Well. Well. Well.
Look who is in the Copa America Centenario semifinals. Since some people in this country have trouble recognizing good things that are right in front of their faces, I will tell you: It’s me. Jurgen Klinsmann. Managerial genius. And the wonderful team I put together and expertly guided to victory.
Before the tournament began, I stated that reaching the semifinals was our goal and now here we are. In the semifinals. But while I was saying things that would actually happen, many people were saying things that were very wrong and most of those things were about me. Jurgen Klinsmann. Managerial genius.
They said I didn’t know what I was doing. That I was hurting the team by constantly experimenting with different lineups in friendlies and qualifiers. That I had the tactical knowledge of a grilled cheese sandwich. That I was holding the U.S. team back. That if we couldn’t beat Costa Rica I should be fired. That if we couldn’t beat Paraguay I should be fired. That if we couldn’t make it out of our group, I should be fired.
So what happened? I have used the same lineup throughout the Copa America with great success. I have proven that I am not a grilled cheese sandwich. We beat both Costa Rica and Paraguay, keeping clean sheets in each match. We not only got out of the group, but won the whole freaking group ahead of Colombia, and now we have beaten Ecuador in a difficult match to achieve my goal of the semifinals.
In German we have a word: Kritikerschadenfreude. It means “getting pleasure from proving your dumdum critics wrong in every way.” I am feeling this right now all over my body. It is like getting the greatest massage from all of your enemies who made fun of you in school and now feel stupid because you are a managerial genius and they are rubbing your bunions for money.
The fact that I have done this should not have come as a surprise, though. After all, I won the Gold Cup, got the U.S. out of the Group of Death and pushed a more talented Belgium team to the extra time at the 2014 World Cup, oh, and I built the foundation for Germany to become world champions while Jogi Löw sat next to me picking his nose and sniffing his own crevices.
Even though my critics should have recognized this and not made fools of themselves by saying and writing silly things about me, I am a very forgiving Klinsmann. So I will gladly accept all of their groveling apologies, no matter what time of day or night they muster the courage to kneel before me.
Now, I will not make them kiss my feet, but I will not deny them the pleasure, either. I will also accept delicious homemade brownies as gifts of tribute, but only if the person who made them takes a bite out of one first to confirm that they do not contain poison or walnuts. I don’t like walnuts.
I feel I should wrap this up, because the longer I go on, the longer I have to wait to hear all of the apologies. So, in conclusion, I am a managerial genius, my critics know less than the boogers in Jogi Löw’s mouth, and if the United States is lucky, I will choose to retain total control of the national team forever.
You’re welcome, America.
Jurgen “The Mann” Klinsmann