Sat, 23 Oct 2021

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Due to his career filled with ups and downs, Stefan Kuntz, the 58-year-old former German talent coach seems a perfect match for the wavering Turkish national team.

On Monday, Kuntz signed a three-year contract as a successor of Senol Guenes.

The former policeman experienced low points aside from triumphant victories.

In Turkey, the former Besiktas striker (1995/1996) will have to find a well-balanced path to combine his caring character aside from demanding discipline.

Facing Norway with Erling Haaland on November 8 in a World Cup qualifier might set a starting point for his first job as a successful national team coach.


As a striker in the shirt of underdog FC Kaiserslautern, Kuntz learned to never surrender as his side was famous for scoring late goals and turning around games in the dying minutes.

In 1991, the Red Devils won the national title against all odds. Kuntz noted that it's not always the best-equipped team reaching the top, but the side developing a robust spirit.

In 1996, the forward wasn't seen as the country's leading striker in the national team's Euro tour.

Kuntz turned into a helpful surprise on the team's way taking the title delivering an important goal in the semifinal against hosts England.

When appointed as Germany's U-21 coach, he was seen as a temporary solution.

But in 2017 and 2021, he won the European title aside from reaching the final in 2019. The job opened doors for his return as a coach following 10 years in a management position in Bochum and Kaiserslautern.

Kuntz won 20 of his 25 encounters (5 draws) in the German shirt and is the country's record holder with the longest series of unbeaten games.


The 1991 German Footballer of the Year is far from entirely relying on scientific data but is said to be a people catcher conquering his player's hearts.

It might have been one of his famous gut feelings that made him set up a three-pillar system when coaching Germany's U-21 teams.

Kuntz, at the top, was responsible for the general team mood always keeping his doors open as a tolerant father. His assistant coaches covered tactical issues and delivered data.

Around the 1994 World Cup, Kuntz experienced the value of a tolerant coach knowing how far things can go.

He left the German camp and returned late for dinner having bought a fancy pair of cowboy boots. His coach Berti Vogts didn't talk to him about the secret escape. But Vogts, for an unknown reasons, mentioned cowboy boots in his final team speech.


Working together with Turkey's national team manager Hamit Altintop provides the advantage to talk in German about important details as the 38-year-old is born in Gelsenkirchen and played for Bayern and Schalke.

Aside from Altintop, the Turkish association plans to hire an assistant coach covering both languages. Rumors talk about former Hannover coach Kenan Kocak and former Turkish international Tayfun Korkut, the Stuttgart-born former coach of Kaiserslautern, Leverkusen, and Stuttgart.

In the shirt of Besiktas, Kuntz scored 9 goals in 30 games ending up third in the league.

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