Director Jurgen Klinsmann finally opened up about the criticism and questions that were pouring in on him.
Coach Klinsmann became the head coach of the Korean national team after Paulo Bento’s successor. His career as a player was incomparably the best, but after his retirement and starting his leadership career, only disappointment was left, and after leaving Hertha Berlin abruptly, he was not even on the field, so anxious eyes were focused on him. So far, concerns are becoming reality.
First of all, the grades are not good. During his 4 matches, he recorded 2 draws and 2 losses. In the March A match list, which copied the final list of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, it drew 2-2 with Colombia, and lost 1-2 in the match against Uruguay. In the June A match, which was said to be the true first season of Klinsmann, they lost 0-1 to Peru and drew 1-1 against El Salvador, which was rated one step lower. It’s worth pointing out that they haven’t won a single game, even though they’ve only played four games yet. Fans do not criticize only his grades. The content of the game was not good, and coach Klinsman’s incomprehensible behavior afterwards is also the reason.
The biggest thing is the absence of Korea. Klinsmann was granted seven weeks of leave since his appointment, and he took another month off. I came back to Korea just before the team K-League match against Atletico Madrid, and I thought I would start selecting players while watching the K-League matches before the A match in September, but I went back to the United States. At the time of his appointment, he said that he would observe various players and lead the national team while residing in Korea, but in reality, the period of stay in Korea was not long, so many people look at him with regret. Compared to his career as a player, his coaching career was not good, he also produced a lot of external rumors, and since he took office, he has not been able to hold on to any of the results or content, so more critical attention is being paid to Klinsman’s current move.
While the criticism continued, the second opponent of the September A match was announced. Klinsmanho goes to Europe in September to face Wales. Wales has recently become a strong player through the World Cup and UEFA Euro results. Even if Gareth Bale has retired, Wales is definitely a team with potential. Wales’ next opponent drew attention, confirmed to be Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is currently ranked 54th in the FIFA rankings, 5th in Asia following South Korea at 28th. Although they failed to advance to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar last year, they surprised the world by beating Argentina, the champion of the tournament, 2-1 in the first match of the group stage. It is part of preparations for next year’s Asian Cup, as it may meet strong players in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Their record against Saudi Arabia is poor with 4 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses in 17 matches. The list of players who will participate in the September A match will be announced on August 28th, and will be convened at Incheon International Airport on September 4th to depart for England. Overseas players join locally.
Then, in the A match in October, we will face Tunisia. The opponent for the next match has not yet been decided. Tunisia, the goblin team representing Africa, drew attention by beating France 1-0 at the last World Cup in Qatar. The previous record with Korea is 1 draw and 1 loss. With the three consecutive matches leading to Wales, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia confirmed, the point to watch is who Klinsmann will win his first win against. They are all difficult opponents. In the case of an A match in September, the Hangzhou Asian Games are held, and an A-level resource outflow is predicted.
We need to win fast to defuse the current criticism. Before that, it is necessary to give a clear answer to the recent controversy. Even that is going on non-face-to-face, which is causing controversy. Klins Manho, who has been creating controversy and criticism for himself not long after taking office, will face a major crisis ahead of the really important Asian Cup if there is no result in three consecutive matches.
After going to the United States, rather than analyzing, talking about, or observing the Korean national team, he appeared in foreign media videos and evaluated foreign players, causing more controversy. He remained silent about the national team story, and the more he did, the stronger the criticism from the fans. In response, the Korea Football Association conducted non-face-to-face interviews on the 17th and 18th, and coach Klinsman told several stories.
[non-face-to-face interview with director Klinsman]
Impressions on the grouping results of the 2026 North & Central America World Cup Asian 2nd Preliminary Qualifier
The group draw was an interesting group to watch with the coaching staff in the office before going to watch the Team K-League and Atlético Madrid match in Korea. It’s not an easy group, but I think it’s positive. Now that the opposing team is out, we can collect and analyze information to draw a roadmap. We are strong candidates (3rd qualifying round), but I don’t think there are any underdogs. I will do a good relative analysis to bring good results.
Regarding the recent recent situation and remote work controversy.
While watching the K-League, I discussed with the association officials after the World Cup draw. Afterwards, I came to the United States, and on a personal schedule, I went to Dublin, Ireland for about a week because I had a schedule with a person who has been doing charity work for a long time. I couldn’t cancel it because it was scheduled before I signed a contract as the coach of the Korean national soccer team. I went to London, England to watch Son Heung-min’s Tottenham opening game in line with the schedule I went to Ireland, and there I had the opportunity to meet Brentport Kim Ji-soo, so we had a conversation. After that, he returned to the US. Now, after going to Europe to attend a meeting of the European Football Association (UEFA), watching the UEFA Champions League group draw, I plan to take a look at the European players right before the A match call.안전놀이터
There is an exaggeration to conclude that I do not live in Korea. Regardless of where they are physically, I think the way I communicate and observe the players is different from before. There is also a way to go directly to the stadium, but even if we do not go, we are constantly in touch with the coaching staff in each country to check the condition of the players. I am a very active person. You will play your role as the coach of the Korean national soccer team through more activities than you think, whether on the field or anywhere. In the second half of the year, as the games will continue to be held in Korea, there will naturally be more time to work in Korea.
It is pointed out that he does not look directly at K Leaguers and prefers Europeans.
I watched as many K-League games as possible, and coaches Cha Doo-ri and Michael Kim are also watching. String Gara and Köpke coaches also watched the game. (As of August 17, when the interview took place) Head Coach Herrchoke is scheduled to watch the K-League this week. Also, I watched not only the K-League, but also the U-League and Osan High School matches. By watching the national team by age group, I am improving my understanding of Korean football and figuring out who to include in the national team pool.
If you look at the list of A matches in March and June, many players have changed, but it is unknown how much they will change in the future. Change will persist. I understand the feelings of the players who want to get more opportunities. However, since no one can come to the national team, they must continuously observe many games and select them. I am also curious about what the final roster for the Asian Cup next January will be like.
There’s no such thing as preferring someone more. The door to the national team is open to all players. I want to see as many players as possible. When I was in charge of the U.S. national team and went to the World Cup in Brazil, I took 12 to 13 MLS players with me. I and the coaching staff are looking for a good combination while watching many players at home and abroad, and are constantly thinking about how to make the best team.
There is a controversy over the duplicate selection of players, including Lee Kang-in, for the A national team and the Asian Games national team.
It is fortunate that the two schedules do not overlap. However, there is a period of about a week from the A match to the opening of the Asian Games, and during this period it is not mandatory, so it can be difficult if European clubs call their players and send them back in time for the opening. i think i need to solve that.
I don’t know how many of the players who joined the A team will go to the Asian Games, but I will try to join the Asian Games team after coming to the A team and playing the best game to improve my performance. I hope to get good energy from the A team and pass it on to the Asian Games team.
(Regarding Lee Kang-in) I talked with the Paris Saint-Germain club. I heard that Lee Kang-in cleverly put a clause in the contract that required the club to comply with the Asian Games selection. There will be no big problem (to participate in the Asian Games). However, since it has to be used in the A match in September, it is convened to the A national team and then joins the Asian Games. It can be more effective if you play a high-level game as a member of the A national team in Wales and Saudi Arabia in September’s A match and go to the Asian Games team. And he told Lee Kang-in that his ultimate goal is to go to China and have a big accident (getting a gold medal). (Laughs) Because Lee Kang-in has the ability, he will adapt quickly even if he joins the Asian Games team after playing an A match. The problem is the players who did not include the relevant provisions, but from the club’s point of view, it is not a problem even if they do not respond to the selection, so I try to help where I can.
I am also learning about the importance of the Asian Games. I came to know because many people constantly explained to me that the tournament was more important than I thought because the military issue was at stake. If Lee Kang-in and other players receive military service benefits, it will help not only individuals but also Korean football. Now I understand it to some extent, and I try to understand more. So I will try to help.
Park Kyu-hyun is thinking of (sending) if coach Hwang Seon-hong wants to be summoned early. Regarding Park Kyu-hyun, I had many phone calls with his team, Dresden. However, European clubs do not understand why the Asian Games are important. I was like that, so there was a learning process, and now I’m trying to share related information and make people understand. From Dresden’s point of view, Park Kyu-hyun was selected for an A match in June, and if he goes to the Asian Games, A matches, and Asian Cup, he may not be able to use the player for more than 10 games, which is a big loss for the club. So, I also recognize the importance of the Asian Games and explain it to the European clubs, working behind the scenes to help coach Hwang and the Asian Games national team.
What do you think about the preparations for the A match in September and October and the match against Vietnam, which is being discussed as the second opponent in October?
Of course I want to play against the best team in the world. I want to play with Brazil, Argentina, Germany, England and France. However, these days, there are competitions by continent during the A-match period, so it is difficult to find a matchup opponent. So when I was thinking about how to make the most of the A match period during an internal meeting, I wanted to prepare for the Asian Cup. In addition to the Asian Cup, Vietnam can also be a meaningful opponent in preparation for a match against an Asian team in the World Cup qualifiers.
What do you think about the role and duties of the national team coach?
I think the role of a national team manager is very different compared to that of a club team. The club grasps the flow and trends of the league, plays games every week, trains with players every day, and constantly thinks about how to develop them. On the other hand, the national team is preparing for major tournaments. As we prepare for the upcoming Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America, we must continuously observe and study the flow of modern soccer and the preparations of our opponents.
Personally, I watch a lot of UEFA Champions League. It is currently the world’s best soccer tournament, and it uses the highest level of soccer. If you look at the coaches of the national team during the World Cup, they study new soccer and tactics that were shown in the UEFA Champions League and show them in major competitions. It is important for national team coaches to look at the trends and changes in modern football with an international perspective, and to discuss with the association how we can show a better performance in major tournaments.
I think the most important thing for a player is to grow in a good club, so I try to help the players based on my experience outside of the game. What I have constantly said to my players since I took office as a Korean coach is, “I will be there for you guys. Come visit me whenever you need it. I like things related to my career as a player, and I don’t care about external problems. I will do everything I can, but the choice is my choice.” It’s up to the player. Players’ development is done at the club. We have to help the players make good choices. As the national team coach, I’m lucky to be able to think about whether to draw a good picture by selecting the best, well-trained players for the national team. I think it is my role to open good opportunities and give advice to the players.