Let’s put our cards on the table. Julian Nagelsmann isn’t normal.
At the age of 33, he will become the youngest manager in the history of the Champions League to take charge of a semi-final.
To put things into context, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are older than the RB Leipzig coach.
He has worked wonders in his short managerial career to date, making the German outfit a force to be reckoned with and guiding them to within just a match of their first-ever European final.
Remarkably, Nagelsmann was only 22 when Leipzig were created.
Established as RasenBallsport Leipzig just 11 years ago in 2009, both head coach and manager have come a mighty long way in that time.
Nagelsmann never played a senior game of football because of a knee injury and aged 28, he was given the managerial role at Hoffenheim.
Unsurprisingly, he thrived instantly, lifting the team from certain relegation to safety.
In being given the post on a permanent basis, he came the youngest Bundesliga head coach in history. Nagelsmann’s tale, however, was only just beginning.
Five years later, he has been linked with Tottenham and has now taken this Leipzig team to their first European semi-final.
His methods in getting himself to this point have been extraordinary. He installed a huge TV screen on the borders of the training pitch at Hoffenheim to ensure his players received the best analysis possible.
At Leipzig, meanwhile, he is famed for getting the players to set the club’s objectives and choose their captain. He hands responsibility to the squad and in doing so, he builds the utmost trust and confidence.
Nicknamed the Baby Mourinho, Nagelsmann is vocal on the side of the pitch, just like the Portuguese, but when it comes to behind the scenes, he is quiet, reserved and most of all, he is a family man.
This is no ordinary manager, but he is an ordinary person. His personality is full of smiles and any club would be lucky to have him.
The 33-year-old is still very much in the infancy of being a manager but he is surely destined for greater things. If he reaches the Champions League final on Tuesday evening his stock will rise even further.
It is surely only a matter of time before the Premier League comes calling?
With Nagelsmann, you have to pinch yourself to really believe just how young he is. In fact, at 33 years and 26 days old, he is younger than 63 players to have featured in this season’s Champions League.
From English shores, he is older than former Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen, James Milner, Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud, David Silva, Fernandinho, Adrian, Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero.
In terms of Spanish football, he is younger than Messi, Arturo Vidal, Kevin Gameiro, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric.
There are some elite names on this list, one that also includes the likes of Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva, Keylor Navas, Falcao and Diego Godin too.
If we look at the oldest player on this list – Gigi Buffon – he is nine years older than Nagelsmann at 42 years and 203 days old.
Nagelsmann’s achievements speak volumes when you compare him to the players above. An individual who was ripped of his playing career, he’s had the time to fine-tune his philosophy and it’s working tremendously.
Even if Leipzig suffer defeat to PSG, the German should be celebrated as one of the best in Europe.
Nagelsmann admits that Pep Guardiola is his role model. Can he achieve some of the great things the Manchester City manager has accomplished? Time will tell.
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