BERLIN – Three years after being fired by the United States, Jürgen Klinsmann returned to coaching on Wednesday.
Hertha Berlin hired Klinsmann after Ante Covic left with the team already in a Bundesliga struggle.
It is a decade since Klinsmann has led a club, lasting only nine months at Bayern Munich before an underwhelming stint ended in April 2009.
Klinsmann only has a contract at Hertha until the end of the season in May, with the mission to stabilize the team. Hertha is 15th in the 18-team Bundesliga and is only above the relegation places on goal difference.
“Points as soon as possible, and hopefully to climb up (the table) slowly,” Klinsmann said of the task. “If I take something on, then I don’t do it by halves.”
Klinsmann had been tapped to join the club’s supervisory board in early November after developing contacts with Hertha’s major investor, Lars Windhorst. Klinsmann’s son Jonathan was a reserve goalkeeper for Hertha from 2017 until earlier this year when he moved to Swiss club St. Gallen.
Jürgen Klinsmann won the Bundesliga title with Bayern as a player, and moved into coaching in 2004 with the German national team, reaching the World Cup semifinals at home in 2006.
After the stint at Bayern, he coached the U.S. men’s national team from 2011 until 2016, when he was fired after defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica in the team’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Covic had been with Hertha continuously since 2003, first as a player and then in a series of coaching roles. He took over as head coach in May when Pál Dárdai left but recent performances have been disappointing.
“Since Hertha BSC is not just an employer to me, this decision is a painful one,” Covic said. “But I have always said that this club means more than individuals, because I don’t just love this job, I love this club even more.”
Hertha has lost its last four games, including a 1-0 defeat to Union Berlin in the derby and a 4-0 loss to fellow struggler Augsburg on Sunday.