Jürgen Klinsmann, the accomplished striker who won the 1990 FIFA World Cup with Germany and returned to coach the national team to a third-place finish in 2006, will join ESPN as a studio analyst for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (June 11 – July 11). Klinsmann will contribute to ESPN and ABC’s studio coverage of the tournament in the United States, appearing on pre-match, halftime and post-match shows from South Africa, including the nightly World Cup Live news and information program and SportsCenter.
Recognized as one of the world’s top strikers during his 16 seasons of top-tier professional soccer in Germany, Italy, France and England, Klinsmann played in three FIFA World Cups – 1990, 1994 and 1998. He was the first player to score at least three goals in three World Cup events and remains Germany’s second all-time World Cup goal scorer with 11. In 2004, Klinsmann returned to coach the German national team, a position he vacated after a successful 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign in which Germany was the host nation.
In addition to Klinsmann, former South African national team player Shaun Bartlett, who played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Robbie Mustoe, Middlesbrough’s longest serving player, will both serve as television analysts for ESPN during the FIFA World Cup. With Klinsmann (1990, ’94, ’98) and Bartlett (1998), ESPN’s English-language coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the U.S. will feature analysts with combined experience of 11 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Others: Efan Ekoku (1994), Ruud Gullit (1990), John Harkes (1990, ’94), Alexi Lalas (1994, ’98) and Steve McManaman (1998).
“Very few people in the world possess the first-hand knowledge and experience of playing and coaching in a FIFA World Cup match, and Jürgen is one of them” said Jed Drake, ESPN executive producer, 2010 FIFA World Cup. “The addition of Jürgen, Shaun and Robbie to our team will enhance our presentation of this seminal sports event to fans in the United States.”
Klinsmann added: “I’m extremely happy to be part of the ESPN FIFA World Cup team, and I hope that I can give American viewers insight into the world’s greatest game. Living in the U.S for more than 10 years, I’ve seen soccer grow incrementally and I think ESPN’s coverage of this exciting World Cup will take it to a new level.”
Assignments for other ESPN commentators for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be announced at a later date.