Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel excited for Klassiker start against Borussia Dortmund


Speaking at his official unveiling as new Bayern Munich head coach, Thomas Tuchel immediately set his sights on this weekend's crucial Der Klassiker encounter against Borussia Dortmund.

The former Mainz, Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea tactician, 49, was named as Julian Nagelsmann's successor at the Bayern helm on 24 March, and the UEFA Champions League-winning coach insisted he was keen to hit the ground running against his former side.

"There's no bigger challenge than starting my time here with a game against Dortmund," Tuchel said. "It's the biggest game in German football, and has an added element to it, given the current state of the league table."

Going into the teams' mouthwatering meeting on Saturday, Bayern are one point behind their Klassiker rivals in the Bundesliga standings - with Edin Terzic's BVB still unbeaten in Germany's top tier in 2023. "Borussia Dortmund are on a fantastic run of form [but] that won't stop us from going into the challenge with excitement and anticipation," Tuchel explained.

Watch: Thomas Tuchel leads his first Bayern Munich training session

"It's a big upheaval when a head coach leaves [but] the quickest way to gain trust is to go directly onto the [training] pitch," the Bavarian native added. "Ultimately, it helps everyone to get out on the pitch to build anticipation for Saturday night. It's a huge game for all of us. It's a matter of building confidence and anticipation."

Anticipation will have fans all over the world keen to see how Tuchel applies his coaching know-how to one of the planet's biggest fixtures. The DFB Cup-winning coach has agreed terms on a contract with record Bundesliga champions Bayern until 30 June 2025 and it sees him return to Germany following successful stints in France and England.

Watch: Tuchel's best Bundesliga moments to date

"When you work abroad for a while, you become even more aware of the importance of FC Bayern," Tuchel explained. "Bayern is about winning, and also about the way of winning. The club's DNA is about commitment. The squad is one of the most talented and best squads in Europe [and] I'm really looking forward to working with [this team]. You're a contender for every trophy with these players."

Tuchel has become no stranger to winning trophies. Along with his 2020/21 Champions League success with Chelsea and DFB Cup triumph at Dortmund in 2017, he also twice won Ligue 1 at PSG, where he took the French side to a maiden Champions League final in 2020 (when they lost in the Lisbon showpiece to Hansi Flick's Bayern). He was also a FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup winner during his time in London, a period where he was named The Best FIFA Football Coach.

Tuchel got his hands on the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea, a year after losing the final as PSG coach to Bayern. - Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Shutterstock

"There's no need to discuss his qualities - they're impressive,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said. "His career is also a testament to that. Overseeing a squad like PSG is not easy. He led them to the Champions League final. He was also very successful at Chelsea from day one. It's an impressive CV. There's real personal development behind it. That's why we're very happy that Thomas Tuchel is now our coach."

With Bayern still challenging on three fronts this term, a packed fixture list awaits the team now that the March international break has come to an end. Once the Klassiker has been negotiated, a tough double-header against fourth-placed Freiburg follows, with the clubs' DFB Cup quarter-final preceding a Bundesliga meeting in the Black Forest. After that, a trip to Manchester City awaits in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Watch: Tuchel begins with Der Klassiker 

"We have to build on the starting position that Julian [Nagelsmann] has created with the team - we have a chance of winning the trophy in all three competitions." Tuchel said. "There are risks involved, of course, but we love the pressure and the stress. My love for the game is much greater than any concerns. I have an idea of what can be done and a lot of anticipation. It's about playing for all the trophies."

Bayern's new man in charge took his first training session at Säbener Straße on Monday ahead of a huge first test against his former club.