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Q&A with Klinsmann

‘Champions League sets the standards’

Bayern fans queued up to ask the questions, and the head coach personally provided the answers on Wednesday lunchtime, when Jürgen Klinsmann joined premium channel FCB.tv for a live online chat session. Supporters logged on in vast numbers to quiz the Munich boss on a range of topics relating to the club and to him personally. We've summarised the most interesting of the questions and answers here at fcbayern.de:

Jürgen Klinsmann on…

…Bayern’s chances in the Champions League: “We’re aiming high in the Champions League, but the knockout matches are always knife-edge affairs. They all start fifty-fifty, and they can be decided in the blink of an eye, maybe from a corner or free-kick. We mustn’t underestimate Sporting Lisbon. We’ve had them watched a couple of times, my assistant Nick Theslof was in Lisbon the day before yesterday. They’re a really good team with excellent individuals, and they’re fighting for the title in Portugal. They’ll be a tough nut to crack, but I believe we can crack it. If we make it to the next stage, we’ll be up against the biggest names. It would be fantastic if we came up against one of the really big clubs. We needn’t be afraid of anyone. However, we first have to overcome the tough challenge posed by Sporting. We have a small advantage in that we’re away for the first leg, because we’re a strong force at the Allianz Arena with our fans behind us.”

…Bayern’s style of play: “The way we play – rapidly switching from defence to attack, keeping the pace high, remaining alert all the time – is starting to pay dividends, and is dictated by the Champions League. The Champions League means 90 minutes of power football, you can’t afford any mistakes, and you have to wear your opponents down. There’s no other way, so that’s what we’ve done. We’re now capable of high-tempo football for a full 90 minutes. We have a very skilled team in any case. If we can nose in front of our opponents physically, we’ll be truly hard to beat.”

…his coaching methods: “For many years now, I’ve taken the opportunity to watch a large number of coaches, and check the latest methods in a number of sporting disciplines. I’ve attended coaching seminars in South America, and I’m continually exchanging ideas with other coaches. I’ve picked things up all over the place, and we now use some of them in our programme, such as individual fitness routines and injury prevention exercises. I try these things out, and if they don’t work, we discard them.”

…his first steps in the game: “I took up football at the age of eight and a half, and I was a centre-forward right from the start. I only played a couple of times in my first season, but I seem to have caught the eye as a nine-year-old in my second season. I scored 16 goals against SV Eichelberg in a game of two twenty-minute halves. I was still just a boy when my father gave me a book to write down and preserve the result of every single match, and how many goals I scored, from my first game until my last match as a youth.”

…his life in Munich: “It’s even better now than it was when I was playing. The international breaks allow time to explore, check out the city or get away from it all in the wonderful surroundings. I’ve been up to the Zugspitze mountain peak, to Berchtesgaden, to Salzburg. I enjoy it much more full than 12 or 13 years ago, when all you’re thinking about as a player is the next game. The whole family likes it a lot in Munich.”

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