The world champion always puts something on his ears. Mario Götze sends Julian Nagelsmann links to podcasts that are mainly about US sports. Dealing with pressure, team spirit, personal development - it's about the challenges in the professional business.
Nagelsmann is inquisitive and grateful for the smartphone messages from the former international. The issues concern himself, right now.
This Friday, FC Bayern will open the 60th season of the Bundesliga with the game at Götze's new club Eintracht Frankfurt (8.30 p.m., Sat.1 and DAZN). It has been the first start in two years without Corona requirements and the first league game after the departure of world footballer Robert Lewandowski, who said goodbye to the team and club employees with champagne during the week and Friday in front of probably more than 25,000 fans in the stadium of his new one Clubs FC Barcelona is presented.
And it's the first game in the competition for Bayern's new star Sadio Mané, who came from Liverpool. Since the season was first opened in 2002 with a game by the master, the latter has never lost at the start. National goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who was recently absent due to a gastrointestinal infection, will most likely be able to use Nagelsmann.
At the start of the season, the young star is the focus of the Bundesliga coaches. The club management has spent 137.5 million euros to provide him with a top team. Among the purchases are stars (Mané and potential new Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt) as well as players he hopes to become stars under him, most notably midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, who joined from Ajax Amsterdam, and forward Mathys, just 17 Tel, for which Munich paid up to 28.5 million euros to Stades Rennes and who is now eligible to play. At Bayern they are convinced: Tel can be one of the best strikers in the world in a few years. Nagelsmann has to be successful in the short term while at the same time thinking about the medium and long-term development of the players. A huge challenge.
In his first season at Bayern, Nagelsmann lost 5-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the DFB Cup and to FC Villarreal in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. This time it should definitely be more than the championship. Despite the many well-known additions from competitor Borussia Dortmund, the national title is practically a must (it would be the eleventh in a row), in Munich they want the double – and more. Club president Herbert Hainer repeatedly emphasized when presenting the new players that the club strives for the highest goals. It sounded like an order to the coach: this team has to get on with something.
Nagelsmann takes it easy. He said Thursday afternoon at the club headquarters on Säbener Strasse that he would like to have a photo of himself as a Bayern coach with several trophies. "Maybe we can do that after this season with a little more jewelry around me." The club has not reached the semi-finals of the Champions League since 2020, in the cup they were eliminated in the second round twice in a row. Nagelsmann has identified a greed for the title in the club: "The club thirsts for more." It is the goal to get to the final in Berlin and win the cup. “We also want to get further in the Champions League. It always depends on the luck of the draw and the game.” There is a good spirit in the team. The coach spoke of "learnings" after last season.
National player Leroy Sané told The Athletic magazine that everyone was extremely annoyed by the results of the previous season. That would give you motivation for this season. "We have to make sure that we don't make the same mistakes again," said the attacking professional.
Bayern have already won their first title of the season: they beat RB Leipzig 5-3 in the DFL Supercup a week ago. But Nagelsmann needs “real” titles. On the Thursday before the final training session, he seemed full of energy. "I'm looking forward to the start with great anticipation. I tend to put the pressure on myself," he said. From friends he gets the impression that a lot of pressure is being put on him and his team. "But I don't sit there and tremble."
It is normal for Bayern Munich to always strive for the highest. Nagelsmann said he didn't use any alibis, but pointed out Lewandowski's departure: "We gave up a striker who scored over 50 goals, we have to compensate for that." He was very satisfied with the new squad and praised sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and his colleagues for their diligence and good work. "I think our squad has gotten better. The boys are highly motivated.” He likes working with a large squad, which offers many opportunities. "It's not possible to keep everyone happy anyway, but one always hopes so," said Nagelmann with a smile. In fact, the internal competition is enormous, there will be hardship cases. Especially since young star Jamal Musiala played well in the Supercup against Leipzig and a starting eleven without him hardly seems to be an option at the moment.
The Bayern bosses want to relieve Nagelsmann of important issues in the future. In the past, the 35-year-old had repeatedly had to provide information on difficult things because CEO Oliver Kahn or Salihamidzic had said little about it. “We recognized that, we also learned from that. We will certainly change something there and also sit down at the press conferences on special topics. Simply to relieve the coach of the burden," said Salihamidzic of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung".
He described Nagelsmann as "a stroke of luck for FC Bayern". The coach is "an open guy" with whom he would work great. "It's normal that Julian is still developing. It's a learning process, just like it was for me. He too has to find his style. But we all have to give him the time,” said Salihamidzic, whose contract, which runs until summer 2023, could be extended in the coming weeks. Nagelsmann said Thursday he hopes to be able to focus a little more on the essentials this season.
The Frankfurt believe that they can annoy the Munich this Friday. "I think Bayern will be in the lead again throughout the season because they have a really great team. But we're not raising the white flag, we'll do everything we can to start the season with a home win," emphasized Oliver Glasner, coach of the Europa League winner. "It's always possible to win in a game, against any team in the world."
Also against Nagelsmann's new without Lewandowski Bayern.