“He’s sensationally good”
Sandro Wagner has one thing ahead of his new boss Julian Nagelsmann: an international match on the sidelines with the national team. Against France, the 35-year-old assisted interim coach Rudi Völler in the 2-1 victory at Dortmund in September. During his first days in America, former national striker Wagner, who was Nagelsmann’s player at TSG Hoffenheim, made a strong impression on the new national coach.
“He is incredibly good, incredibly hardworking and structured,” the DFB head coach said of Wagner. The chemistry between boss and assistant – both born in 1987 – is visible just before the first on Saturday (9:00 p.m. / RTL) against the United States in Hartford. Nagelsmann also likes Wagner’s “brazen lyrics in every sense”. His assistant coach manages to maintain the necessary distance from his former teammates while remaining relaxed. Wagner, for example, played with Thomas Müller (34) at FC Bayern or with Oliver Baumann (33) at Kraichgau.
During training in Foxborough before the American premiere (Saturday, 9 p.m.), the assistant took on more and more tasks on the field. Nagelsmann’s long-time assistant coach Benjamin Glück, whom the boss brought with him to the DFB, is more of an observer and personal confidant of the national coach. Wagner relieves his boss of detailed tasks, including turning on the lawn sprinklers on the practice field at the exact time. “He takes care of everything for me organizationally,” Nagelsmann said. Nagelsmann made it clear that he alone would take care of the media work. He wants to sit on this stage himself and not Wagner, who gave up his position as a « ZDF » expert for his new role.
The national coach has only one concern. That Wagner himself wants to soon become a head coach somewhere again and that the collaboration is therefore over. This summer, the Munich team led SpVgg Unterhaching to the 3rd division. He then joined the DFB as assistant to Hannes Wolf in the under-20s. Perhaps Wagner also wants to revive an old DFB tradition. The assistants went on to become national coaches themselves six times, the most recent being Hansi Flick, Nagelsmann’s predecessor.
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