Julian Nagelsmann is the current head coach of RB Leipzig in Germany. The 33-year-old is considered one of the brightest tactical minds in the game. He has been known to bring new technology and constant innovation to the clubs he manages. All of the biggest clubs in Europe are keeping an eye on Nagelsmann’s career, with the idea that he could one day manage one of Europe’s elite teams. In an interview with Guilleme Balague, the German discussed the interest of Real Madrid and his call with Real Madrid CEO, Jose Angel Sanchez, back in 2018.
Guilleme Balague: At some point Madrid approached you and you thought ‘it’s not the right time’. So I have two questions for you: are you calculating how your career goes and is it true that Real Madrid approached you?
Julian Nagelsmann: “I try to calculate, but it’s not that easy in soccer. It’s always a process, you try to calculate, but things always change from the next season or the next year. I do think it is important to have a plan. If the plan becomes a reality, that I am not sure about, but it is important to have a plan. It’s important to have a structure with your career plan. First, Hoffenheim, then RB Leipzig, and after that you try to take the correct next step.
“Yes, it is true that I had a phone call with Jose Angel Sanchez of Real Madrid. I was not the only coach that he called, I think he got in touch with many, many managers. He wanted to talk to me and get to know me — to hear my philosophy and my ideas about playing soccer.
“I think I made the right decision at the time, It was not that easy, because Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, but if they call me in the future, maybe the decision would be different. I think two years ago, the decision was correct because I had no time to learn the language and no time for preparation. I did not have great experience with international games. To be the next manager of Real Madrid, was not the right next step in my plans. The step to go to RB Leipzig was better for my career and better for my development as a manager. In the end, it was not that easy, but I think it was the right one.”
With two years under his belt at RB Leipzig, perhaps Nagelsmann feels he is ready for that next step. His remarks suggest he is full of admiration for Madrid and honored that he received a call from Jose Angel Sanchez. If Zidane were to leave or be dismissed this summer, the German would likely be one of the top candidates, alongside Raul, to replace the Frenchman.