I have nothing to prove against Germany: Klinsmann

USMNT need 1 point for the round of 16

United States boss Jurgen Klinsmann has insisted he has nothing to prove when he faces his homeland Germany in their final World Cup Group G match in Recife on Thursday.

Klinsmann led Germany to the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup, but then also presided over a disastrous season with many of the current German squad at Bayern Munich.

However, he said it was more important for the development of US soccer to get the point they need to qualify for the last 16 than for him to prove a point against some of his former charges.

"We are going to approach it with a lot of determination and in a very focused way, we want to be very aggressive and we want to give Germany a real battle," he said on Wednesday.

"I, personally, have nothing to prove. I enjoy my work with the United States tremendously, I enjoyed my job with Germany and I also enjoyed my year with Bayern Munich, which was a very turbulent year but that is just part of the job.

"I am looking forward to tomorrow, my family will be a little bit split but that is just part of it. At the end of the day it is a beautiful game of football and I hope everyone will enjoy it."

German coach Joachim Loew was Klinsmann's assistant in 2006 before succeeding him as the national team boss.

Under Loew's tutelage Germany reached the Euro 2008 final and semi-finals in the last World Cup and European Championships.

And Klinsmann hailed the style of football Loew has implemented, but claimed they had not spoken about their upcoming battle during the World Cup.

"It is more than just a working relationship it is a very close friendship with a lot of admiration," he added.

"I think what Jogi has done over the last eight years is outstanding. He has developed the team with a wonderful style of confident, high-paced, attacking football and given the chance to many young players. From the outside I am very proud of what he and the whole team has done."

Klinsmann had been criticised in some quarters in the United States for saying his side are still not yet capable of winning the World Cup.

And whilst he believes Germany are amongst a small group of teams that can go onto lift the trophy on July 13, he is backing the USA to follow in the footsteps of many other unfancied nations at the World Cup and create a surprise on Thursday.

"Germany are part of the three or four big teams in this World Cup that have the potential to win it. We don't claim that for us. We are a team that has to go from game-to-game and want to learn, grow and get results too.

"I just want the players to come into tomorrow and give everything they have, just like they did against Ghana and Portugal. If they give everything and show the energy and positivity they did in those two games we can get a result.

"We are capable of beating Germany and we know that. Without being over confident we know it is possible, as you have seen this World Cup, it is full of surprises and we want to be one of those surprises.

"We have done a good job so far, but we aren't there yet and we still need one point to go into the knockout stage."

A draw would be enough to see both sides in the second round with the Germans topping the group.

However, full-back Fabian Johnson, who will also be facing the country of his birth, said they won't settle for a point.

"I don't think that is in our nature. Every athlete wants to win and we showed that in the qualifier against Panama when we were already qualified and won which allowed Mexico to qualify."


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