Young RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann gave an interview to The Independent, in which he said Real Madrid were interested in him in 2018 to replace Zinedine Zidane but he turned them down.
Nagelsmann was coaching at Hoffenheim and was viewed as one of the sensations in the Bundesliga - he still is - for his youth as well as his good results. Then Madrid got on the phone to him.
“It’s normal if Real Madrid call you, you think about it,” he told the English newspaper. “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.
“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.
“The main thing is to make the right steps, not the biggest steps. Real Madrid is probably one of the highest steps you can take so I thought ‘you turn 31, go to Real and where to do you go from there?’
“The other thing is language is very important to me. I like to communicate, I’m very expressive with my players. I can’t speak Spanish yet, I can only say, ‘hola, que tal.’ So it was the biggest step, but not the right step.”