“Seeing my 30-year-old uniform”…Klinsmann surprised by the popularity of Hallyu star Taegeuk Warriors

“That was 30 years ago.”

Unexpectedly seeing his old jersey in China, South Korea national soccer team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann was surprised by the local reception for the Taegeuk Warriors.

Klinsmann’s team arrived in China via Shenzhen Bao’an Airport on the afternoon of Sept. 19 for the second Group C match of the 2026 North American Football Championship Asia Second Qualifying Round against China at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. KST.

Despite the heated atmosphere ahead of the match, the Chinese fans’ cheers for the Korean national team were overwhelming. Fans packed the airport arrivals hall to the brim to see the Korean players play on Europe’s top stage. After waiting for the team for a long time at the airport, when the Korean players were seen at the arrival gate, they immediately chanted their names and were happy to welcome them to China. Klinsmann smiled and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Some fans wore Bayern Munich jerseys, where Kim Min-jae plays, and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) jerseys, where Lee Kang-in plays, and there was even a unique jersey. It was Klinsmann’s jersey from his playing days. A fan caught Klinsmann’s attention by wearing an old Bayern Munich jersey with Klinsmann’s name and his iconic number 18 on it.

Klinsmann saw the jersey and remembered it fondly. “First of all, it was quite nice to see a lot of the old atmosphere today. It was already 30 years ago. Even when I was playing, I received a lot of letters from Chinese fans, and I think it was a day that brought back memories of answering those letters,” he said, reminiscing about his past ties to China. 무지개토토

A world-class striker in his playing days, Klinsmann had a stellar career with the West German national team, winning the 1990 World Cup in Italy. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the German (West German) national team was one of the most dominant teams in world soccer, and Klinsmann was one of the “Germanic Three” at the center of it all. He was the face of the German attack, so much so that his popularity was contagious, even in the relatively distant country of China, where he was a fan favorite.

While Klinsmann’s popularity in China was driven by his time with Germany, Chinese fans are now more interested in Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, Lee Kang-in, and other players who are currently thriving on the European stage with the South Korean national team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *