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体坛英语新闻:Feature: Nagelsmann: Hairstyle spoiled but happily back on track

Source: Xinhuanet    2018-05-16  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

BERLIN, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Julian Nagelsmann has quickly solved his biggest problem. The youngest ever head coach in the German Bundesliga readjusted his hair soon after his exuberant players invaded the post-match press conference to shower beer over him.

It took a while before Nagelsmann, who took over Hoffenheim's first team at the age of only 28, could continue to speak about what is the maybe biggest surprise of the 2017/2018 Bundesliga season: Hoffenheim's bold leap onto the biggest stage of international football, the UEFA Champions League.

Finishing third in the league is not only a milestone for the club supported by SAP founder and billionaire Dietmar Hopp, but it can be seen as the breakthrough of a remarkable coach.

It might sound strange but qualifying for the Champions League is a revival for a coach who early on in his career was seen as a wunderkind, and one that was being closely monitored by big clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and other top outfits around Europe. He then however suffered a setback.

Now 30, Nagelsmann has rejoined the group of Germany's most promising coaches alongside Juergen Klopp (Liverpool) and Thomas Tuchel (presumably Paris St. Germain).

Last summer, Nagelsmann sparked provocative headlines after his young Hoffenheim side narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Champions League in two crucial games against Liverpool. It was then followed by poor performances in the Euro League. The man once regarded as having magic powers was called the "disenchanted one" by the weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel.

Now the magazine has apologized by calling the Bavarian-born Nagelsmann "the hype-bringer".

Last season Hoffenheim finished fourth, this time around Nagelsmann has proved he can deliver consistent success by placing third behind Bayern Munich and FC Schalke 04. Facing him now is his second international exam, and on the highest possible level. Should he be successful, then the big wide football world will be waiting.

Nagelsmann is the most innovative coach in German football and one of the most promising developers of young players. Before the season that has just finished, he had to replace key performers like Niklas Suele, Sebastian Rudy and Sandro Wagner (all Bayern Munich).

Serge Gnabry, Nadiem Amiri, Nico Schulz, Mark Uth and Andrej Kramaric filled the gaps. Hoffenheim's new heroes reached a new quality level with the support of their coach. Gnabry will return to Bayern Munich and Uth will join Schalke 04.

Now Nagelsmann has to find new key performers helping to lift team and club to an even higher level. The millions Hoffenheim will earn in the Champions League will help envisage names the club could only dream of so far.

Hoffenheim will not be in the running for Neymar Junior or Cristiano Ronaldo but can woo strikers such as Karl Toko Ekambi (SCO Angers). The 25-year-old Cameroon forward has scored 17 goals in the first French league and is said to be valued at 25 million euro.

The talented midfielder Max Meyer (Schalke 04) is said to be on Nagelsmann's list as well.

The fact that Nagelsmann is still working for Hoffenheim is down to club sponsor Dietmar Hopp as both Bayern and Dortmund were interested. The rumors of the coach's departure caused unrest within the young squad this season. Hopp exercised his veto, reminding everybody that Nagelsmann's exit only comes into effect after 2019.

Hoffenheim could therefore lose the battle for Nagelsmann at the end of the next season. But that will entirely depend on well they do and the coach's progress on the international stage. For now, Nagelsmann is back in the race and Hoffenheim is looking forward to its first Champions League season.

This time fans can expect a better performance from Julian Nagelsmann and his team on the international stage than last time around - and the coach having his hair in place.


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