Friday, January 11, 2013

11 January 2008 - Yeah, It's All Smiles Now, But Just Wait

On 11 January 2008, Bayern Munich announced that Jürgen Klinsmann would replace outgoing manager Ottmar Hitzfeld at the end of the season, but it was a match that didn't last.

Klinsmann, who played briefly for Bayern during a career that also included stops at Stuttgart, Inter, Monaco, and Tottenham, had held only one prior managerial post, but it was an impressive one. Guiding the German national team from 2004 to 2006, he retooled the administration of the entire organization, from the youth team up. But after taking the senior side to the World Cup semifinals in 2006, he stepped down, citing his intention to rest and spend more time with his family.

But in 2008, Bayern lured him from retirement, announcing in January that he was going to take the team over in July, replacing Hitzfeld (who went on to win the league title--his fifth with Bayern--that year, as well as his third German Cup).

Klinsmann proceeded to restructure the club as he had done with Germany, starting with a new player development center. But toward the end of his first season, his relationship with the board of directors had soured. Even though Bayern had reached the semifinals of the Champions League and were sitting three points out of first in the Bundesliga with five games still to play, the board sacked Klinsmann.

After another two-year break, Klinsmann returned to football as manager of the United States.

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