Very few among the present generation will know Lim Teong Kim (pic). But he is one of the few celebrated Malaysian footballers, having found his way into the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin.
Teong Kim is now the assistant coach of the Bayern Munich U-19 team. To date, he has overseen the development of German stars such as Mesut Oezil and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The 48-year-old tells Mailsport reporter Vijhay Vick that he is ever-willing to help Malaysian football but only if the powers running the show here are willing to improve.
Q: How do you compare football in Germany and Malaysia?
A: I don’t think it is right to compare these countries as both are different in many ways. Germany is a football country while Malaysia is far from being that.
Q: What does Malaysia lack?
A: Everything. There is a need for proper infrastructure in all States and proper academies. They must also have good qualified coaches who are dedicated to producing talent. It doesn’t stop there — every single facility must be readily available.
Q: What do you think the national football body needs to do?
A: I’m not going to answer that. I’m sick and tired of saying it. I’ve said so much in the past years but I don’t see any progress. People here ask for advice but don’t take whatever is given seriously. What’s the point of repeating them?
Q: Have you considered setting up an academy here and training local coaches?
A: No, I’m committed to Bayern Munich.
Q: If offered a role to develop football in Malaysia, would you consider it?
A: I am ever-willing to help Malaysian football but no one wants it sincerely. Just look at the field here (Victoria Institution). It is pathetic. Me being here is actually an insult to my profession. But yet I’m here during my holidays to provide the little help I can.
Q: Okay, what about Bayern Munich — having overseen the development of several German stars in the past, who will be the next big thing to emerge from their academy?
A: There are a few but it would not be fair to name them. But there are four youth players who currently train with the senior squad. The most recent talents that have emerged are Diego Contento and Austrian David Alaba.
Q: How is it being with Bayern Munich?
A: It’s not easy being a foreigner but this is what I wanted. Of course I have to work hard but it’s worth it. I’ve been at Munich for 10 years now and I would love to progress as a coach here but it is not in my hands.