The Belgium defender says he is far from blown away by his former Bayern boss’ work with the US national team
Daniel van Buyten has hit out at his ‘unimpressive’ former Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann as the two get set to come head-to-head in the World Cup on Tuesday.
Van Buyten’s Belgium will take on the USA – who are coached by the former Germany boss – in the round of 16 in Salvador, bringing the two men together five years after Klinsmann was sacked by FCB.
The 36-year-old previously blasted Klinsmann for going back on his word during his time as Bayern coach, leaving the defender out of a key Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon having earlier told him he would start.
And, while many have lauded the German’s impact on international football, the Red Devils defender insists there is nothing special about his former boss’ approach.
“I am not impressed by Klinsmann. He is just a coach who knows how to conduct his group and get the maximum out of them by motivating them. The USA will certainly be organised,” Van Buyten told reporters at Belgium’s World Cup training base.
“He talks a lot about us, saying that we are favourites, but I think he thinks otherwise.
“They will be motivated and want to do everything possible to go into the quarter-finals. But that will also be the case for us.
“I hope it will be a good match and we will qualify.”
The reigning Bundesliga champion is the only player in the Belgium squad to have appeared at an international tournament prior to this World Cup, and he has been using his experience to help some of the younger squad members get used to the atmosphere in the camp.
“We are the youngest team at the World Cup, and I try to talk a lot with the young players so that they can be more free,” Van Buyten added. “But it’s not always easy to stay cool and calm, and that is the issue. This is the World Cup, it is not obvious.
“But I hope the next game will go well and that the young players are comfortable enough to give the best of themselves.”