Alexander Blessin takes charge of promoted Bundesliga club St. Pauli, after a stellar season at Union Saint-Gilloise. - © Imago
Alexander Blessin takes charge of promoted Bundesliga club St. Pauli, after a stellar season at Union Saint-Gilloise. - © Imago

Alexander Blessin succeeds Fabian Hürzeler as St. Pauli head coach


St. Pauli have named Alexander Blessin as their replacement for promotion-winning coach Fabian Hürzeler.

Hürzeler left Pauli for English Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion after steering the Hamburg-based club back to the Bundesliga for the first time since 2011, as Bundesliga 2 champions.

Blessin spent the 2023/24 campaign in charge of Belgium's Union Saint-Gilloise, overseeing a first-placed finish in the regular season Jupiler Pro League before coming up short in the Championship play-offs, but winning the Belgian Cup. He also scooped the Jupiler Pro League Coach of the Season award.

The 51-year-old, who represented the likes of VfB Stuttgart and Hoffenheim as a player, has signed a deal for an undisclosed length of time.

"St. Pauli has an incredible appeal in Germany, but also internationally," said Blessin. "The club stands for clear values ​​and ambitious work in professional sport. It's therefore a great task to coach the club in the Bundesliga after a long time in the second division."

He added: "We want to tackle this challenge courageously with unity in the team and the entire club. I'm incredibly excited to challenge the really big clubs in the Bundesliga at the Millerntor."

Blessin averaged 2.03 points per game at the Saint-Gilloise helm, whilst ending a trophyless drought dating back some 89 years, to the Brussels club's 1934/35 league crown.

The Stuttgart native has also worked as a first-team coach at Belgium's Oostende, and Genoa in Italy's Serie B. He previously held various coaching roles for RB Leipzig's U17s, 19s and reserves. The Pauli job is his first in one of Europe's top five leagues per UEFA coefficient.

"With Alexander Blessin we have been able to gain an internationally experienced coach for FC St. Pauli," said sporting director Andreas Bornemann. "He brings a lot of tactical knowledge and has already worked in the top division in Belgium and Italy as well as internationally. 

Blessin brought the Belgian Cup back to Saint-Gilloise for the first time in 120 years. - Imago

"From his time in Leipzig he also knows very well how young players should be introduced to the men's section. We're very happy that he has decided - despite the prospect of Champions League games - to lead FC St. Pauli in the Bundesliga as head coach."

Blessin's Pauli begin the competitive season with a DFB Cup first-round meeting against fourth-tier club Halle on 16 August. Die Kiezkicker will find out their 2024/25 Bundesliga Matchday 1 opponents, when the fixture list is released on 4 July.