Sex, drugs and Romanian trolls - Meet the new coach vying for Socceroos job

Multiple-trophy winning German coach Christoph Daum, who has quite the colourful past, has joined compatriot Jurgen Klismann in putting his hand up for the Socceroos job.

Twenty four hours after German legend and former USA coach Klinsmann made his interest in replacing Ange Postecoglou known, the 63-year-old Daum followed suit.

In what has become one of the most keenly sought-after managerial posts on the market, Daum - who was sacked by Romania in September after failing to qualify for Russia 2018, dubbed by some in the local media as "the worst national coach in history" - is yet another name on a growing list.

And he would cost substantially less than ex-Germany and Bayern Munich mentor Klinsmann, though likely more than Australia's top local option, Graham Arnold.

Daum's representatives claim the much travelled coach would not blow the $1 million budget available to the beleaguered FFA, and would view the position as more than simply a short-term troubleshooting gig encompassing the World Cup only.

Daum's record is impressive at club level, where he coached VFB Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title and DFL Supercup, Besiktas to the Super Lig and Turkish Cup, Austria Wien to the Bundesliga and Fenerbahce to successive Super Ligas, as well as Turkish Cup glory.

That trophy haul was achieved between 1991 and 2009, Daum's most productive years to date.

He also led Club Brugge to second place in Belgium's top flight in 2012.

Also working in his favour is his recent experience against Denmark, who the Socceroos were drawn against in their World Cup group, having lead Romania to two draws against the Danes (0-0 and 1-1) during their failed qualifying campaign.

He doesn't come without his baggage though, having missed out on the German national team job in 2000, after becoming involved in a cocaine use and prostitute scandal while in charge at Bayer Leverkusen.

He was set to take the reigns of the German top job, but the indiscretion forced the German Football Association to revoke their agreement, giving then-caretaker Rudi Voller, the formal job.

He at first denied the allegations but, a year later, facing the prospect of jail time, Daum admitted he had used cocaine.

It was the low point of a career which has had plenty of highs since, though not in his native Germany.

Another faux pas came way back in 1993, on the back of leading Stuttgart to Bundesliga triumph.

An errant Daum committed the cardinal sin of illegally fielding a fourth foreigner in a European Cup qualifier against Leeds United.

UEFA enforced a replay, which Leeds won, leading UK tabloid The Sun to dub him 'Christoph Dumb'.

To compound matters, he was subsequently released by Stuttgart.

Known for his ability to motivate players and inspire loyalty, Daum's latest brush with controversy came in August, after a long running battle with a section of the Romanian media culminated in a farcical press conference in which he was presented with a fishing rod.

Angered by ongoing criticism over his tactics as Romania floundered in their qualification group, Daum hit back by deriding a number of publications, including Gazeta Sporturilor, as only good "for wrapping fish".

The newspaper didn't appreciate the accusation, and in retaliation sent a reporter to hand Daum the fishing rod, sending a national team press conference into slapstick comedy territory.

Daum is deadly serious, though, about coaching Australia - and on paper at least - possesses credentials light years ahead of former Socceroos coach and fellow countryman Holger Osieck.

Osieck's exit four years ago paved the way for Postecoglou.

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4 min read
Published 4 December 2017 at 11:57am
By Dave Lewis