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.”