As he takes the HSV hot seat for the second time, bundesliga.com has unearthed ten things you may not have known about the 49-year-old journeyman...
Bruno Labbadia's first connection with Hamburger SV was as a player between 1987 and 1989. Having started his career at SV Darmstadt, he then turned out for Hamburg, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, FC Bayern München, 1. FC Köln, SV Werder Bremen and DSC Arminia Bielefeld before ending his career in 2003 with Karlsruher SC. He scored 109 goals in 328 Bundesliga matches, picking up two caps for Germany.
After his playing career had ended, Labbadia moved straight into coaching, taking charge of Darmstadt in 2003. After spells with Greuther Fürth and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, he took over at HSV in 2009. He remained in charge until 2010, when he was relieved of his duties with three games of the season remaining. At the end of 2010, he was appointed coach of VfB Stuttgart, but he has been out of work since stepping down from that job in 2013.
Dietmar Beiersdorfer and Bruno Labbadia go back a long way. Over 25 years, in fact. They first got to know each other at Hamburg in the 1987/88 season. In 1996, their paths crossed again when Labbadia moved from Köln to Bremen during the winter break, with Beiersdorfer heading in the opposite direction.
The current Hamburg chairman Beiersdorfer was the man who appointed Labbadia to the Hamburg hot seat in 2009. Beiersdorfer may have left the club only a month later, but the two have remained in touch ever since.
Labbadia's first spell as HSV coach saw him start with a ten-game unbeaten streak. After six wins and four draws, they were beaten for the first time on Matchday 11 by Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the remaining six games of the current season, such a record would probably be enough to save them from relegation. Fortunately, they don't have to face Gladbach...
Hamburg will face northern rivals Bremen in Labbadia's first game in charge. He played twice for HSV against Werder as a player: The first game ended goalless before he grabbed a brace in the return fixture in 1987/88, contributing to a 4-1 win. As coach, he guided HSV to a 2-1 win on 20 December 2009. Labbadia's overall coaching record against Bremen reads three wins, three draws and two defeats.
Since Labbadia was relieved of his duties at Stuttgart, he has travelled the continent, taking in plenty of games and observing different philosophies. He visited Liverpool FC's training centre and watched games in England, Italy, Spain and the USA. It was the longest break Labbadia has had in his 30-year career in the game.
Labbadia's parents were Italian immigrants who moved to Germany for work. He grew up as the youngest of nine children in Schneppenhausen, Hesse, but refused to learn Italian after being nicknamed "Spaghettimouth" due to his roots. When he was 18, he gained German citizenship in order play for Germany's Under-21s. In an article with der Spiegel magazine, Labbadia said that he saw the secret for his success in his "good German fighting spirit" combined with a "laid back, Italian mentality".
During the early days of his professional career, Labbadia also studied to become an insurance salesman. The young forward wanted to have a plan B, just in case his career did not follow the desired path. He also sought advice from an agency, who helped him with his image.
Labbadia soon realised that he needed to have personality if he was to leave an impression on people. He would often slip jokes or quips into his television interviews, earning a reputation during his days in Munich as 'Mr Hollywood' for the way in which he would always look for a television camera and try to develop his image.