Hoffenheim’s story in Bundesliga looked to be over after seven straight seasons in top flight but then came Julian Nagelsmann – the youngest manager in league history. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is a club which shot up the ranks of German football up to the Bundesliga seven years ago supported by billionaire Dietmar Hopp. But this season, it looked like their seven years of living the dream of playing in top division was about to end after terrible of to this season.
After 21 rounds played in Bundesliga this season, Hoffenheim had just two wins and was second to bottom. It was the moment when club decided to turn to an unknown 28-year-old coach called Julian Nagelsmann who they appointed as manager.
The young coach was already set to take over at Hoffenheim after Huub Stevens but from the start of next season. However, due to 62-year-old Stevens’ health problems Nagelsmann was given the job early and with mountain of the task to save the club in Bundesliga.
Inside the club’s building, Nagelsmann was already a talking point. He had outstanding results with several young selections of Hoffenheim, but best came with the U-19 team. In 2014 he won the German U–19 Championship and reached the finals again in 2015 losing narrowly by Schalke 04.
And since Round 22, Nagelsmann has led Hoffenheim’s senior squad to six wins and two draws in his first 10 games on the bench to lift the club up to astonishing 13th place in Bundesliga with just four rounds to go.
It looks like Nagelsmann will not grow his coaching experience in the lower ranks after all, but in top flight deservedly. But there is a twist to the story because Nagelsmann now needs to combine his time between trainings and exams to complete his mandatory coaching certificate and Bundesliga coaching license is among world’s best and hardest to acquire.
Julian Nagelsmann may be only 28-years-old, but he already has 10 years of coaching experience because his playing career finished very early after a serious knee injury and coaching became his passion. Before arriving to Hoffenheim Nagelsmann had stints with Augsburg and Munich 1860.
Nagelsmann looks to be a perfect fit for Hoffenheim because all players, the youngsters and veterans alike reacted very positively to the new boss. He has all the qualities to succeed at European managerial scene and fulfill his newly coined nickname – “Baby Mourinho“.