Klinsmann Era Opens With High Aims and New Club Culture | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.07.2008
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Klinsmann Era Opens With High Aims and New Club Culture

Juergen Klinsmann set high goals for Bayern Munich in his first official news conference as head coach. He's already implemented a few cushy perks for the club, too.

Juergen Klinsmann, new coach of German first soccer division Bundesliga team FC Bayern Munich, center, walks beside of players during his first trainings session

Klinsmann is keen to introduce a new club culture to enhance his players' performances

The new atmosphere, which includes Buddha statues at the training center, was briefly disturbed by Klinsmann's demand to bar photographers early on at the press conference on Wednesday, July 2, because the flashes and noise bothered him.

The photographers left in protest but the incident was only the latest sign of a new era at the German top club which Klinsmann named "among the top 10 in the world."

"Munich has the highest expectations," he said. "The fans want both titles in Germany and to be in Champions League until the end. That is Munich's ambition and we want to meet it…. We set the highest goals for ourselves."

Juergen Klinsmann talks to his assistant coach Martin Vasquez

Klinsmann with his assistant coach Martin Vasquez

Munich won a third domestic league and cup double in four years in the past season but have not been as successful on the big stage -- their last Champions League final dating back to 2001 when they beat Valencia on penalties.

Allowing for inspiration

A new training facility and rest area is the most visible sign of change in Munich, in addition to his multi-cultural coaching staff and an eight-hour working day for players in the pre-season.

Players are to lunch together and the facility allows Munich to do away with training camps, with Klinsmann saying it is better for players to enjoy their home and families after work instead of a sometimes boring hotel.

"The players are to be inspired and motivated -- by our staff, by Kalle (Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge) and Uli (General Manager Uli Hoeness) -- to be given lots of ideas," commented the new head coach.

Rummenigge said, "We are all thrilled. We have a perfect oasis for our players to bring their concentration 100 percent on football. Percentage is important in football."

Espresso and yoga

Juergen Klinsmann walks beside his players during his first trainings session in Munich

Klinsmann wants to provide his players with what they need

Luca Toni was promised his daily espresso and Franck Ribery can do yoga if he wants to as every aspect is being looked after under Klinsmann, who successfully introduced similar changes as Germany coach from 2004 to 2006.

"My philosophy is easy: to make every player better each day. There will be a lot of individual work on and off the pitch. We have unique foundations and want to bring them to the next level," said Klinsmann.

Those include Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski, the national team heroes under Klinsmann and again at Euro 2008, who rarely play in Munich's quality roster. Rummenigge declared them not for sale on Wednesday.

Chairman refutes Podolski claim

Rummenigge poured cold water on Wednesday's reports in the German media that Podolski was set to be sold to Cologne for 15 million euros ($23.5 million).

"There is no question of selling Podolski to Cologne. I called my counterpart to tell him clearly. It is a definite decision," said Rummenigge in a press conference in Munich.

Bayern's chairman of the board said reports on both the Sport-Bild and Sport1.de Web sites were "a big joke."

Rummenigge also ruled out the possible transfer of Germany's Player of 2007 Mario Gomez from VfB Stuttgart to Munich.

"Since Stuttgart informed us of his decision not to negotiate with us, there is nothing more to say on the subject and I do not believe they want to reactivate the negotiations," insisted Rummenigge. "Our squad is already well packed."

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, right, celebrates with teammate Lukas Podolski their side's 3-2 win at the end of the semifinal match between Germany and Turkey

Poldi and Schweini are Bayern and Germany colleagues

On the subject of Podolski and Schweinsteiger, Klinsmann said he could also not guarantee them a place in the starting 11, but heaped praise on the two youngsters who have won more than 50 caps each at the young age of 23.

"There is a lot of potential for both. They are just 23 and have experienced things many others haven't seen in their entire careers. They have experienced extremes. We must help them and make them more consistant," he said.

Kahn's successor to be named

Klinsmann said that pre-season preparations are hampered by post-Euro 2008 holidays with the full team not together until July 17 -- four weeks ahead of the league season opener Munich plays on August 15 against Hamburg.

Klinsmann likely won't pick the team captain to succeed retired Oliver Kahn before that match.

"I want the players to be together for a few weeks. I want to see who leads and communicates well," said Klinsmann.

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