Chinese soccer fans are outraged after rumors spread that former South Korea national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann is among the candidates for the Chinese national soccer team’s head coach.

“It’s unbelievable that a fired rival national team coach could become the head coach of China,” China’s reported on Feb. 22. Fans are shouting, ‘It’s impossible,'” the site said.

“The Chinese Football Association (CFA), which is looking for a successor to Aleksandar Jankovic, is interested in Klinsmann and can afford his salary of 2.1 million euros (about 3 billion won),” a Chinese 홀덤사이트 media outlet recently reported.

Then, a few days after China’s 0-3 loss to South Korea under Klinsmann in November last year, CFA President Song Kai said, “South Korea won 3-0 under a German coach (Klinsmann). We will beat them 4-0 next time with a German coach,” he said.

China is on the hunt for a new head coach after being eliminated from the group stage of the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar with two draws and one loss. While there has been no official announcement of Jankovic’s departure, the team has reportedly already shortlisted foreign coaches, including Carlos Queiroz and Branko Ivankovic.

Local media outlets such as Beijing Youth Daily have also included homegrown directors such as Gao Hongbo, Zheng Zhihui, and Xue Hui, as well as directors from Chengdu Rongcheng and Shandong Taishan’s Choi Kang-hee. However, they seem to favor directors from Europe over Asia.

This is where Klinsmann comes in. The CFA favors foreign managers because they want someone who is familiar with Asian soccer and can lead a team to consistent results. In Ivankovic’s case, the news of his arrival in China sparked hopes that it could lead to a contract.

However, China’s assessment of Klinsmann is not much different from that of South Korea. The Chinese are aware of Klinsmann’s reliance on individual skill, complacency, and failure to control the squad, as evidenced by the Son Heung-min and Kang-in brawl.

Chinese fans are strongly unhappy with Klinsmann’s candidacy to manage their national team. As a player, he was one of the best strikers of Germany’s golden era, but they know he hasn’t achieved anything as a manager. He even watched South Korea lose to Jordan.

“If Klinsmann comes to China, he will be another Camacho,” one Chinese fan emphasized, according to the outlet. Antonio Camacho took over the Chinese national team in 2011 and led them to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they failed to qualify for the final round of Asian qualifiers.

Camacho was fired a year before his contract expired after a 1-5 loss in an exhibition match against Thailand’s youth national team in 2013. It remains an open wound for Chinese fans.

“Korean fans ignore Klinsmann, but Chinese fans ignore him even more,” “Klinsmann is garbage in coaching. There is nothing better than Jankovic”, “It’s almost like changing coaches. If you can save money, you should save it,” and “It’s almost like changing coaches.

The CFA is hoping that China, who lost the Asian Cup, will get some experience of Chinese or Asian soccer, given that they still have high hopes of reaching the last 36 of the World Cup. Luis Felipe Scolari and Cosmin Oleroyu are also among the candidates.

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