Friday December 08, 2023

Nagelsmann given chance by Germany after Bayern disappointment

September 23, 2023

BERLIN: Julian Nagelsmann hit a rare low ebb when he was surprisingly sacked by Bayern Munich earlier this year, but has now been given the chance to lead his native Germany at next year´s European Championship on home soil.

Just 36, Nagelsmann had already carved out a successful career both domestically and on the European stage with Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig before his short-lived spell at Bayern. He is officially the second-youngest national team coach in German history -- and the youngest for almost a century.

Nagelsmann will be 37 at Euro 2024 and if victorious would be the youngest coach to win the tournament, seven years younger than the 44-year-old Jose Villalonga who took Spain to the 1964 title.

Known for his tactical flexibility, Nagelsmann has shown a penchant for shifting formations mid-game -- a skill honed during his first coaching job as an opposition scout at Augsburg under Thomas Tuchel, the man who replaced him at Bayern.

Nagelsmann´s appointment comes almost six months to the day since his firing by Bayern. Nagelsmann´s time at Bayern came to an end with his side second in the Bundesliga and going strong in the Champions League.

He was sacked amid concerns he had lost elements of the dressing room and had failed to progress a team boasting one of the best squads in Europe. Under Tuchel, Bayern needed a last-day collapse from Borussia Dortmund to win the league title.

Bayern were eliminated from both the German Cup and the Champions League after Nagelsmann´s departure. Born in 1987 in the small Bavarian village of Landsberg am Lech, Nagelsmann began his career as a defender at FC Issing before playing for Bayern´s derby rivals Augsburg and 1860 Munich.

His playing career was cut short by knee cartilage injuries, forcing his retirement at the age of 20. Still under contract at Augsburg, Nagelsmann joined the coaching staff of youth team mentor Tuchel.