How Jurgen Klinsmann was lured to Tottenham on Lord Sugar’s yacht and why Spurs legend drove a Volkswagen Beetle

Lord Sugar got plenty of things wrong during his time as Tottenham chairman – but inviting Jurgen Klinsmann onto his yacht in Monte Carlo was a masterstroke.

The German instantly became a Spurs legend upon signing for the club from Monaco in 1994, thanks to his goalscoring prowess and likeable personality.

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Tottenham signed Klinsmann for £2million in 1994
Getty Images – Getty

This is despite his arrival being greeted with widespread disdain, mainly because of his role in England’s 1990 World Cup elimination, and also a reputation for ‘diving’.

Klinsmann immediately won fans over with his iconic ‘dive’ celebration after scoring on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday – and 29 goals during the 1994/95 campaign earned him the Football Writers’ Player of the Year award.

Speaking to talkSPORT 2’s Sportsday, the former Spurs striker revealed his brief stint in north London came about after Lord Sugar turned up unannounced in a yacht outside his home.

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Lord Sugar was Spurs chairman between 1991 and 2001
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“Alan Sugar, our chairman at the time, anchored in Monte Carlo and I got a phone call from him,” Klinsmann recalled.

“He asked for a chat and I said, ‘Yeah, where are you?’ He responded, ‘Down in the harbour.’

“I walk down, literally 200 yards, to his yacht, and in two hours we had the deal done.

“Ossie Ardiles played a huge role, too. He was the manager at the time and to play for a personality like him was very special.

“The way the people welcomed me and the way things excelled on the pitch was amazing.

“I just felt so at home at Tottenham, with the people and with everything.

“That’s why I’m always back in London as often as we can.”

While Klinsmann says he felt ‘at home’, he certainly wasn’t comfortable on the roads.

The German famously drove a Volkswagen Beetle around the streets of north London, as opposed to the kind of car you might expect a high-profile footballer to drive.

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Klinsmann explains why he drove round in an old banger
Getty Images – Getty

And Klinsmann reveals he was so frightened of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, he opted for a car he didn’t mind crashing.

He added: “I had to drive on the left side and that was a little bit problematic at the beginning!

“If I’m already going on the wrong side, then I’d better crash a Volkswagen Beetle.

“The Beetle fell apart later on, but it was a wonderful time.”


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