to take on the job, the details still have to be hammered out and there is always room for a surprise.

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The new face of German soccer?

The former Germany captain and world cup player wants to become his country's next national coach. In previous discussions Klinsmann had already said he was willing to help the Germany team but had been vague about exactly what his role would be.

Now that his name is on the table along with Oliver Bierhoff as team manager and Holger Osieck as co-trainer, Klinsmann is more up front about his ambitions.

"My role should be that of team coach," he told a news conference at the Frankfurt airport on Saturday.

The former Bayern Munich striker, who arrived in Germany from the United States where he has been living since ending his playing career in 1998, said the national team needs new methods and ideas.

"I have said in my discussions (with German soccer officials) that it's important for me to build up a team that has trust in itself," he stressed, making clear his goals for showcasing Germany when it hosts the World Cup in 2006.

He also plans to infuse a good bit more professionalism into the team. After having spent several years following US sports, Klinsmann believes the German squad could profit greatly from restructuring. "There's a whole entourage of people taking care of a team. There's the psychological advisor, someone responsible for speed, someone for the techniques," the 37-year old described the situation in the United States.

Experienced help

Klinsmann, who scored 47 goals in 108 games and lifted the World Cup in 1990, is currently in talks with the German Soccer Association (DFB) about the exact details of the job. Having never coached a team before, he will probably get help for more seasoned candidates.

"If I were to play this role as team coach then it's clear I would do this in cooperation with a very experienced trainer," Klinsmann said.

Oliver Bierhoff Fußball

German soccer star Oliver Bierhoff could be the next national team's manager.

Holger Osieck, coach Franz Beckenbauer's assistant during Germany's winning 1990 World Cup performance, and former Germany striker Oliver Bierhoff are likely to round off the training trio.

Osieck, who not only aided Beckenbauer but also coached Canada and worked for FIFA, would most likely bring the technical expertise to the team, while the friendly and affable Bierhoff would be suited for public relations.

Patience needed

After the high profile rejections from Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and Otto Rehhagel, who guided Greece to its Euro 2004 triumph, German soccer was in desperate need to fill the position vacated by Rudi Völler.

But Klinsmann, who says several questions about money and personnel still need to be addressed, cautioned about jumping too quickly to a decision.

"Even though all of Germany is waiting for a decision, people just have to be patient. The World Cup 2006 is the biggest sporting event, and the chance won't come again for Germany in the next 30, 40 years. Therefore we have to look at everything very carefully," Klinsmann said.

"I will not allow myself to be pressured into something."

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