Matthaus: I should be treated like idol

BERLIN - Former Bayern Munich midfielder and World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus said on Sunday he was one of the greatest players ever to emerge from Germany yet had been shunned by his own country.

"In other countries they treat idols differently and I am an idol in Germany," said the former Germany captain, who has coached clubs abroad but never in his homeland.

"This may sound a little cocky but after Franz Beckenbauer I am the second most famous German soccer personality around the world. Germany should be ashamed of the way it treats such an idol," Matthaus told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday.

Matthaus, accused of arrogance during his playing days, captained West Germany to World Cup victory in 1990 and had a glittering career at both Bayern and Inter Milan but as a coach he has enjoyed little success.

The 48-year-old former midfielder has never worked in the Bundesliga or the second division, with German clubs hesitant to offer him a job.

He has coached clubs in Austria, Serbia and Israel as well as the Hungarian national team and had a brief spell in South America with Brazil's Atletico Paranaense in 2006.

Matthaus said German clubs perceived him as being too much of a Bayern supporter and too closely linked with an influential German tabloid newspaper to give him a job.

"These two things of which I am accused of by clubs have no basis. I am neither Bayern Munich nor am I Bild newspaper. Neither of the two. And these two are my main problems in Germany.

"I hope a German club will just trust me. And only then can you make a judgement: he is good or he is bad," he said.