The new Bundesliga season starts on Friday with new Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann under pressure to deliver a tenth straight league title for the Bavarian giants in his first year at the helm.
With predecessor Hansi Flick having left to take charge of Germany, 34-year-old Nagelsmann now faces the biggest challenge of his young coaching career.
He proved his impressive ability with stints at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, who he guided to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019/20.
But keeping the egos in Bayern’s star-studded squad in check, while maintaining the club’s insatiable thirst for success, will test him fully.
“If I don’t win anything here, it’s down to me,” he bluntly told the club’s magazine.
His first competitive game is at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday to kick off the new league campaign.
Nagelsmann is still chasing his first win with Bayern after three defeats and a draw from four pre-season friendlies.
A 2-2 draw against Ajax came amid losses to Cologne, Moenchengladbach and Napoli, who won 3-0 in Munich against a near full-strength Bayern side.
Having only celebrated his birthday last month, Nagelsmann is a year younger than club captain Manuel Neuer and only 13 months older than star striker Robert Lewandowski.
He will be measured in terms of titles at Bayern, where Flick set the bar high by winning the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup in 2019/20.
Bayern showed their faith by giving Nagelsmann a five-year contract after paying Leipzig 25 million euros ($29 million) for his services.
Bayern have won the Bundesliga every year since 2012/13 and landing a tenth straight German league title is mandatory for the fans and the board.
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