Klinsmann eager to return to coaching

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Huntington beach, California, Sep 25: It is midday in Southern California, the September sun is shining and a pleasant breeze blows off the Pacific Ocean in this seaside town south of Los Angeles.

The brilliant weather is lost on Juergen Klinsmann, however.

His attention is focused on something happening half a world away from his adopted home -- a Champions League match played in the European evening and beamed live to a television set in a local hotel bar.

The former Germany coach is not just watching the match, between Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon; he is deeply immersed, making myriad mental notes as he studies the players' moves and body language. He looks like a coach amassing information to help his own team prepare to face one of the sides next week.

For the moment, Klinsmann is still on a self-imposed break from soccer management but that may not last much longer.

''I'm eager to get back in,'' Klinsmann said in an interview with Reuters after the group-stage match ended with United winning 1-0.

''If the right opportunity comes along, a chance to work together with the right people in the right situation and for the right cause, then I'll be back in the game. But that hasn't happened yet.'' Klinsmann, 43, might be one of the most coveted unemployed coaches in the world at the moment. His name surfaces frequently whenever there is a high-profile opening.

NATIONAL HERO

As Germany coach, when he commuted between California and Europe, he went from being a novice who made the German federation nervous at times with new and unorthodox methods to a national hero and a highly regarded coach, leading his unfancied team to a surprising third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup.

He decided to step down after the tournament and returned to California. He wanted a break after two eventful years in which he revitalised a team who were humiliated at Euro 2004.

Klinsmann's attacking style of play, his use of fitness trainers and a team psychologist, his inclusion of young players relatively untested at the international level, his modern management approach and his commitment to his players' personal development off the pitch all faced scepticism at the time.

Those methods have since been adopted by many Bundesliga clubs and even Klinsmann's erstwhile enemies have acknowledged that Germany's 12-1-1 record under successor Joachim Loew is at least partly due to what Klinsmann started.

Since he stepped aside, Klinsmann's name comes up often when jobs are open. He was the top choice for the United States and rumoured to be a candidate for Australia, Mexico and Austria, as well as Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Los Angeles Galaxy.

Klinsmann did not want to comment on the reports and rumours, saying there was nothing concrete and he would wait for the right job to come along, even though he misses working with players.

''The work as Germany coach was incredibly fulfilling for me and after recharging my batteries there's definitely a yearning to get back to that. At the end of the day, what I enjoyed so much while coaching was working with players and helping them develop further and get the most out of their abilities,'' he said.

''Wanting to make every player better as an individual as well as within the team was what was special for me. That's what you miss.

So from that point of view it doesn't matter if you're coaching a national team or a club.

RIGHT OPPORTUNI

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