News: Klinsmann plans to retire after World Cup finals

Jurgen Klinsmann is to retire from football after the World Cup. The 33-year-old captain of Germany, who scored the first goal of his second spell with Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday's 1-0 win over West Ham United, yesterday announced that he would not be playing for either club or country following France '98, which ends on 12 July.

In an interview with a German radio station, Klinsmann, whose contract with Spurs ends in May, said: "I will not be playing in the 2000 European Championships. I will be retiring from football after the World Cup."

Yesterday's draw for the qualifying stages of the European Championship placed Germany in Group Three, along with Northern Ireland, Moldova, Finland and Turkey.

Klinsmann has enjoyed a glittering career, the highlights of which include winning the World Cup in Italy in 1990, the European Championship in England in 1996, and the 1996 Uefa Cup with Bayern Munich.

Tottenham's chairman, Alan Sugar, hopes Klinsmann, who has his sights set on leading his country to a fourth World Cup win in France, bows out in style.

Sugar responded to the news Klinsmann's decision by saying: "I'm sure everyone in football would like Jurgen Klinsmann's last season in football to be a memorable one," he said.

"He came to help us out at Tottenham to the end of this season and we sincerely hope he goes out on a high note. He deserves it."

Klinsmann's first spell with Spurs ended in acrimony in 1995 when he exercised a get-out clause in his contract to go to Bayern Munich and then Sampdoria. At the time, Sugar criticised the German and said his No 18 Spurs shirt was not good enough to wash his car with, but Klinsmann had no hesitation in making an extraordinary return to a side now struggling to stay in the Premiership in December with a contract until the end of the season.

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