Julian Nagelsmann: We profile Hoffenheim's new 28-year-old manager
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 11/02/16 5:28pm
After Hoffenheim appointed 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as their new manager, we profile the youngest-ever Bundesliga boss.
Nagelsmann had been due to take the role in July, with Huub Stevens tasked with keeping the club up this season.
However, Stevens resigned on Wednesday after less than four months in the role due to heart problems, and the club have decided U19 coach Nagelsmann will step up to the senior role early, on a three-year contract.
But what can the footballing world expect from Nagelsmann?
What is Nagelsmann's background?
A former youth-team defender at 1860 Munich and Augsburg between 2006 and 2008, Nagelsmann was hampered with injury problems, allowing him to try his hand at coaching in his 20s.
Nagelsmann is yet to pass his senior coaching exams, and with the club sitting second-bottom of the Bundesliga, the three-year deal surprised just about everyone.
Briefly an assistant coach at Hoffenheim during the 2012/13 campaign with the club struggling again, Nagelsmann helped guide them to survival on the last day of the season under manager Frank Kramer, and coached Hoffenheim's junior team to the 2014 German title.
German media also claim that Nagelsmann rejected an approach from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the summer to be their youth team coach in a meeting with former president Uli Hoeness, who has played a big part in restructuring the side's youth set-up.
Has this worked before?
Nagelsmann is 11 years younger than the Bundesliga's most junior head coach - 39-year-old Pal Dardai at Hertha Berlin - and the club have admitted early on that this appointment is a "courageous step".
Nagelsmann has broken the record held by Klaus-Dieter Ochs, who at 30 years at 244 days took over at Hamburg in 1970, leading them to 5th, 10th and 14th before his departure.
St Pauli head coach Helmut Schulte, just 50 days older than Ochs when he took charge in 1988, led the club to promotion from Bundesliga 2, before a 10th and 13th-place finish in the top flight.
On these shores, Attilio Lombardo holds the Premier League's youngest-ever manager record at 32 years and 67 days when he took charge of his first game at Crystal Palace.
Lombardo is ahead of Chris Coleman at Fulham (32 days, 313 days), Gianluca Vialli at Chelsea (33 years, 227 days) and Andre Villas-Boas, also at Chelsea (33 years, 301 days).
But Nagelmann's background of youth management with a lack of professional playing experience is not an uncommon trait around Europe at present.
Nine of the 32 managers who qualified for the 2015/16 Champions League group stages made less than 40 top flight appearances on the pitch. This includes Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Villas-Boas, who all made their managerial debuts in their early to mid-30s.
What have they said?
Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, who worked with Nagelsmann during his time at Augsburg II, said in October: "He's a very inquisitive and very hardworking young coach. He has celebrated exceptional successes in youth football. I'm very happy for him and I believe in him."
Hoffenheim are confident the bold move will pay off, but Nagelmann could be starting next season in the second tier. The club are currently in 17th, five points off 16th place, while finishing 16th would mean a relegation play-off with the second-place side in Bundesliga 2
"It's a big challenge, of course, made harder by the current points situation," Nagelsmann said on Thursday. "But I am looking forward to working with the team."
Hoffenheim's managing director Dr Peter Gorlich also told the club's official website: "We have a duty of care to the club and of course the people involved.
"Together with Julian, we again carefully weighed up all the risks we considered in the autumn and have now decided the best way is for him to start earlier.
"He is keen and he can also give the team fresh impetus."