South Korea
FILE - U.S. men's national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann takes part in a news conference in St. Louis, on Nov. 12, 2015. Former Germany great Jurgen Klinsmann was hired Monday Feb. 27, 2023 to coach South Korea's national soccer team. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

South Korea Hire Former USMNT Head Coach Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann was due for another job. South Korea hired the former United States Men’s National Team Head Coach as their new manager.

Per the Korea Football Association, Klinsmann has signed a four-year contract taking him through the 2026 World Cup, which will be played across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Klinsmann replaces Paulo Bento, who disappointed with South Korea at Qatar’s World Cup. South Korea only advanced through Group H on goals scored. The squad then faced Brazil, who blew them out 4-1.

Bento stepped down following South Korea’s loss to Brazil.

“I know that the Korean national team has been improving and achieving results over a long period of time,” Klinsmann said.

“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of the great coaches who have led the Korean national team, from Gus Hiddink to my predecessor, Paulo Bento.”

Klinsmann’s Career

Klinsmann began his managerial career with the German national team, coaching the team to third place at the 2006 World Cup. The German manager ultimately departed the DFB, taking his coaching talents from the national stage to the domestic arena.

Bayern Munich hired Klinsmann as their head coach in 2008. Bayern let the coach go after just one season for finishing second in the Bundesliga, a disappointment by the German club’s standards.

The United States hired Klinsmann in 2011. He oversaw a brief period of success with the USMNT, leading the squad to a Gold Cup victory in 2013.

In 2016, the United States fired Klinsmann amidst qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The USMNT had strung together too many poor results, leading the US Soccer Federation to lose faith in the coach.

The American side ultimately failed to qualify for the tournament.

Klinsmann last coached another Bundesliga side, Hertha Berlin. Berlin hired the manager in November 2019 after a tough start to their season. Klinsmann ultimately failed to right the ship, culminating in his firing just 10 matches later.

He now looks to make a South Korea squad featuring star players like Son Heung-min and Kim Min-Jae into a serious contender for 2026’s World Cup.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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