Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar’s yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving


There’s not much Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t achieved in an illustrious career across Europe and with the Germany national team.

The striker was deadly in front of goal and had a pretty good sense of humor too, so it’s easy to see why he was popular with his teammates and fans alike.

Klinsmann scored 38 goals for Spurs in two spells and remains a hero for the club’s fans
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Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
His career in Germany scored 47 goals for his country in 108 games
Getty

So what better person to launch a whole new series of talkSPORT’s My Sporting Life than Klinsmann – who has scored over 300 goals for club and country.

His playing career took him from Stuttgart to Inter Milan, Monaco, Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Sampdoria.

But he first gained international fame for winning the 1990 World Cup with Germany, scoring three times along the way.

He had just moved from Stuttgart to Inter Milan, but really announced himself on the world stage with a great run at Italia 90.

Klinsmann admitted winning it meant more to his country than just a football tournament.

He told Paul Coyte for the first edition of talkSPORT’s new My Sporting Life series: “The 1954 World Cup which the German team won, that was the first time the Germans had any kind of sense of “we can stand tall again” and “we can show our faces again” after the devastation of World War II.

“Then came 1974 when there was a global crisis, the oil crisis and then the Olympics of ’72 with the incidents there, the horrible ones and it just happened in the World Cup of ’74 that the Germans had an incredible quality team, Franz Beckenbauer leading this team, Gerd Muller scoring all the goals and so on.

“Our team in 1990 became the face of reunification [of Germany].”

Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
Klinsmann won the World Cup in 1990 with Germany
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Klinsmann was prolific in Germany for Stuttgart, scoring 94 goals in 186 games, but his career has been marked by constant movement.

After a spell in the Bundesliga, he tested his skills in Serie A with Inter Milan, but then Monaco came calling in 1992.

The Ligue 1 side was managed by a certain Arsene Wenger at the time and Klinsmann relished the chance to play under the great George Weah, or so he thought.

“I went to the president, the owner of Inter Milan, and asked him politely if it was okay. I moved on and promised him that I wouldn’t go to another team. Italian,” Klinsmann said. “He said it was no problem and he would check. Then suddenly Monaco knocked on the door and Arsene Wenger was the manager at the time.

“So we took the helicopter from Milan to Monaco and we went there, we had negotiations and everything was very easy. I was offered to play in front of George Weah, who was one of the best strikers, and Arseny [Wenger] I said “Yeah, I want you to play up front” and thought it was like winning the lottery playing with George Weah up front.

“So I signed the contract and I’m leaving the next day for Monaco and George Weah is sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

“I went straight to see Arsene and I said ‘Arsene, you promise me that I can play in front of George Weah and he said ‘Well, if I had told you that we were selling him, you wouldn’t have didn’t sign the contract.’ I said ‘Yeah it’s true, I wouldn’t have signed the contract’.

“But the deal was signed and I spent two years with Arsene Wenger at Monaco.”

Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
Klinsmann had three seasons with Inter Milan, scoring 40 goals
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Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
He then spent two years in the south of France
GETTY

He may not have fielded Weah, but he still scored 36 goals in two seasons.

Two years at Monaco was more than enough for Klinsmann and he was on the move again, this time in the Premier League.

Alan Sugar was the owner of Tottenham at the time and the striker has recalled the storied history of his signing.

“After the World Cup in ’94 I thought ok, let’s see what happens,” Klinsmann said. “I had scored five goals in the World Cup and if I had played two more years I could have been the top scorer but unfortunately we went to the quarter-finals.

“I had an offer from an Italian club, but Italy I had already done, I had an offer from a Spanish club, and then suddenly I got a phone call and it’s Alan Sugar on the phone.

“He explained himself straight away and said ‘I’m the chairman of Spurs, nice to meet you, I’m actually here in Monte Carlo on my yacht, is there any chance we could meet again? over a coffee ?’

“So we had a cappuccino and for two hours we discussed things and the deal was done. I called Arsène, I came to the club, he came with me, they shook hands, it was very easy and suddenly I was a Spurs player.

Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
Ossie Ardiles was Tottenham manager when Klinsmann arrived in 1994
GETTY

Tottenham fans, and many others, will remember his infamous diving celebration which he staged after scoring on his Premier League debut.

He was accused of being a diver by the press and Klinsmann revealed how it all happened.

He explained: “Before my first Premier League game against Sheffield Wednesday, Teddy Sheringham said ‘mate, if you really score one then we’re all going to take a dive’. It was all Teddy’s fault!

“There were thousands of Sheffield Wednesday fans outside the stadium, we were driving around on the bus and they were holding up signs with ‘5.8’, ‘5.9’, ​​’5.7′, basically saying here’s the diver that we will give him a welcome here.

“The guys on the bus were just laughing, that’s when the guys were like ‘just when you score a goal, we’re all going to take a dive’.”

Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
He was a revelation for Spurs
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Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
And his famous celebration was entirely due to Sheringham
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After just one season at Tottenham, Klinsmann left and returned to his native country with Bayern Munich, winning the UEFA Cup and the Bundesliga title in two seasons.

He went to Sampdoria before a short loan spell at Tottenham ended his career in 1998, not before helping Germany win Euro 96 and breaking English hearts in the process.

Klinsmann’s career then took the coaching route, guiding Germany to a World Cup semi-final in 2006, before a short stint at Bayern Munich.

He was director of the United States for five years and most recently in charge of Hertha Berlin.

Jurgen Klinsmann was lied to by Arsene Wenger to join Monaco, accepted a transfer from Tottenham on Alan Sugar's yacht, won a World Cup and thanked Teddy Sheringham for celebrating diving
Klinsmann left Hertha Berlin in February 2020 and hasn’t made it since
GETTY

And what about a possible reunion with Spurs as manager one day?

It’s a prospect Klinsmann has raised in the past, but it’s not something he thinks will happen now.

He said: “The question is would you match the people who are there right now? So when I came to Spurs as a player, as funny as Alan Sugar was, we hit it off and had fun because he’s an entertainer and a conversationalist.

“Now obviously 30 years later you have different people in charge, they make different decisions and go their own way. What remains is the DNA of the club and the supporters and the identity with the players.

“Obviously things are changing, they have modernized the club and an incredible training centre. But managers have to match who you are and that’s why I think we probably never met. The people in charge of the club at the moment would probably not correspond to me.

My Sporting Life’s new talkSPORT series begins at 8pm on Sunday with Jurgen Klinsmann looking back on his incredible career with Paul Coyte.

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