5 things to know about Domenico Tedesco, the new coach of Belgium

His fifth position in… six years

After starting by leading the youth of VfB Stuttgart at the age of 22 (August 2008-2015), then at Hoffenheim (2015-March 2017), Domenico Tedesco entered his professional career on the bench of Ezgebirge Aue (March -June 2017 )… red lantern of the Bundesliga antechamber. He manages to save the club by scoring twenty points out of a possible thirty. His successful adventure with Schalke 04 (July 2017-March 2019) came to an abrupt end the day after a slap by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City (0-7) in the round of 16 second leg of the C1.

Followed by Spartak Moscow (October 2019-2021), where he was voted twice as the best coach of the Russian Championship (August and September 2020) and RB Leipzig (December 2021-September 2022) where he won the 2022 German Cup thanks to Christopher Nkunku, and played in C1 before being sacked the day after the defeat against Chakhtior Donetsk.

An Italo-German… of course

Domenico Tedesco was born in Italy in Rossano to a Calabrian family whose name means ”German” in the Pirlo language. It is written, but the story does not say if that is why this printer’s son and his family moved to West Germany, to Bad Württemberg, when he was 2 years old. The rookie player at ASV Aichwald, brilliant student, graduated as an engineer, his multicultural profile was praised by the Belgian media even before the formalization of his appointment as coach. “Like many Red Devils, Domenico Tedesco is multicultural, Tuesday morning is mentioned every day The last hour. A no small feat for our national team. Polyglot, he can for example communicate with Romelu Lukaku in many languages (German, Spanish, Italian, English, Russian, French). Roberto Martinez has already mentioned this important point of our country with this mixture of cultures that allows this generation to adapt to certain situations”.

A baby coach like Nagelsmann

In September 2018, the Bundesliga offered Europe two rookies who were experiencing their baptism of fire on the benches of the Champions League when they were old enough to play there: Domenico Tedesco, at Schalke 04, 33 years, and Julian Nagelsmann, at Hoffenheim, 31 years. Classmates during their teaching training at the Hennes Weisweiler Akademie, Tedesco graduated first in class before his younger brother. First again to set the record for the youngest coach to lead a C1 knockout match in 2018-2019 (33 years and 161 days). Nagelsmann, the youngest coach in Bundesliga history, will take over from him in February 2020 (32 years and 211 days).

Ruhr champion at 600,000 euros per month

For his Bundesliga debut with Schalke 04, in 2017-2018, Domenico Tedesco achieved a masterstroke by winning the title of champion … of the Ruhr. The first since 2009-2010. And despite the rivalry with Borussia Dortmund, his team finished second, behind Bayern, and qualified for the Champions League for the first time since the knockout round against Real Madrid in March 2015. A true renewal, after a disappointing tenth place last season, with the Italian-German as the main architect. Previously tied until 2019 with a salary of 600,000 euros per year, one of the most modest in the elite, he saw his contract extended by two years with double the salary and a bonus of 250,000 euros for qualification. in C1.

At Schalke, Domenico Tedesco dramatically launched Amine Harit in the Champions League. (U. Speck/WITTERS//Sports Press)

Italian catenaccio, Russian possession and German burgers

From his first season in the top flight with Schalke 04, Tedesco was united at the head of a physical team, impressive with regularity and defensive solidity and focused on the counter. The style promoted then resembles the Italian “catenaccio” of the 90s. But the new coach of the Red Devils, a fan of data and Football Manager, is above all a pragmatist who adapts his philosophy to the workforce he leads.

At Spartak Moscow (2019-2021), which he will leave for family reasons, his young and technical team is characterized by possession of the ball. His sense of humor should appeal to the Belgians: at Schalke, after a very busy morning training, the technician played comedy by promising a more difficult session in the stadium in the afternoon… When they arrived at the lounge of the Veltins -Arena at lunchtime, the players found cooks making burgers.

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