Football

Klinsmann says United States can beat Germany

United States boss Juergen Klinsmann insists he has nothing to prove when he faces his homeland Germany in their final World Cup Group G match in Recife tonight (Singapore time).

Klinsmann led Germany to the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup, but then also presided over a disastrous season with many of the current German squad at Bayern Munich.

However, he said it was more important for the development of US football to get the point they need to qualify for the last 16, than for him to prove a point against some of his former charges.

"We are going to approach it with a lot of determination, and in a very focused way. We want to be very aggressive and we want to give Germany a real battle," he said this morning.

"I, personally, have nothing to prove. I enjoy my work with the United States tremendously.

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"I enjoyed my job with Germany and I also enjoyed my year with Bayern Munich, which was a very turbulent year but that is just part of the job.

"At the end of the day, it will be a beautiful game of football, and I hope everyone will enjoy it."

German coach Joachim Loew was Klinsmann's assistant in 2006 before succeeding him as the national team boss.

Under Loew's tutelage, Germany reached the Euro 2008 final, and semi-finals in the last World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

Klinsmann hailed the style of football Loew has implemented, but claimed they had not spoken about their upcoming battle during the World Cup.

"It is more than just a working relationship, it is a very close friendship with a lot of admiration," he added.

"I think what Jogi has done over the last eight years is outstanding. He has developed the team with a wonderful style of confident, high-paced, attacking football and given the chance to many young players.

"From the outside, I am very proud of what he and the whole team have done."

Klinsmann had been criticised in some quarters in the US for saying his side are still not yet capable of winning the World Cup.

And while he believes Germany are among a small group of teams which can go on to lift the trophy on July 13, he is backing the US to follow in the footsteps of many other unfancied nations at the World Cup and create a surprise tonight.

"Germany are among the three or four big teams in this World Cup that have the potential to win it. We don't claim that for us. We are a team that have to go from game to game and want to learn, grow and get results, too," he said.

"We are capable of beating Germany and we know that. Without being over-confident, we know it is possible, as you have seen this World Cup, it is full of surprises and we want to be one of those surprises.

"We have done a good job so far, but we aren't there yet and we still need one point to go into the knockout stage." - AFP.

World Cup