• Hasenhüttl talks up potential of new club Leipzig.
  • "I want to compete in the Champions League."
  • Transformed the fortunes of former employers Ingolstadt.

After guiding FC Ingolstadt 04 to safety in their maiden Bundesliga campaign, Ralph Hasenhüttl is already plotting his next big move at the helm of ambitious promoted package RasenBallsport Leipzig.

What the 48-year-old accomplished at the Audi-Sportpark was nothing short of extraordinary, but he now believes he has the means to achieve even greater things at his new outpost in the Free State of Saxony.

'I want to be playing for titles'

"At some point or other, every coach wants to take the next step," Hasenhüttl told Germany's leading sports specialist publication, kicker, having last month signed a three-year contract with Leipzig. "One day I want to be playing for titles and even compete in the Champions League. Not many teams in Germany have the chance to challenge at the top and perhaps win the Cup. The potential here is huge."

A quick glance at Leipzig's rapid ascent of the German football ladder underlines Hasenhüttl's optimism. Founded in 2009 with the stated aim of reaching the Bundesliga within eight years, RB realised their lofty objective in just seven. Top-flight permanence is now the minimum requirement for a club that has got the whole of Germany talking.

Hasenhüttl was the mastermind behind FC Ingolstadt 04's emergence on the Bundesliga scene. © imago

Superb coaching pedigree

To that end, the acquisition of Hasenhüttl could prove a masterstroke. The Austrian penned his own rags-to-riches story in an historic three-year spell at Ingolstadt, overseeing Die Schanzer's transformation from relegation-threatened Bundesliga 2 outfit in October 2013 to Bundesliga newcomer by summer 2015. Critics tipped the fairy-tale to reach an abrupt end in the company of German football's elite, but Ingolstadt's naysayers were made to eat humble pie by the bucket load following a wholly unforeseen 11th-placed finish in 2015/16.

As well as proving his worth at Ingolstadt, Hasenhüttl can also count gaining promotion to Bundesliga 2 with modest VfR Aalen as another of his against-all-odds accomplishments. Although Leipzig harbour far greater expectations than both of the former Austria international's previous employers, there can be little doubt their erudite new boss possesses the necessary coaching acumen and experience to meet them.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge