I REMEMBER USED OWNER FAVOURITE HOPE
Lothar, what’s the truth behind your relationship with Jurgen Klinsmann? Did the two of you really fall out?
Ed, via Twitter Jurgen Klinsmann and I are different characters. And for that reason, we certainly weren’t the best of friends when we played in the same team, especially in the ’90s. But on the field we always did our best for each other. [FFT: Was your difficult relationship the reason for Berti Vogts leaving you out of the Germany squad for Euro 96?] Yes, that could be one of the reasons. That’s football. In the end, the coach did everything right as they won the European Championship without me.
Is it true that you made a bet that Klinsmann wouldn’t score 15 goals one season, when you were both playing for Bayern Munich?
Thomas, Munich, Germany That was nothing against Jurgen – it’s a funny story! Uli Hoeness and I were sitting down one evening, in a good mood, and we decided to make a bet for 10,000 Deutsche Marks. I said, “OK, he doesn’t score 15 goals.” So Uli said, “He does score 15 goals.” I thought if he scores 15 goals, we win the title and I get my bonus, which was more than we put on the bet – I think it was around 60,000 or 70,000. And if I win the bet, I have a minimum of 10,000. It was a win-win situation for me! In the last game [of 1996-97] we were already champions, and he scored from 50 centimetres out to make it 15 goals for the season. [ Laughs] I could have made the bet the other way, but if he didn’t score 15 goals and I lost, maybe I wouldn’t win the championship, and then I’d lose both ways! The way I did it, I was always going to win at least one. You spent time in several different countries as a manager: Austria, Serbia, Brazil, Israel... is there one moment that stands out for you? Joshua , via Twitter In 2003 I won at Newcastle with Partizan Belgrade to qualify for the Champions League. Our first group game was at home to Jose Mourinho’s Porto team. We drew 1-1. His career went differently to mine after that! In 2009 you said: “I am an idol – Germany should be ashamed of the way it treats me.” Do you still feel the same way now? Andrew, via email The media changed my words a little bit but it’s true that in Germany they don’t care so much about their heroes. Boris Becker is not living in Germany; Steffi Graf is not living in Germany; Michael Schumacher is not living in Germany; Franz Beckenbauer is not living in Germany; I’m not living in Germany. These are the biggest world superstars from Germany but nobody lives there, and you have to ask why. It’s because you cannot live your life how you want. Boris Becker is in London and there they recognise him but they respect him. In Germany you go on the street and have to listen to stupid comments. That is not nice. I like to come back – I’m not against Germany – but to feel happier and more relaxed, I prefer Budapest.