Klinsmann – the first Galactico coach

January 12, 2008

Klinsmann smilesOn Friday I mentioned the risks involved on both sides in Juergen Klinsmann’s impending move to Bayern Munich as coach.

Now the shock has subsided a little I wanted to take a closer look at why Bayern moved in for Klinsi — a man who faced regular criticism from the club’s top brass when he was dragging German football kicking and screaming into the 21st century during his time as national team coach.

Jan at The Offside yesterday offered five reasons why bringing in Klinsmann was a good move. Consider this a sixth: Bayern are taking a calculated gamble on the ‘galactico’ factor.

When Florentino Perez was running Real Madrid he demonstrated that signing ‘A list’ names like Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and then Beckham was good business in itself, even if they didn’t always quite fit the bill on the pitch. Simply to have your brand represented by such figures was worth millions in merchandising and marketing. To have them play well and win trophies was a bonus.

It was a policy copied by the new regime at Barcelona, following the election victory of Joan Laporta. They failed in their bid to sign Beckham but did bring in Ronaldinho with the express intention of boosting the club’s media profile and starting a “virtuous circle” of sporting and financial success.

Everyone knows that Klinsmann is big box office but perhaps you have to live in Germany to realise just how big a draw the 43-year-old former striker really is.

A polar bear cub being fedSince the World Cup he has become the man everyone in German football wants to be associated with. TV pictures of Klinsmann’s arrival in Munich on Friday led every news bulletin, and his smiling face even managed to knock pictures of the baby polar bear at Nuremberg zoo off the front pages for the first time in days.

In Klinsmann, Bayern are getting one of football’s few real galacticos, and they’re doing it on the cheap, compared to the tens of millions it would cost to bring in a Ronaldinho or Kaka.

Certainly it’s a risk, certainly there will be fireworks and the clash of personalities may bring casualties (see this comment from Andrew Gray on Friday’s post).

Only time will tell if his unorthodox ideas can have the same effect on a club as they did on the national team. What’s certain, however, is that at a stroke Bayern have increased their marketing value and become an even bigger worldwide draw. Don’t be surprised if they spend next summer touring Asia or the U.S.

KLINSMANN PHOTO: Juergen Klinsmann smiles during a news conference in Munich, January 11, 2008. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

GRATUITOUS BUT CUTE POLAR BEAR PHOTO: A handout picture shows a polar bear cub being fed in Nuremberg, January 11, 2008. REUTERS/Handout/Tiergarten Nuernberg/Stadt Nuernberg  

4 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I don´t know if everyone in football wants to be associated with him, but I can confirm that in the German female community he is very popular indeed. Klinsman is gorgeous, no question about it, however I think this little bear beats him by miles.

Posted by Elena | Report as abusive

It’s a surprise to see him go back to the Bundesliga, even with Bayern. I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s moving on again. The Premiership’s probably a good bet in a year or two. He’s never stuck at anything very long, has he?

Posted by redderthanever | Report as abusive

I don’t think Bayern will be expecting him to do an Alex Ferguson-style marathon stint. I think they’re just after a quick boost and for some of the charisma to rub off on them. They have a decent team but over the last couple of months the football has been dull.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Could I get some comment here

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/200 8/01/nothing-but-goals.html

Posted by john | Report as abusive