Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes says his opposite number at Hoffenheim, Julian Nagelsmann, is “exceptionally successful” and an example for young coaches.
Hoffenheim head to the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon, and although they trail the record champions by 20 points, Heynckes is taking nothing for granted against a team who have picked up seven points from their last three meetings with the Bavarians.
“He is exceptionally successful,” Heynckes said of Nagelsmann - a man 42 years his junior – at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “As a young coach, you can only applaud what he’s done. He’s an inspiration to others to be as successful as possible and scale similar heights.”
Watch: Hoffenheim stunned Bayern in the reverse fixture thanks to a Mark Uth brace!
Hoffenheim were the last undefeated team in Europe’s five major leagues - as per UEFA’s co-efficient - last season, but have struggled to recreate that form, with Niklas Süle, Sebastian Rudy and latterly Sandro Wagner all swapping the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena for the Allianz in the 2017/18 campaign.
Nagelsmann remains confident that the Die Kraichgauer can give the champions a bloody nose, though. “We’ve played three quite successful games against Bayern during my tenure. I trust we can make it a fourth.”