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Bayern Munich Alumni: Jürgen Klinsmann has been appointed as South Korea’s new coach

Will the Hertha runaway be successful in this gig?

Press conference - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Remember that bad take about how Hansi Flick should go and coach the South Korea national team? Well, it turns out Korea did end up hiring a German ex-Bayern Munich coach, just one nowhere near as successful.

Jürgen Klinsmann has been officially announced as Korea’s new head coach after Paulo Bento stepped down following the 2022 World Cup. His contract lasts until the 2026 World Cup.

Klinsmann’s playing career has been nothing short of star-studded. He played for Bayern Munich for two seasons, winning a Bundesliga title and a UEFA Cup (Europa League), and also won the latter with Inter Milan. But his real pinnacle as a player came with the national team, whom he led to victory in the 1990 World Cup. He also reached two consecutive UEFA Euro finals, winning one, and won the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics, held in none other than his current team’s capital, Seoul.

His managerial career, however, does raise a few eyebrows. Although he did succeed as the head coach of Germany and the United States, reaching the World Cup semifinals with the former and winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the latter, he spectacularly failed as Bayern coach to the point that he was sacked in his first season. To make matters worse, he lasted only three months at his most recent gig with Hertha BSC, infamously resigning via a Facebook live stream.

It remains to be seen whether Klinsmann can redeem himself as a manager with South Korea. However, he will have big shoes to fill. His predecessor Bento was Korea’s longest ever serving coach, and he left behind a legacy to be proud of, winning the E-1 Football Championship in 2019 and reaching the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup, beating his home country of Portugal in the process.

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