Jurgen Klinsmann made his name in England by taking it on his chin. Having arrived at Tottenham Hotspur as a controversial figure with a reputation for diving, the former Germany international took little time to illustrate that he meant business.
Klinsmann scored on his debut for Spurs against Sheffield Wednesday and celebrated by going on the ground as if he was diving. That won over the fans and has since been adopted by several footballers as part of their celebration ritual.
Now 49 and coach of the USA national team, Klinsmann left Spurs at the end of the 1994-95 season, but he is still fondly remember by everyone who has been following English football closely. The former striker returned to White Hart Lane on loan from Sampdoria for the 1997-98 campaign, and this time he saved the club from relegation.
During his spells at Spurs, Klinsmann did not lose a North London derby, and he is relieved that he did not. Having also featured in the Milan derby while at Inter Milan between 1989 and 1992, he has revealed that he couldn’t have endured going out of his house if Spurs had suffered defeats to Arsenal during his time.
‘If you lose the Milan or the north London derby, you daren’t leave your house for three days’, he wrote in FourFourTwo. ‘You don’t go to the baker or the butcher because they will give you c**p straight to your face. At Spurs I made sure I scored against Arsenal, so we didn’t lose! I’ll always be able to say I never lost to them’.