BERLIN: Jurgen Klinsmann is planning a party if Hertha Berlin beat his former employers Bayern Munich on Sunday despite doubts about the validity of his coaching licence, as the Bundesliga resumes this weekend after a four-week break.
Since taking charge in November, the 55-year-old former Germany and US national team coach has pulled Hertha up from the relegation places to mid-table with 10 points from a possible 12 going into their clash with third-placed Bayern at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
However Klinsmann, who led both the US and Germany at World Cup finals, has been left red-faced after it emerged his coaching licence, held since 2000, may no longer be valid and the relevant paperwork is at the family home in California.
“It’s just been a bit of a chance for the media to let off a bit of steam,” Klinsmann told Sky as questions over his licence became a hot topic in the German media.
“No one has ever approached me about a licence in 20 years – whether as coach of Germany, the USA or Bayern. Now they have looked into it and it’s expired.”
The matter remains unresolved but Klinsmann insists he has sent the necessary paperwork to the German FA and that there is “no problem at all.”
He has a point to prove against Bayern, who sacked him in 2009 after just nine months and 43 games in charge.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has recovered from recent groin surgery and will look to pick up where he left off after scoring 19 goals in the first 17 games.
The defending champions trail leaders RB Leipzig by four points and are without wingers Kingsley Coman (knee) and Serge Gnabry, who injured his Achilles tendon during a training camp in Qatar.
Bayern suffered a shock 2-0 defeat when they last travelled to Hertha in September 2018 and Klinsmann said a repeat result would spark a party in the capital.
“We have nothing to lose,” he said. “Let’s take a point – brilliant! Let’s take three, then we’ll have a party.
“We’ll go in there with the confidence of four games without defeat.”
Borussia Dortmund made the league’s standout signing during the winter break when they paid Red Bull Salzburg 20 million euros ($22m) for the 19-year-old Norway striker.
Haaland attracted attention last September when, aged 19 years and 58 days, he became the third youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick in a 6-2 victory over Genk, finishing with eight goals in six group games.
“I don’t think we’ve had that kind of striker since Robert Lewandowski,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus told Sky.
Head coach Lucien Favre has not said when Haaland will make his debut.
Fourth-placed Dortmund hope a deluge of goals by their latest signing will help close the seven-point deficit to RB Leipzig, starting with a win at Augsburg on Saturday.
28 - the goals in 22 games Haaland scored in all competitions for Salzburg in the first half of the season.
0 - the clean sheets kept by Werder Bremen this season. “It is very disappointing and embarassing, but is also added motivation,” said captain Niklas Moisander ahead of Saturday’s game at Fortuna Duesseldorf.
4 - the goals RB Leipzig put past Saturday’s visitors Union Berlin when the teams last met in August during a 4-0 rout. - AFP