Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann is regarded as one of the best of a new generation of German bench bosses. Nagelsmann got into coaching early after his playing career was ended through injury at the age of 20.
Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest head coach in Bundesliga history, when he took over from Huub Stevens in February 2016, at the age of 28. At the time, Hoffenheim were in danger of relegation, but Nagelsmann kept them in the first division and a season later, the club qualified for the Champions League for the first time in its history.
The Bundesliga returns from its winter break on Friday night, with the champions looking to heap pressure on the contenders. Bayern Munich stumbled in the first half of 2018-19, but their coach sees plenty to build on.
The only unbeaten sides in professional German football meet in the second round of the cup as Borussia Dortmund host second-division Union Berlin. Elsewhere, Schalke travel to Cologne while RB Leipzig host Hoffenheim.
Despite dominating, three defensive errors cost Hoffenheim their chance of a first Champions League win. Joelinton's injury-time equalizer salvaged a point in a wild match but the German side will rue their mistakes.
After a week when Bayern lost their perfect record and then their unbeaten record, Niko Kovac has demanded his players improve against Ajax. Also on Tuesday, Julian Nagelsmann faces his coaching idol, Pep Guardiola.
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann has already been announced as RB Leipzig boss for next season. How that affects Hoffenheim's first ever campaign in both the Bundesliga and Champions League remains to be seen. Ralf Rangnick is left holding the fort in Leipzig.
Julian Nagelsmann is to take over as head coach of RB Leipzig at the end of the upcoming Bundesliga season. The news came shortly after his current club, Hoffenheim, announced that he would be leaving in a year's time.
Borussia Dortmund made it hard for themselves but have qualified for the Champions League — just. A complete overhaul is in order, but they could do worse than look to Hoffenheim and Julian Nagelsmann for inspiration.