Leipzig-Atalanta, Domenico Tedesco on the match against Gasperini

Leipzig coach: “Palomino impressed me live. My team? We speak English when we’re all together, otherwise I use different languages ​​with individual players.”

In four months, he fixed Leipzig. Domenico Tedesco does not have a magic wand, but in Germany he has been considered one of the best emerging technicians for years. Since then, with Schalke 04, he took an astonishing second place in his first season as manager in the Bundesliga. Taking over from Marsch in December with club Red Bull on the right side of the table, today he took him to the Champions Zone, the German Cup semi-finals and the Europa League quarter-finals , where he will face Atalanta. How did he do it? “It’s not easy to say – explains the same coach born in Corigliano-Rossano, but raised in the German country since the age of two, during a meeting with the international media -. My first gesture was to talk to each player to understand what was wrong. The team was fine from a physical point of view, you just had to understand why the results were not coming.” And of course, Tedesco quickly understood this.

This is Leipzig

Tactically, the coach has changed his Leipzig’s approach a bit. “We had to balance the phases of fierce pressing with those of calm. Before, we exaggerated with the first”. Common lessons in English, but German is polyglot, so he speaks several languages ​​with individual footballers. “With André Silva we use the Italian – he says -. It is perhaps the player who surprised me the most: he has an incredible hunger for football, he never accepts the bench, even if maybe after 3-4 games in a row he would need a rest”. The best of the season, however, is Christopher Nkunku, summoned for the first time by the France team: “An interesting player, who has unique qualities on and off the pitch”.

Atalanta hedge

In Europe, the double challenge against the Goddess promises to be spectacular. “I fear the physicality of Gasperini’s team – he admits -. They know how to play with more forms and in more ways, they are a dangerous opponent”. Tedesco had the opportunity to observe Atalanta up close in October during the games against Sampdoria and Udinese, during his ‘professional update’ tour of Italy. “They are pressing man against man. The player who impressed me the most? Palomino live. But I saw Demiral’s game in Leverkusen on TV: exceptional”. At the Nerazzurri, Tedesco also appreciates “Malinovskyi, Pasalic, Muriel and Zapata who is injured”. And of course Gian Piero Gasperini: “Among the best Italian coaches with Antonio Conte and Ancelotti. But also Max Allegri, whom I could see working live at Continassa in the fall. And then the old school, from Capello to Marcello Lippi: Winning the 2006 World Cup in Berlin is my best footballing memory as an Italian who lived and lives in Germany.”

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