Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann has revealed he used to idolise former Chelsea defender John Terry during his playing days.
The young German technocrat has emerged as one of the game’s most innovative and progressive coaches, working his way up the managerial food chain in the Bundesliga to take the Bayern reins at the age of only 34.
Having started out at 1899 Hoffenheim in 2016, Nagelsmann has accelerated his reputation in the dugout at an astonishing rate, moving on to RB Leipzig in 2019, during which time he reached the Champions League semi-finals, and now Bayern, whom he joined in the summer.
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Now a household name, there was a time when Nagelsmann would not have been known during his playing days, as he hung up his boots at just 20 after suffering a career-ending knee injury, before going on to work as a scout for Thomas Tuchel at Augsburg.
From there, Nagelsmann continued to develop and rise up the ranks, but he has since revealed that during the years in which he was trying to find his feet as a professional player, he modelled his game off Terry, going as far as to label the former England international as his “role model”.
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He told The Times: “John Terry. It was crazy, because when I was a youth player I played with [close friend] Christian Trasch. I called him Patrick – Patrick Vieira – because he played No 6 and he called me John Terry, ‘Johnny’.
“In those days, Terry was one of the best central defenders – I think there was one season he did not lose one duel. He was brave with his head. I was good with my feet but better with my head, and there were some similarities, he was kind of a role model.”