Australian Four Four Two - - UPFRONT -

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.

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