Nagelsmann rejected Real to ‘become a better manager’

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann admits he rejected Real Madrid’s approaches last year as he wants more time to develop his coaching skills.

Having had his playing career cut short as a teenager due to persistent knee injuries, Nagelsmann spent four years studying at university before opting for a career in coaching.

The 32-year-old took the Hoffenheim reins in February 2016, transforming the club from a side near the foot of the standings to the Champions League within a year.

A win-rate percentage of 40.44 caught the eye and RB Leipzig offered him their top job in July 2019.

The talented tactician has flourished in his new surroundings, with only Bayern Munich ahead of Die Roten Bullen at present, while they hold a 1-0 first-leg advantage over Tottenham ahead of the return match in the Champions League’s last 16 on March 10.

It is clear the man from Landsberg am Lech is a talented coach and one that may enjoy spells at some of Europe’s top clubs, but he was big enough to turn down the Spanish giants.

“I said no to Real, but it’s important to say I didn’t have a contract (offer),” he told the Daily Mail . “They wanted a meeting. I would have had two weeks to learn Spanish.”

He believes moving to the Bernabeu last year would not have helped his fledgling career and is happy with the choice of club he made.

“Here, I have a chance to make mistakes and learn from them; to become a better manager,” he added. “You don’t have that at the biggest clubs. If you don’t win, they won’t talk about why. They’ll fire you.”