Julian Nagelsmann reveals he turned down Real Madrid offer: 'I'm only 31, I'll have another chance'

One of Europe's top young coaches has revealed he got the call about the Bernabeu vacancy

Ed Malyon
Wednesday 25 July 2018 12:05 BST
Julian Nagelsmann has been a successful young coach in the Bundesliga
Julian Nagelsmann has been a successful young coach in the Bundesliga (Bongarts/Getty Images)

Julian Nagelsmann has revealed that he turned down an approach from Real Madrid, but was flattered by a phone call with the Bernabeu club as they searched for a replacement for Zinedine Zidane and didn't rule out taking over at the Spanish giants in the future.

The highly-rated young coach guided Hoffenheim into the Champions League proper this season for the first time ever after finishing third in the Bundesliga to qualify directly for Europe's top club competition. The season before, as a 28-year-old coach, he had guided the Sinsheim club to fourth place and a Champions League play-off, only to be eliminated by Liverpool and dumped into the Europa League.

That record of success alerted Real Madrid to his talents and the European champions called Nagelsmann in the wake of Zidane's shock resignation in early June.

But while Nagelsmann revealed he was honoured to talk to the biggest club on the planet, he is continuing with his plans to take over at RB Leipzig next summer, as announced by the Red Bull-owned club last month.

"Madrid called me," he told 11Freunde.

"Who would hang up the telephone? Universe Football Club doesn't exist, so there's no bigger club than Real Madrid.

"But I am 31 years old, I will have another chance. I didn't want to move countries."

Madrid cast the net wide in trying to replace Zidane, making contact with Jogi Low, Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Max Allegri and Jurgen Klopp. You can add Nagelsmann to that list, a shortlist he is likely to stay on for years to come.

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