Julian Nagelsmann will lead hosts Germany at next summer’s European Championships, the German football federation (DFB) announced on Friday. One of the great powers of football on the continent have been hunting for a new coach over the past 11 days after dispensing with Hansi Flick, the first manager to be sacked in the history of Die Mannschaft, following a disastrous string of results.
Former Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig boss Nagelsmann has a reputation of his own to revive just like the faltering national team, who have been eliminated from each of the last two World Cups at the group stage. Their 36 year old head coach, once viewed as a Real Madrid boss in waiting, was sacked by Bayern last season despite leading them to the top of the Bundesliga and the last eight of the Champions League. The stratospheric standards expected of him in Bavaria will at least prepare him well for the coming months at Germany’s helm.
“Next year’s European Championship is of enormous importance for football in Germany as a whole,” said DFB president Bernd Neuendorf. “We are convinced that Julian Nagelsmann, as national coach, will ensure that the national team inspires its fans and that the Euros are also a sporting success.
“Julian Nagelsmann is an outstanding coach who approaches his new task with the highest level of motivation. We will all now focus on the tournament next summer and support Julian Nagelsmann as best we can.”
Nagelsmann has signed a contract until the end of July, opening the door to him returning to the club game as early as next season. The Bavarian immediately appeared to be the front runner when Flick was sacked in the aftermath of a 4-1 friendly defeat to Japan in Wolfsburg, the fifth defeat in nine games since Germany kicked off their brief World Cup campaign in December. His appointment seemed inevitable once Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp ruled himself out of the running, indeed sports director Rudi Voller confirmed that Nagelsmann had been the first choice of the DFB top brass.
Voller added: “He is not only an absolute football expert, but has already proven in all his positions – at a very young age for a head coach – that he can motivate and inspire a team and the entire environment. His fire for football is noticeable and contagious – just like with his two assistant coaches Benjamin Gluck and Sandro Wagner, whose great energy I was recently able to experience myself.”
Nagelsmann began his senior coaching career with Hoffenheim at just 28 years of age, throughout his managerial career he has been noted for his innovative tactics with his sides looking to exploit their technical qualities to dominate central areas. Implementing the high-octane pressing that was a hallmark of his early teams may prove to be a challenge given the limited time that coaches in the international game are afforded with their squad.
“We have a European Championship in our own country,” said Nagelsmann. “That’s something special – something that happens every few decades. I subordinate everything to the fact of having a great tournament in a great country. I have a great desire to to take on this challenge. The appearance in Dortmund was the beginning. We will be a close-knit group next year.”
Nagelsmann will begin his tenure with two games Stateside next month. Germany face the USMNT in Hartford, Conneticut on October 14 and face Mexico in Philadelphia three days later.