Pellegrino Matarazzo succeeds Andre Breitenreiter as Hoffenheim head coach
Pellegrino Matarazzo has been named new head coach of Hoffenheim, following Andre Breitenreiter's dismissal.
Matarazzo takes over with Hoffenheim winless in nine Bundesliga matches and hovering just three points above the bottom three. The 45-year-old American, who saved VfB Stuttgart from relegation last season, previously worked at the Sinsheim club as Julian Nagelsmann's assistant and U17s coach. He has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal through to 30 June 2025.
"Rino doesn't just know our club but also a large part of the team. Conversely, we also know him and so are convinced he's the right man for our head coach position," said director of first-team football Alexander Rosen. "He didn't only lead Stuttgart to promotion but also proved his qualities in the battle to stay in the Bundesliga. He can deal with pressure, which is needed in this situation. He 100 percent fits with TSG with his playing philosophy, understanding of football and how he deals with people."
Matarazzo will take charge of Hoffenheim for the first time on Bundesliga Matchday 20, when his new employers host Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen. They have not won in the league since beating bottom side Schalke 3-0 on 14 October 2022.
"I've been living in the area since 2017. The situation is no doubt demanding. I'm convinced by the quality of the team and will approach the job full of confidence," Matarazzo said in a statement on the club's website. "TSG stands for attacking, brave and fresh football. I want to quickly get the team playing the football they've done for many years."
Watch: Get to know Pellegrino Matarazzo
A former defender in German football's lower leagues, Matarazzo started his coaching career with Nuremberg, before linking up with Nagelsmann - his former roommate at the Hennes Weisweiler coaching academy - at Hoffenheim in 2017. He was promoted from U17s coach to Nagelsmann's assistant in January 2018, and continued in the role under Alfred Schreuder following his friend and mentor's summer 2019 move to RB Leipzig.
Matarazzo took up his first senior coaching role in December 2019, overseeing VfB Stuttgart's promotion back to the Bundesliga six months after taking charge. The New Jersey native masterminded a ninth-placed finish in his first full season at the helm, but Die Schwaben struggled in 2021/22 and only beat the drop after securing a last-gasp win over Cologne on the final day. He was dismissed in October 2022, following a nine-match winless start to the campaign.
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