“If I were a K League coach, I’d be based in Korea, but a national team coach has to be international.”
Jürgen Klinsmann (pictured), who has been criticized by soccer fans for his frequent travels abroad and controversies in the K League, has made it clear that he will not change the way he works.
Klinsmann held a press conference at the National Training Center (NFC) in Paju on Sept. 9 ahead of the team’s two consecutive A matches against Tunisia on Sept. 13 and Vietnam on Sept. 17, and explained his long stay abroad since taking over as the national team’s head coach. At the same press conference in August, he said, “If I don’t appear in front of you, it doesn’t mean I’m resting. I’m a ‘workaholic’ just like Koreans,” Klinsmann said, emphasizing that his “work philosophy” hasn’t changed.
“I have been listening to the Korean public opinion. I think there are concerns because the role and way of working of the national team manager is different from the previous managers that fans are used to,” he said. “The national team manager should be international. If you’re a K League coach, you stay in Korea, but the role of a national team coach is different. He continues to work wherever he is,” he emphasized. He continued, “All the teams Korea will face are overseas. Also, the main players are in overseas leagues, which is different from the K League. I will continue to do my job in order to do well at the Asian Cup.”
“For the two A matches in October, I will give a lot of time to Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who performed well at the Asian Games,” Klinsmann said.
On the first day of training, 18 players participated, including captains Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), as well as four Asian Games members – Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan). Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) and Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich) were unable to join the training 안전놀이터 session but joined Paju NFC later that evening. Hwang In-beom (Zvezda), Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) and Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan) will join the national team on Tuesday.
Klinsmann took part in his first training session of the day, which lasted about an hour. He was accompanied by Niklas Alves, the new medical team trainer. “Mr. Alves is a top-notch German trainer who also worked for Augsburg in the German Bundesliga for many years,” the KFA explained.