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Nagelsmann on his way to coach Bayern, says Hitzfeld
Last Updated: 2017-08-10 11:21 | Xinhua
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Julian Nagelsmann is facing his biggest so far challenge when his side TSG Hoffenheim meets the English Premier League club Liverpool FC and their German coach Juergen Klopp next Tuesday evening in the first of two playoff games for the 2017/2018 Champions League campaign.

Although the Liverpool games will be the first internationals for Hoffenheim's young side, pundits such as former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld predict a bright future for the 30-year-old Nagelsmann. One day, Hitzfeld is convinced, Nagelsmann will join a top international club such as Bayern Munich.

Not only is the Bavarian club said to have Nagelsmann on their watch-list, but several European clubs are as well. All are eager to see how the youngest coach in Germany's first division is performing on the international stage. Nagelsmann, who finished the coaching license with best marks and recently got voted as German 2017 coach of the year; last season came in as fourth of the Bundesliga tableau.

In 2015 Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness unsuccessfully tried to sign Nagelsmann as Bayern's new youth coordinator. Nagelsmann, who in 2014 won the German under-19 title with Hoffenheim's junior team, decided to stick with his home club Hoffenheim, and in February 2016 was appointed head coach. According to Hitzfeld, Hoeness was impressed that Nagelsmann did not choose to go the easy way out but rather wants to gain experience by himself before joining a big club.

Nagelsmann is regarded to be the biggest German training talent, and his abilities are unique, Hitzfeld stressed. Hoffenheim's young coach not only has great talents in dealing with people but is also seen as quite creative when it comes to training methods. No training session is similar to the one before, several of his players reported. Lately, Nagelsmann used a drone to view his player' s movement from above on a big TV screen next to the training ground.

The 68-year-old Hitzfeld is impressed by Nagelsmann's development and predicts Nagelsmann one day will work as Bayern Munich's coach. Hitzfeld is convinced Nagelsmann has a bright future. Hoffenheim's club owner Dietmar Hopp is sure Nagelsmann might leave TSG Hoffenheim before his contract expires in 2021. Nagelsmann, in his perspective, is the most promising talent he had ever experienced in German football. Hopp expects Nagelsmann to be one day at the same level as top class coaches such as Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Jose Mourinho (Manchester United). His club would be aware that Bayern and Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Nagelsmann sooner or later. Hoffenheim, he stressed, will do all to keep Nagelsmann for at least the next two years.

Due to an injury, the former defender Nagelsmann had to resign as a professional footballer and joined the FC Augsburg coaching staff after former Augsburg coach Thomas Tuchel got aware of Nagelsmann's talent.

Before joining a club such as Bayern or any top international side Nagelsmann should continue his work with Hoffenheim for another three or four years, Hitzfeld said. If you are already coaching a Bundesliga team at the age of 29, what comes 10 years later? The most important thing for Nagelsmann now would be to get additional experience, Hitzfeld stressed. A successful coach needs to have solved problems and has to go through hard times the seven times German Champion emphasized.

Long before Nagelsmann landed the head coach role at the club, he had already earned the nickname 'Baby Mourinho.' Like Jose Mourinho, Nagelsmann did not make it as a top player. Aged 20, he was forced to end a promising career. "If you are appointed a boss of an established economic enterprise at the age of 28, this also would be a big story," Nagelsmann said. What counts for him in the first place is that the team is getting along with the coaches work and not the other way around.

Alexander Rosen, Hoffenheim director of football says about his coach that he "has a natural feeling for the group, he brings energy, passion and is blessed with talent."

For now, Nagelsmann said he would be happy with his job in Hoffenheim. After a successful previous Bundesliga season, his team and he intend to deliver a satisfying performance in an international competition.

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