Klinsmann, in a lengthy interview published in the Frankfurter Rundschau Friday, noted that he has not applied for US citizenship, though may do so, but feels right at home in the US after having lived there for 14 years.
Asked how he would react if the German and US national teams faced each other and the German national anthem was played, Klinsmann said he’d probably sing right along with it.
“It would be difficult for me in such a moment not to sing the German national anthem. I do that automatically. I always sang along as a player and as a trainer. Why shouldn’t I do it in such a situation? It doesn’t necessarily have to do with the game.”
As for then singing the US national anthem, Klinsmann said he first has to learn all its words. But he called the song “wonderful” and said he thinks it’s great that the anthem is played before every big sporting event.
The US trainer admitted that football faces an uphill battle in the sports-overloaded US, but noted that it is making headway and regular coverage of football tournaments now appear in major papers, like the New York Times.
But the Times recently labeled players with a German-American background that Klinsmann is seen as trying to import to the US team as “germericans.”
Klinsmann brushed off the label, saying the US has a lot to learn about football, including that it is an international sport with players coming from all over the world.
Klinsmann said he’s especially keen to exploit the vast amounts of talent seen among Hispanic players in the states and in Mexico.
“My long-term goal is to make US football so strong that at some point we can be measured against the greatest teams.”