Nagelsmann can play big role in new era at Bayern Munich

By Nathalia Araujo, dpa

Bayern Munich have taken their chance and brought in Julian Nagelsmann to replace Hansi Flick in summer. The young coach will face new challenges, but can be part of a new era at the German record champions.

Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t need introductions in the Bundesliga. Since his breakthrough at Hoffenheim in 2016, the coach has been carefully observed by the football world.

The fact that he’s interested in a job position at German record champions Bayern Munich also dates a while back. Already in 2017, Nagelsmann had said he was “very, very happy with his life and Bayern would perhaps make me even a bit happier.”

A Bavarian himself, Nagelsmann has now reached the highest class of German football after he was announced as the new Bayern coach, taking over from treble winner Hansi Flick in summer with a five-year contract.

“I didn’t plan to leave Leipzig after two years. There were inquiries from other clubs, but I told Olli [Mintzlaff] that I would not terminate my contract for any club, only for this one [Bayern],” Nagelsmann told a news conference after the announcement.

His coaching career started in 2008 at Augsburg’s youth ranks, but despite 13 years of experience on the sidelines, Nagelsmann is only 33 – two years younger than Bayern captain Manuel Neuer and just one year older than top scorer Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern already had an experience with another young coach that doesn’t bring the best memories. Former player Soren Lerby was also 33 when he took over the team in 1991.

He lost his first match 3-0 to Borussia Dortmund and was dismissed 14 games later.

But Nagelsmann is no Lerby and he’s already proved to have what it takes to be a successful coach. His biggest milestone so far was reaching the Champions League semi-finals with RB Leipzig in 2020, while also making the team a permanent title contender in the Bundesliga.

“I don’t know Julian Nagelsmann well, but what I can say is that he always manages to take teams to a level that you wouldn’t expect them to reach,” Lewandowski said about his new coach.

“With Nagelsmann, the performance of the teams is usually above expectations,” the striker added.

At Bayern, however, the young Nagelsmann will find challenges he hasn’t faced so far. He will find a club that’s always under pressure to win titles, especially after the very successful reign of Flick.

Nagelsmann will also be confronted with some of the biggest bosses in football and a dressing room filled with stars, and how he will handle these relationships will be crucial for his survival in Munich.

But the good news for Nagelsmann is that a new era is about to start at Bayern, and he should play a big role in that.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is soon stepping down and handing over to Oliver Kahn, who reportedly was the big name behind the Nagelsmann deal.

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