Julian Nagelsmann and Pellegrino Matarazzo - former head coach and assistant pair at Hoffenheim - faced each other in the Bundesliga on Matchday 14. - © imago images
Julian Nagelsmann and Pellegrino Matarazzo - former head coach and assistant pair at Hoffenheim - faced each other in the Bundesliga on Matchday 14. - © imago images
bundesliga

Julian Nagelsmann: "VfB Stuttgart play perfect football under Pellegrino Matarazzo"

After his RB Leipzig side's 1-0 win over VfB Stuttgart in an enthralling Saturday night encounter, Julian Nagelsmann praised former colleague Pellegrino Matarazzo for his work at the promoted side.

Nagelsmann had American-born coach Matarazzo as his assistant at Hoffenheim for almost two years between January 2018 and December 2019 before the New Jersey-native was approached for the head coaching job at Stuttgart.

One promotion and a number of impressive results in the Bundesliga later and both 43-year-old Matarazzo and his young and hungry Stuttgart side have earned great respect from the rest of the Bundesliga. Nagelsmann was the latest to praise the Die Schwaben.

"It was also important for me to work with him [Pellegrino Matarazzo]," Nagelsmann said speaking to bundesliga.com after his side's victory at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

"He's a good guy and a very good manager. His work in Stuttgart is perfect. You see a good way of playing soccer. The build-up play is perfect. They are a brave team, a young team with talented players and also a very good manager. I'm happy that he can work in the Bundesliga."

The entertaining game late on Saturday night was decided by a single Dani Olmo goal midway through the second half, with Emil Forsberg seeing a first-half spot-kick superbly kept out by Gregor Kobel.

Watch: Nagelsmann: "I'm happy Pellegrino Matarazzo’s working in the Bundesliga"

Having beaten Borussia Dortmund 5-1 at the Signal Iduna Park, taken the lead against Bayern Munich in a slim defeat and held the likes of Hoffenheim, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt to draws, it’s fair to say that Matarazzo has made his Stuttgart side Bundesliga-worthy already in his first campaign in the German top-flight as a head coach.

"I think we gave them a good first half and gave them a run for their money," Matarazzo told bundesliga.com after the narrow defeat. "It was a pretty even game. In the second half we started slow - we had a couple of mistakes and didn't defend well.

"They had their chances. I think we had to suffer a bit at the beginning of the second half. We came back towards the end and showed a lot of passion, a lot of grit. I think if we were a little lucky we'd have scored to make it 1-1 but at the end of the day, it's okay. Leipzig are a great team."

Watch: Matarazzo: "We showed a lot of passion"

If, as Nagelsmann says, Stuttgart continue to play their perfect brand of football then the promoted side will have no trouble cementing their place in the Bundesliga for next season.

Stuttgart sit 11th after 14 matches played with Augsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Arminia Bielefeld up next in the Bundesliga at the start of 2021.