Klinsmann spurred by award

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The Independent Online
The Tottenham striker, Jrgen Klinsmann, has said he will make a decision on his future before he collects his Footballer of the Year award on 18 May.

Klinsmann, 29, said yesterday he had had offers from Italian and Spanish clubs as well as the much-publicised bid from Bayern Munich, but he would only quit Spurs in order to settle in his native Germany. "I will not be going to those other countries, because if I did people would say I am only doing it for the money and, really, that is the last thing I am considering," he said. "If I had been worried about money I would not have come to England in the first place last year, because I had much bigger offers from elsewhere."

"But I came because I was curious about the football and the customs and the culture and the way of life here. And although I have not achieved what I wanted to achieve with Tottenham - I hoped I would win a title or play in the FA Cup final at Wembley - it has been a fantastic experience.

"The tremendous reception I have had from fans of other teams as well as Tottenham's has been fantastic. It is very special when the other team's fans applaud you as they did at Newcastle last night. Really, it has been an incredible season for me."

Klinsmann, only the third foreigner in the 46-year history of the award to be named Footballer of the Year, said: "Nothing that has happened in my experience in England has put me off playing here. The only reason I would leave is to go back to Munich which is close to my roots and near my home."

Klinsmann was announcing a new boot deal which is expected to net him more than £100,000. Yet the footwear as well as shinpads and balls - with markings in the blue and white colours of Tottenham - is cheaply priced because, he said: "I wanted something that kids and other youngsters can afford."

"Money is not a big consideration to me. I have always been a person who wants to taste the different ways of life and culture in Europe first and foremost.

"All my decisions have always been based on that idea and the only reason I would now leave a wonderful club like Tottenham is to go back to my roots in Germany." Klinsmann has so far scored 29 goals for Tottenham - the highest haul in one season of his professional career - and all the more reason to rue a missed penalty in Tottenham's 3-3 draw at Newcastle.

It would indeed be ironic if Klinsmann, who wants to play in European competition, was to see Tottenham miss out on qualifying for the Uefa Cup by the two points a successful penalty strike may have earned them on Wednesday.

Klinsmann was also taking into consideration the two points docked from Bayern in the Bundesliga for playing too many amateurs, which means they are not certain of a place in Europe next season.