No ill will vs. Klinsmann in Germany
Jurgen Klinsmann is still well-loved in his native Germany despite poaching some young players to play for the United States, German legend Franz Beckenbauer told The Sporting News.
The Americans' World Cup squad featured four players who were born in Germany and one -- Julian Green -- who moved there at age 2.
Green, 19, and John Brooks, 21, are still young enough to have waited for a call-up to the German team, but both chose to play for Klinsmann's U.S. squad in Brazil, where they both scored.
But despite the players' decisions to look past the powerful German side for a chance to play immediately, Beckenbauer maintains there is no ill will against them or Klinsmann in Germany.
"Not at all," Beckenbauer told Sporting News. "Klinsmann has given Brooks and Green a great opportunity with the U.S. team and they have taken it. Nobody is mad at them.
"Both are still very young, but bright prospects. Julian Green only played a few minutes at the World Cup, but with almost his only touch he scored against Belgium. You could see his potential there."
Klinsmann played in three World Cup, but he is still well-known as the coach of Germany when they hosted the 2006 World Cup and reached the semifinals.
"Jurgen Klinsmann is very popular in Germany," Beckenbauer said. "He was a good player and he is the face of the 'Sommermarchen 2006' (summer fairy tale)."
Beckenbauer said that during the World Cup many Germans kept a close eye on Klinsmann's Yanks, who were eliminated in the round of 16 in a loss to Belgium.
"Many people here follow his work in the USA," Beckenbauer said. "He managed to build a stable national team in not much time, which made a good impression in Brazil.
"The U.S. can be proud of their team. They were eliminated in the round of 16 but only in extra time, with misfortune and after a big fight."