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Nagelsmann and the successful coaches who hardly played

The young German will replace Hansi Flick at Bayern Münich next season and is one of the coaches who have been able to consolidate without being stars in football

During these years, sports in general have reached an unprecedented level of study. The possibilities offered by technology to be in every detail when preparing athletes and subsequently analyzing their performance have reached a point where very few questions are left to chance.

Of course, soccer is no exception and although it is a practice that constantly requires improvisation on the pitch, it is increasingly common to find coaches who spend hours and hours observing their rivals, as well as watching own work of his players to make the most of the possibilities of their teams.

One issue that emerges from these issues is the increasing opening of the position of technical director to people who have not had successful careers as footballers or even never got to play professionally, as is the case of Julian Nagelsmann, who passed in five years of being the youngest coach, when he was hired by the German club Hoffenheim at only 26 years old, to become the most expensive, after the 20 million euros that Bayern Munich will pay for his services.

To begin with, it is important to note that this is not something new. If we are looking for coaches with this characteristic who have managed to consolidate and even record their name in the history of football, the contribution of Arrigo Sacchi. The Italian was the architect of a Milan that took the world ahead in the late 80s and early 90s with figures such as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten y Ruud Gullit, among others.

In addition, he led Italy to the final of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, where he ended up losing to a Brazilian national team led by another clear example of this analysis, such as Carlos Alberto Parreira.

If we stay in European football, but we get closer to the present, there are several noteworthy cases that have managed to break down stereotypes, establishing themselves as renowned coaches with results and titles that endorse them.

The first that comes to mind is Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese who from a very young age began to work as a collaborator in different technical bodies and at the age of 37 assumed the command of Benfica and took the first step in a career full of successes, including two UEFA Champions League titles (Porto 03 / 04 and Inter 09/10), three from Premier League with Chelsea, two from Serie A with Inter, one from La Liga with Real Madrid and one UEFA Europa League with Manchester United, among others. A weeks ago he left the Tottenham bench.

But “The Special One” he was not the only one. We also find the case of Rafa Benitez, who suffered a knee injury that truncated his career as a professional footballer when he was close to reaching the subsidiary team of the Real Madrid, but he had his “revenge” by reaping a great career as DT in great teams such as Valencia, Liverpool (where he was champion of Champions), Inter, Chelsea, Napoli and the own Merengue.

Also highlights Julian Nagelsmann con RB Leipzig. Nagelsmann will join Bayern Munich replacing Hansi Flick, who recently announced his intention to leave the Bavarian club’s bench at the end of this season.

Nagelsmann, the youngest coach in the Bundesliga, reached the first category in 2016 with Hoffenheim (and only 28 years old), which he led to the Champions League in one season.

In 2019 he jumped to RB Leipzig, which he has also taken twice in a row to European competitions; last year, until the semifinals of the Champions League.

Maurizio Sarri is another who enters this deck, and had his opportunity with Juventus.

If we move to Latin America, we can find several examples that are worth considering. After an injury frustrated his playing career at the young age of 19, Jorge Sampaoli He began his stage as a coach in his native Casilda and came to mark a before and after in Chile in the past decade. First, with the University of Chile that conquered local soccer in 2011 and 2012 and CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2011 and later with the National Team of that country, which led to winning the first title in its history in the 2015 Copa América. Success earned him an opportunity in the Argentine national team, but his performance in the 2018 World Cup in Russia was not as desired.

Without going any further, in the Argentine Football Super League, two of the big teams currently have a technical director who complies with the premise of this article. Sebastián Beccacece is in the bank of Racing after a very good period in Defense and Justice and San Lorenzo has decided to bet on Mariano soso. Both Rosario were formed under a school closely linked to the football ideas of Marcelo Bielsa.

Precisely the “Loco” was not a footballer with a trajectory to remember: he barely adds 65 games as a professional, divided into Newell’s, Instituto de Córdoba y Argentino de Rosario between 1976 and 1980.

However, perhaps the most emblematic name of this last time in the local sphere is that of Ariel Holan, who spent many years directing field hockey before turning to soccer. After more than a decade working as a coach’s aide-de-camp as Jorge Burruchaga and Matías Almeyda, took the lead position in Defense and Justice and led him to his first classification to an international competition.

His critics clung to his past in another sport to question his training methods and even his group management, but the DT continued to achieve good results that reached their highest point when he consecrated himself with Independiente, the club of his loves, in CONMEBOL South American 2017.

Among other coaches on the continent, the Colombian also stands out Reinaldo Rueda, who only played in lower divisions and had an extensive career in national teams directing Colombia, Honduras, Ecuador and currently Chile, but he was also the leader of the remembered team of National Athletic CONMEBOL Libertadores champion 2016.

Although this review shows that successful coaches who did not play professionally have appeared at different times, recent years show that they are increasingly able to access positions in higher-ranking teams, although almost always starting their way from the bottom. Not having a past as idols of an institution, they must earn their place by dint of good results and use all their knowledge from the study to present projects that will seduce potential employers.

As mentioned above, in a sport where fewer and fewer issues are left to chance, their ability to keep up with even the smallest detail gives them the chance to compete hand-in-hand with true football legends, which they cannot help but Put aside their training in the field if they do not want to be relegated to them.

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