The former Germany striker explained how the euphoria of winning on the grandest stage takes over before reflecting on the glory later on in life
Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed what it’s like to win a World Cup, explaining that even playing in the tournament is the “biggest thing that can happen to you”.
The former Germany international – who was capped 108 times – competed in three World Cups for his nation, winning the 1990 edition in Italy.
Klinsmann believes the feeling of participating in football’s largest tournament cannot be surpassed and being lucky enough to win the event is an achievement that will always be remembered for the rest of your life.
- Liverpool’s Jones following Greenwood, Foden and Saka as Premier League breakout star
- Resurgent Ceballos shows why Arsenal boss Arteta wants to keep Real Madrid loanee
- Chelsea in pole position to sign €100m Havertz as clubs pull out of race for Leverkusen star
- Sign him up! Ageless Vardy shows Arsenal the way forward with Aubameyang
“I think for every football player, playing in the World Cup is the biggest thing that can happen to you and if you have the luck to win a World Cup, it will stay with you for the rest of your life,” Klinsmann said in an exclusive interview with Goal.
“In the moment, if you’re actually lucky enough to win it, you don’t realise what actually happened. You just think it’s party time and you want to celebrate.
“But later on, after your career is over, you travel the world and meet people who talk to you and remind you of that World Cup success. Then you realise that it was actually a really big thing that happened.
“It’s a pleasure when you get remembered or reminded of what you achieved in that moment with your team and country, and you share that moment with so many people out there, who watched it on TV or maybe were lucky enough to be in the stadium. It will always stay with you no matter what.”
Klinsmann enjoyed a distinguished playing career that saw him play for the likes of Inter, Tottenham and Bayern, before beginning his managerial career with the German national team in 2004.
The 55-year-old has also had coaching stints with Bayern, the USMNT and most recently took charge of Hertha Berlin for a 10-week period.
When asked about the coaching influences that took him toward a post-playing career in management, Klinsmann namedropped some of football’s biggest names.
“I learned so much from Franz Beckenbauer and afterwards from Berti Vogts, as the head coach of the German team,” he said.
Article continues below
“Throughout every tournament, you observe your coach, the coaching staff, different departments that work with a team, whether it’s the medical department, media department, or marketing-related issues.
“Even today, you watch all the Champions League games, you always see what a Guardiola, an Ancelotti, a Mourinho… what these coaches are doing differently, what are they changing, what are their problems.
“I learned a lot from my former coaches, I had fantastic coaches throughout my career: Giovanni Trapattoni, Osvaldo Ardiles, [Cesar Luis] Menotti, Beckenbauer, Arie Haan. Arsene Wenger also, I was very fortunate to work with him.”