Jurgen Klinsmann’s popularity in Germany is sky high even if he has swiped a couple of the country’s top young prospects, according to German legend Franz Beckenbauer.
The USA head coach managed to secure the international services of German-born John Brooks and Florida-born Julian Green, both of whom have spent the majority of their lives in Germany and represented the European side at the youth level.
Did the German legend ruffle any feathers back home when he returned to his native land to snatch away a couple of its rising stars?
“Not at all,” Beckenbauer told Goal USA. “Klinsmann has given Brooks and Green a great opportunity with the U.S. team and they have taken it. Nobody is mad at them.”
There’s little doubt both players have made the most of their opportunity with the Stars and Stripes, each scoring on their World Cup debut in Brazil. Brooks, 21, and Green, 19, now appear to be cornerstones of the USA’s future.
“Both are still very young, but bright prospects, Beckenbauer said. “Julian Green only played a few minutes at the World Cup, but with almost his only touch he scored against Belgium. You could see his potential there.”
Beckenbauer, one of the most decorated players of all time, who won the World Cup in 1974 as a player and a coach in 1990 (with Klinsmann on his roster), says that the USA coach is still a massive figure in his home country.
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“Many people here follow his work in the USA. He managed to build a stable national team in not much time, which made a good impression in Brazil. The U.S. can be proud of their team. They were eliminated in the round of 16 but only in extra time, with misfortune and after a big fight.”
Following the World Cup, Brooks and Green will look to secure more first-team minutes in the 2014-15 season. Brooks’ task at Hertha Berlin appears to be much easier than Green’s at Bayern Munich.
Despite an uphill battle for playing time, Green has already stated his desire to stay with Bayern rather than pursue a loan.
Although Green’s task is massive, Beckenbauer can at least confirm his former club has been pleased with the youngster’s progress.
“Because of the training opportunities in Germany they have the best chances to mature into great players. I can't say how Hertha rates Brooks, but Bayern is very happy with Julian.“