Julian Nagelsmann is currently a free agent. Just yesterday he was the coach of Bayern Munich, but after a quick succession of things he was fired in the evening and replaced by Thomas Tuchel. Will his path lead to Real Madrid?
It’s a bit of a paradox. Bayern Munich have not lost a single game in the Champions League, beating Barcelona twice, Inter, PSG and Viktoria Plzen, only in the Bundesliga are they not doing so well and are one point behind Dortmund.
But it won’t be results that have fired Nagelsmann. According to reports from Germany, it’s down to poor relations within the club and with the management, and the fact that the Bavarian giant had long been keen on Thomas Tuchel, fearing that if he waited too long he might not be available in the summer.
For Nagelsmann, one stage at the Munich club may be coming to an end, but paradoxically, the path to an even bigger and more historic club is opening up for him.
Indeed, the talented coach was on the radar of Real Madrid, the most successful football club in history, back in 2018 when Zinedine Zidane was finishing. He was not under Florentino Pérez’s scrutiny by chance.
Indeed, at 28, he became the youngest coach in Bundesliga history when he took over Hoffenheim in February 2016. The team was in relegation 17th place, 7 points off the non-relegation 15th position. Under Nagelsmann, they won 7 of their remaining 14 games and avoided relegation by one point. In the 2016/17 season, Hoffenheim finished 4th and qualified for the European Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
The highest step on the podium
Nagelsmann thus received an offer from the Santiago Bernabéu, but the promising coach still decided to leave it aside and take over Leipzig. In an interview with Sports Illustrated at the time, he explained why.
“It’s a big difference because when you take over the first team at Hoffenheim, where I was already a youth coach and knew all the staff at the club… There the adaptation period is extremely short. Because you know exactly who to talk to when you need hats for training, when you want vegetable soup…,” Nagelsmann said.
“First you have to get to know all the people in the club. It was good to look for a higher step than Hoffenheim (Leipzig), but not the highest one that was possible,” the young coach explained why he didn’t want to jump immediately to the top step, which Real Madrid really is.
So Nagelsmann followed his planned path and moved up another step from Leipzig to Bayern Munich. And although his mission there didn’t end entirely happily, at 35 he has already gathered enough experience at the highest level.
His sacking from Munich comes at a very delicate moment. In Spain, there are growing rumours of the end of Carlo Ancelotti on the bench of Real Madrid and his departure to the Brazilian national team.
All the media immediately remembered Pérez’s interest in Nagelsmann at the time and kept him on their radar for years to come.
At the moment, everything would fall into place. Nagelsmann is available, Real may be looking for a replacement and both sides are interested in working together. But there’s a catch.
Ancelotti is very happy at Real and doesn’t want to leave. There has been speculation that if he doesn’t win any trophies he will be sacked at the end of the season, but a 15th Champions League title would virtually guarantee his continuation for another year, which is the last year of his contract.
Brazil, by the way, have still not announced a new coach and are waiting for Ancelotti. Even Rodrygo, Real’s young star, has been positive about the situation. “Vinícius and I are telling him that we are waiting for him in Brazil. He jokes that we will make the nomination together with Milito. We’re joking, but every joke has a bit of truth in it,” Rodrygo said.
If indeed Ancelotti takes over the Canaries’ national team and Nagelsmann is given the door to the top step in his career. Would he dare to take it at 35?
Source: Sports Illustrated, Relevo
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