Bayern Munich star Matthias de Ligt says sacking Julian Nagelsmann was a ‘hard pill to swallow’… but supports new coach Thomas Tuchel to succeed
Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt revealed that he was shocked by the dismissal of Julian Nagelsmann and the appointment of his successor in the German giants, Thomas Tuchel.
Speaking after the Netherlands’ modest 3-0 win over Gibraltar in Group A of Euro 2024 qualifiers, the Netherlands international was clearly unsettled by the change at the top of the Bavarian club when ‘everything was still there’.
The 23-year-old signed under Nagelsmann, joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022 from Juventus.
Nagelsmann was sacked from the position he had held just under two years earlier after discussing a 61-minute crisis with the club’s hierarchy amid lack of confidence in his direction of the team and rumors of frustration among his players.
The 35-year-old manager was allegedly ‘intimidated’ by an altercation with Sadio Mane in the dressing room over playing time.
Matthijs de Ligt expressed his “surprise” at the sacking of his former coach last week
Julian Nagelsmann oversaw De Ligt’s transfer from Juventus to the Bundesliga club in 2022
But in an interview with NOSDe Ligt confirmed that his “good relationship” with his former manager inspired him to send him a letter after hearing the news.
“No, (didn’t) expect that to happen”, the player replied, when asked if he felt Nagelsmann’s sacking was imminent before the players left for the international break.
‘I was surprised.’ We are in second place in the league, in the quarter-finals of the cup, and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Everything is still there.
“Those in charge decide who’s the boss, but it was a tough pill to swallow.”
Despite this, the former Ajax player also had words of encouragement for Khalifa Nagelsmann.
“But I also think that Tuchel is a good coach for us.”
When discussing rumors of a rift in the dressing room, de Ligt joked: “Ah, the German media – that’s enough.
I had a good relationship with the coach and his staff, so it was difficult for me.
Thomas Tuchel has powerful and quick combinations, including difficult ties at Dortmund and City
The Netherlands international’s goal-line breach against Paris Saint-Germain helped ensure the Parisian club’s exit from the Champions League
I reached out to him, messaged him and thanked him for everything he taught me. He really wanted me at the club, and he was important to me. Thanks to him, I have taken important steps in my development.
De Ligt has played a key role in Bayern’s defense this season and was instrumental in the club’s dismantling of Paris Saint-Germain to drop the Parisian side from the Champions League.
Tuchel, who previously coached Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, and won the Champions League title with Chelsea after joining just five months ago, has had it since Monday in preparation for the Bayern match after the break.
League leaders Dortmund will visit Bayern on Saturday, and Tuchel will seek to start his tenure by winning first place for his former team in the Bundesliga.