Ex-USMNT boss Klinsmann appointed Hertha Berlin interim manager
Former United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will take over Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on an interim basis, the German side have confirmed.
Klinsmann will be joined be former Werder Bremen coach Alexander Nouri, 40, who will act as his assistant.
The 55-year-old was named to the club's supervisory board by new investor Lars Windhorst in early November and had all but ruled out returning to the sidelines.
But amid a major crisis, the former Germany international has been chosen to replace Ante Covic and returns to the Bundesliga more than 10 years after being sacked at Bayern Munich.
Klinsmann said he was asked to take over during a two-hour conversation late on Tuesday, to allow sporting director Michael Preetz time to sort out the coaching situation in the long-term.
"I called home whether it's okay to not come back home straight away. I am here now in front of you. And it's still a nice feeling, an honour to be allowed to help out," Klinsmann said at his introductory news conference.
Windhorst, a 42-year-old entrepreneur, has purchased 49.9% of Hertha's shares in recent months and has said he is dreaming of turning them into a "big city club."
"People always told me Berlin is waiting for something big, Berlin has the potential, Berlin is a sleeping giant, unable to move. And I believe Lars Windhorst has given it a big push," Klinsmann said.
In October, Klinsmann was linked with the Ecuador job. Upon announcing his staff at Hertha -- which includes Germany goalkeeper coach Andreas Kopke and former Germany international Arne Friedrich as a "performance manager" -- he said he had assistants ready in case he took a job in South America as well.
"Even if it all happens over night, I am prepared. That's why I will be joined by my staff which has been on call. A couple of months ago, I had other staff, prepared for South America, mostly Spanish speaking," Klinsmann said.
"You have all the what ifs. What happens if you take on a position as a national team coach like it was nearly the case in South America now," Klinsmann said later on in the news conference.
With just three wins from the first 12 Bundesliga games this term, Hertha find themselves in the lower regions of the table. Instead of competing for a European spot, the capital club are fifteenth and are battling relegation. To make matters worse, newly promoted city rivals Union Berlin not only won the first-ever Bundesliga derby between the two sides but also hold a five-point advantage over Hertha.
"We want to climb up in the standings now. That's our main challenge now," Klinsmann said.
Installed in the summer, Covic, a former pro and second team coach for Hertha, struggled from the start and has left the club following a 4-0 defeat at relegation rivals FC Augsburg last Sunday.