Julian Nagelsmann: We profile Hoffenheim's new 28-year-old manager
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 29/10/15 10:30am
After Hoffenheim appointed 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as their manager from next season, we profile the youngest-ever Bundesliga boss.
The German has been given a three-year deal at the struggling Bundesliga club after they sacked Markus Gisdol on Monday, appointing 61-year-old Bundesliga veteran Huub Stevens until the end of the campaign.
But come pre-season, 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, who will be 29 by the time he takes charge of his first competitive match for Hoffenheim, is yet to pass his senior coaching exams, and with the club sitting second-bottom of the Bundesliga, a 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".
If Hoffenheim stay up, Nagelsmann will break 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's 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 currently competing in 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?
"I am looking forward to a very tempting task and I would like to thank everybody for the trust and the opportunity given to me," Nagelsmann, who coached Hoffenheim's junior team to the 2014 German title, said in a club statement.
Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, who worked with Nagelsmann during his time at Augsburg II, said: "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."
As expected, Hoffenheim are confident the bold move will pay off, but unless Stevens changes the club's fortunes quick, Nagelmann's debut season could be in the second tier.
"We know this is a courageous step but we see in him (Nagelsmann) such a huge coaching talent that we want to give him a prospect," Hoffenheim sports director Alexander Rosen told a news conference at Stevens' presentation earlier in the week.
"Despite the current difficult situation, it is important now to set an example for the future," Hoffenheim CEO Dr Peter Gorlich also told reporters.
"The commitment to Julian Nagelsmann to take over the post of the head coach next year shows that we are planning in the long-term and remain true to our philosophy - to rely on our own offspring."