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Ralph Hasenhuttl: The Dreamer's “Renaissance Tour” in Wolfsburg

Ralph Hasenhuttl: The Dreamer's “Renaissance Tour” in Wolfsburg

Why is coach Ralph Hasenhuttl ending his vacation from football now and in Wolfsburg?

Ralph Hasenhuttl was asked when he was introduced as the new coach on Monday whether he considered it realistic to be able to fight for starting positions in the European Cup with Wolfsburg, who are in danger of relegation, in the future. “I'm not much of a realist, I'm a dreamer too,” the 56-year-old coach offered a deep dive into his coaching ethos.

Maybe it's also because the harsh reality of football put him in a deep hole. After his time at Southampton (2018 to November 2022), the Styria Stadium was “empty”. After that, he didn't give an interview for a year and a half and was able to go to bars again without being recognized. “It was very interesting,” Hasenhuttl explained, admitting that he had only watched three matches of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. “I couldn't watch football.”

The knowledge you want to use

Therefore, after his coaching participation in the English Premier League, the former striker did not imagine that the desire to return would return. As we all know, things turned out differently. “I had enough time to recover and I felt hungry to work again,” Hasenhuttl said. The motivation at Wolfsburg (with eight games remaining, six points above the relegation zone and eleven games without a win) is now remarkable. “The knowledge you have after being a coach for a long time is waiting to be used,” he explained. “It is a revival tour in a league that I have always followed and know well.”

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Hasenhuttl has already sponsored FC Ingolstadt (2013-2016) and RB Leipzig (2016-2018) in the German Council of Councilors. In terms of his range of coaching skills, the eight-time Austrian National League player sees himself in a broader position than ever before. Of course, he is still influenced by the right-back's style, and the game against the ball, the 56-year-old admitted on Monday. “At Southampton, I broke away a little bit from the one-dimensionality of being a right-back.”

Long term planning

It is not known how long Hasenhuttl's new contract will last. There is talk of a long-term commitment.

Wolfsburg sporting director Sebastian Schindzelors said there was great hope that “some basic euphoria” would return with the Austrian in the short term, “that we would regain some optimism, that we would regain faith in victories.” Hasenhuttl is also seen as a man capable of developing “young, developable players” in the long term. (stm/aj.)

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