Everything New, Everything Different!
South Korea’s national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann will make his debut on Friday (12:00 noon CET) against Colombia at the sold-out Hyundai Stadium in Ulsan, a city of 900,000. Klinsmann, who signed a contract until 2026, is working on a successful term in office overall rather than only a successful friendly game. However, it’s new for him as he does not speak the language of his players and is dependent on his interpreter Yang Jaemo.
Special Praise for South Korea Coach
On the day before his first game, Klinsmann received special praise from the superstar Heung-Min Son, who said, “It’s new for me and difficult. I don’t want to overload my interpreter. I want to learn Korean, have already started and will continue to take lessons. I love languages!”
During his four years in office, his Portuguese predecessor Paulo Bento did not even try to learn the language, which is usually difficult for Europeans. However, women’s coach Colin Bell (formerly coach at FFC Frankfurt) already speaks Korean fluently.
Klinsmann is now learning Korean, but he asks for a little patience, saying, “It will take time. Please don’t put me under pressure!” The ex-world-class striker (Bayern, Tottenham, Sampdoria) also plans to help the offensive players, including the top star and captain Heung-Min Son (30/Tottenham), by taking private lessons. Klinsmann said, “Our strikers are hungry for goals. But maybe they can still learn from me in certain areas.”
With the World Cup round of 16, Klinsmann aims to win the Asian Cup in Qatar in 2024, but it’s too early to tell if he’ll achieve this goal or not. However, his enthusiasm and commitment towards learning a new language and helping his team improve in certain areas are remarkable traits that can potentially lead to success in the future.