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Jurgen Klinsmann’s first head coaching job since leaving the United States men’s national team lasted just 76 days.
Klinsmann resigned as manager of German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on Tuesday after less than three months in charge. He took over relegation-threatened Hertha in November and posted a record of 3W-3L-4D in league play.
“I am more than convinced that Hertha will reach its goal to stay up,” Klinsmann wrote in a Facebook message announcing the news. “But for this job, which is not done yet, as the head coach I need the trust of the acting persons. Especially in a relegation battle, unity, team spirit and focus on the basics are the most important elements. If they are not guaranteed, I can't live up to my potential as a head coach and fulfill my responsibility.
“That's why, after long consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I will leave my post as the Hertha Berlin head coach and return to my initial long-term task as a member of the supervisory board,” he added. “The supporters, the players and staff have grown dear to me in this time and that's why I will continue to cheer for Hertha.”
The decision appeared to blindside the club, which sits 14th in the 18-team German top flight, just two points above the drop zone.
“We were surprised by the developments this morning,” sporting executive Michael Preetz admitted. “There were no signs at all for this.”
Klinsmann, 55, was fired by U.S. Soccer after losing the first two games of the final “Hexagonal” round of World Cup qualifying in 2016. The USMNT went on to miss out on Russia 2018, breaking a streak of seven consecutive World Cup appearances.
The longtime Southern California resident previously coached Bundesliga titan Bayern Munich and the German national team, which he led to a semifinal appearance at the 2006 World Cup on home soil. He was hired in 2011 to coach the U.S., which surprisingly advanced from a group that contained Ghana, Portugal and the eventual champion Germans at Brazil 2014.
As a player, Klinsmann was one of the best strikers of his generation, playing for clubs such as Bayern, Inter Milan, Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur and helping Germany win the World Cup in 1990.
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