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Julian Nagelsmann reflects on his decision to turn down Real Madrid

By Laura Brandt

Julian Nagelsmann has explained why he chose to reject interest from Real Madrid in 2018.

Julian Nagelsmann.
Julian Nagelsmann.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has opened up on his decision to turn down interest from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018.


Real Madrid saw Nagelsmann as one of their main candidates to replace Zinedine Zidane as coach at the time, but the 32-year-old, who served as coach of Hoffenheim at the time, rejected the chance of taking a job in the Spanish capital.

"It's normal if Real Madrid call you, you think about it. I was surprised at first, I weighed it up and I didn't feel comfortable with a decision to go there. I want to improve. If you go to Real Madrid, there’s no time to improve as a manager," Nagelsmann said in an interview with The Independent and added:

"You don't have a chance to be a better manager, you already have to be the best. I'm not the best now, but I can admit I want to be one of the best in future. If you go to Real Madrid or Barcelona, the fans, the media and the decision-makers don't give you the time to grow into that.

"They only want to see victories every game, titles, Champions League trophies. If you don't win, you can't say 'but I'm still young, I'm still developing.' It’s not that easy in football to plan a career, because it is so unpredictable, but you have to try," Nagelsmann said.

The German coach eventually agreed a deal with RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018 that would see him take over the position as coach at Red Bull Arena ahead of the 2019/20 season.


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