The now Liverpool boss had talks with the German giants, however, a move did not eventuate.
According to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich had the thought of hiring Jurgen Klopp way back in 2008 but decided to go with Jurgen Klinnsmann instead. It was a surprise appointment at the time as Bayern looked to replace Ottmar Hitzfeld who was retiring before the start of the 2008-09 season.
Unfortunately for Klinnsman, he only lasted nine months in the role as he was given his marching orders and Rummenigge states it was his worst ever appointment in his executive career.
In the 2007-08 season, Bayern managed to secure both the Bundesliga and domestic cup but after Hitfeld’s retirement, they had to find his successor. After resigning as boss of Mainz, Jurgen Klopp was available after he failed to gain promotion to the German top-flight. Like Klopp, Klinnsmann was a free agent and he only had two years of managerial experience with the German national side after the 2006 World Cup had ended two years prior.
Even with his lack of experience, Klinnsman managed to secure the Bundesliga and UEFA Cup back between 1995 and 1997 before being given the role. His appointment was anything but a success as Bayern was knocked out of the Champions League, German Cup and was third in the league table, and in April 2009, Klinnsman was sacked.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke to ZDF Sport about Klinnsman’s appointment:
“I was partly responsible for bringing Jürgen Klinsmann on as a coach. Unfortunately, that didn’t work,” Rummenigge said
“That was also due to FC Bayern, but it just didn’t work. I’m very sorry. It wasn’t a good decision for both parties.”
Rummenigge also revealed that Uli Hoeness who was club president at the time also held positive talks with Jurgen Klopp before deciding to go forward with Klinnsman.
“Uli was in talks with Klopp at the time. We had to make a swift decision and then we agreed to get Jurgen,” he added.
As we know, Klopp would go on to join Borussia Dortmund in that same year and he transformed them into a powerhouse, winning two Bundesliga titles, two German Supercup, and a German cup. On top of that, he led Dortmund to the Champions League Final in 2013 where they were beaten 2-1 by rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley.
Then in 2015 he took the reigns at Liverpool and has gone from strength to strength, claiming the Champions League crown in 2019 before restoring Liverpool’s pride with the Premier League triumph last season.
When it comes to Klinnsman however he has not been as successful, although he did lead the United States to the World Cup in 2014, he was sacked just two years later as they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. He was in charge of Hertha Berlin for a short spell for the 2019-20 season.
Given how both manager’s careers have panned out since 2008, Bayern will feel that in hindsight, Klopp would have been the better managerial choice.