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National Team Career | WC 94 | Euro 96

The German squad No doubt, this was a great tournament for Klinsmann (photo on the right, the second man from the left of the lower row).

This was the third times that Klinsmann represented Germany to take part in the European Championship. But this time was different because Klinsmann was the captain and this was also the first major national tournament since his captainship.

Klinsmann's form was great since the Qualifying Round of this tournament as he was playing Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich during that period of time. He scored 9 goals in the Qualifying Round (one-third of the total goals scored by Germany).

With Klinsmann's goals, Germany topped its group in the Qualifying Round and qualified into the Final Round in which it was put into Group C together with Italy, Czech Republic and Russia.

Klinsmann's performance in Euro 96 Qualifying Round
Date Results *G
16/11/94 Albania 1-2 G# 1
14/12/94 Moldova 0-3 G 1
18/12/94 G 2-1 Albania 1
29/03/95 Georgia 0-2 G 2
26/04/95 G 1-1 Wales 0
07/06/95 Bulgaria 3-2 G 1
06/09/95 G 4-1 Georgia 0
08/10/95 G 6-1 Moldova 0
10/10/95 Wales 1-2 G 1
15/11/95 G 3-1 Bulgaria 2
* G = Number of goals scored by Klinsmann
# G = Germany

The Final Round was held in England and Germany's first match was against Czech Republic. However, Klinsmann could not play in this match because he was suspended. Germany won this match by 2-0.

As admitted by Klinsmann, his suspension affected his form and he had to recover his form slowly from the second match against Russia. The good thing was that Russia was not too strong and Klinsmann was able to gain back his form by scoring 2 goals in this match. In addition, his second goal was a classic, he skipped pass a Russian defender and then used the outer side of his right foot to curled in a powerful goal from outside the area (see photo on the right). Every fans of Klinsmann must remember this goal! These 2 goals also earned Klinsmann the honour of the first player who scores in 3 consecutive tournaments (EURO 88, EURO 92 and EURO 96). Germany won 3-0 in this match.

In the last group stage match, Germany had to face the challenge from Italy who must win in order to secure its place in the next stage. Italy had a promising start but Kopke saved a penalty from Zola and helped in maintaining its cleansheet in group stage. At last, this game ended goalless.

After 3 group matches, Germany topped the group with 7 points and Czech Republic finished in the second.

Klinsmann's 2nd goal against Russia
Klinsmann striking his 2nd goal against Russia

Euro 96, Group C
Team W D L F A Pts
Germany 2 1 0 5 0 7
Czech Republic 1 1 1 5 6 4
Italy 1 1 1 3 3 4
Russia 0 1 2 4 8 1

Germany's opponent in the quarter-final was Croatia. This game was surely one of Klinsmann's most unforgettable match because he was injured in this match! In fact, Klinsmann played well in this game and scored his third goal in this tournament from the penalty spot in the 20th minute. However, after he was tackled and fouled several times during the game, he felt great pain in his calf muscle and eventually he could not sustain and had to leave the field in the 40th minute (see photo on the right). Although Germany finally defeated Croatia by 2-1, Klinsmann must miss the semi-final against England, the host. According to the spokesman of Germany, Klinsmann's injury was so serious that even if Germany could defeat England, the chance for Klinsmann to be able to play in the final was only 0.5% (ie almost impossible). This was an obvious setback for Klinsmann because it was always his dream to lead Germany to win a major competition. When he told the press about how he would deal with his injury, he nearly cried. He told the press that he would stay in England and support his teammates on the bench and he urged the team to face the difficulty positively. In fact, the absence of Klinsmann greatly weakened Germany's attack and this was reflected from the fact that they could only manage to secure a 1-1 draw against England after 120 minutes and then defeat England in the penalty shootout.

The other finalist was Czech Republic, a familiar opponent because Germany and Czech Republic were in the same group in group stage. Now, it was the time to wait for miracle to cure Klinsmann's injury. Due to Klinsmann's strong determination to play and positive attitude, miracle really came just one hour before the start of the final match -- Klinsmann was permitted by the team doctor to play in the final!.

The final was a tough match for Germany because Czech Republic had learnt a lesson from their defeat in group stage. They even led the game by a penalty in the 59th minute. Germany fought a goal back in the 73th minute by Bierhoff, the super-substitute. The game then ended 1-1 in normal time. In the 5th minute of extra time, Klinsmann played a great pass to Bierhoff who turned it into the golden gold. This golden gold ended EURO 96 and earned Germany the trophy. Klinsmann cried after this sensational victory.

At last, Klinsmann accomplished his dream to lead Germany to win the long-awaited EURO 96 and lifted up the trophy (photo on the right) in the mood of joy.


Klinsmann was injured!
Klinsmann was injured!

Klinsmann lifting up the trophy of EURO 96!
Klinsmann lifting up the trophy of EURO 96!

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