Julian Nagelsmann spent two highly successful seasons at RB Leipzig, before taking over as Bayern Munich head coach. - © DFL
Julian Nagelsmann spent two highly successful seasons at RB Leipzig, before taking over as Bayern Munich head coach. - © DFL

Julian Nagelsmann's top 5 moments as RB Leipzig head coach


Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann faces former club RB Leipzig on Bundesliga Matchday 16. Ahead of the reunion, bundesliga.com recounts his top five moments at the Leipzig helm...

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5) Realising star potential

Player develoment was already a Nagelsmann hallmark, when he joined Leipzig in summer 2019, so this is more a continuation of a theme. Kerem Demirbay, Andrej Kramaric and Sandro Wagner all took a sizeable leap on his watch at Hoffenheim, while the Nagelsmann effect gave wings to the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Dayot Upamecano and Marcel Sabitzer at the Red Bull Arena. Nkunku was the top-scoring Bundesliga player in 2022 and last season's Player of the Season; Messrs Upamecano and Sabitzer have since joined Bayern. Upamecano has even picked up a 2022 World Cup runners-up medal with France.

Watch: How Julian Nagelsmann improved RB Leipzig

4) DFB Cup finalists

Nagelsmann oversaw 95 competitive matches as Leipzig coach, beginning with a DFB Cup first-round win over Osnabrück and ending in a league loss to Union Berlin. The Bundesliga's youngest ever senior coach oversaw 54 wins, 22 draws and 19 defeats, and took Die Roten Bullen to the DFB Cup final for the second time in three years. Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund denied him his first senior trophy, but it was another significant step in the right direction for club and coach alike. As he lifted the 2021/22 Bundesliga title at the end of his first season at Bayern, Leipzig made it a case of third time lucky in the DFB Cup.

3) Bundesliga runners-up

Under Nagelsmann, Leipzig consolidated their position as one of the Bundesliga's most accomplished teams. Much of their success was characterised by an intense press, an increase in possession, and an emphasis on playing through the thirds. Although the side lacked a consistent formation, fludity met adaptability to secure a second runners-up berth since Die Roten Bullen's promotion in 2016. Leipzig garnered 19 wins from 34 Bundesliga games in all, drawing eight, and losing seven, making it the club's joint best Bundesliga campaign to date.

Christopher Nkunku (2nd.l) and Timo Werner (1st.r) thrived under Nagelsmann (2nd.r) at Leipzig. - DFL

2) Shutting up shop in Munich

When Bayern and Nagelsmann's Leipzig played out a captivating 0-0 draw at the Allianz Arena on 9 February 2020, little did anyone know the historical significance of the result. The record champions hadn't been stopped from scoring on their own patch in the league since a 3-0 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach in October 2018. What's more, it was another 87 games before they would draw another blank in the Bundesliga, relinquishing the seemingly never-ending record earlier in 2022/23, in a 1-0 loss at Augsburg.

Watch: How Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig shut out Bayern

1) UEFA Champions League history

Nagelsmann made European history when he took Leipzig to the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League semi-finals shortly after his 33rd birthday. He remains the youngest coach to reach the last four, surpassing Didier Deschamps' previous record of 35 years, and did so by knocking out Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone, who made his senior debut as a player the year Nagelsmann was born. Nagelsmann's Leipzig also accounted for the likes of Lyon, Benfica and Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur, before losing their one-legged final to Paris Saint-Germain.