Teong Kim has hand in World Cup Final
Published on Saturday 12 July
Saturday, July 13, 2014 - The Malay Mail
By TONY MARIADASS
That man is Lim Teong Kim, a former international who’s now technical director of the National Football Development Programme (NFDP).
Teong Kim, who returned to Malaysia earlier this year after coaching Bayern Munich’s junior team from 2001 to 2012, had a 12-year-old Thomas Mueller under his wing at the Bayern academy.
Mueller, now 24 , has scored 10 World Cup goals so far since making his debut for Germany at the 2010 finals in South Africa.
In the current fi nals, the Bayern forward has bagged five so far, including a hattrick in the 4-0 rout over Portugal in their opening World Cup Group G match. Two other players in the current German team coached by Teong Kim are Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels.
“Midfielder Kroos, a target of Real Madrid after interest from Manchester United waned, scored two goals in the 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semifinal on Tuesday.
Hummels, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund, came through the Bayern Munich youth programme. It was Teong Kim who suggested to Hummels’ father, coach of the Under-15 team, that his son switch from being an attacking midfielder to central defence, a role he currently plays for Dortmund and Germany.
“Thomas was talent scouted and handed to me when he joined Bayern Munich. He was a great player to work with and we became very close. In fact, our families are close,” said Teong Kim, who is married to a German and has three children — son aged 20 and two daughters aged 17 and 18.
At the 2010 World Cup, Mueller scored five goals in six appearances as Germany fi nished third in the tournament. He was named the Best Young Player of the tournament and won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.
In a post-tournament interview, Mueller credited Teong Kim for moulding him and the European media were frantically trying to fi gure out who was Teong Kim.
“Yes, I heard about the interview. It was indeed flattering that Thomas acknowledged me in his moment of glory,” said Teong Kim, who played with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin in 1987.
The Malacca-born Teong Kim has the FA of Malaysia Advanced Coaching Certificate and German FA (DFB) Master Coaching Licence.
“It feels good to see players whom you have trained reach the highest level of the game.
The best part of youth coaching is to see the fruits of your labour. It is tireless job with no guarantee of success, but when it happens, you feel so accomplished.”
Teong Kim said what he is doing with the NFDP is no different to what he had done at the Bayern Munich academy.
“Hopefully, it will bear fruit with top players emerging one day,” he said.