Nagelsmann bullish about prospect of RB Leipzig winning Champions League

By Sports Desk June 27, 2020

Julian Nagelsmann has urged his RB Leipzig players to seize their "big chance" to win the Champions League.   Die Roten Bullen confirmed their place in next year's Champions League and a third-place finish in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win at Augsburg thanks to two goals from outgoing striker Timo Werner.   It was Germany international Werner's final appearance for the club before he joins Chelsea in a reported €53million (£47.5m) deal, yet the campaign is not over for Leipzig, who are still in this season's Champions League.   The competition will resume in August and Leipzig are already assured of a spot in the last eight.   And the fact that the quarter-finals and semi-finals are both one-legged affairs at a neutral venue in Lisbon has given Nagelsmann encouragement that, even without Werner, his team can conquer Europe.   "Of course it's a huge challenge for us, but also for the other teams that are still in the Champions League," he told a news conference.   "I do not want to complain because we are very happy that we can participate there. I think we have a big chance because it will not be that easy again to win this tournament, with three games.

"It's demanding but I want us to go there with the following thoughts - we need only three victories to win the most valuable trophy in club football."

Werner left Leipzig as their all-time top scorer having broken the record when he took his tally to 95 for the club with his brace on Saturday.

Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scored more than Werner's 28 goals in the Bundesliga this term and he will now look to transform that form to Chelsea, with the backing of the club and coach he is leaving.

Asked about any goodbye message the team delivered to Werner, Nagelsmann added: "Our sporting director Markus Krosche said some words in front of the team. 

"I also said goodbye to him before and told him some things, but they stay private.

"It's easy to say that he leaves a huge gap when you look at his numbers, but also as a human because he has the heart in the right place.

"He has a lot of friends here in Leipzig and felt very comfortable. I wish him all the best in London and hope that he'll have similar numbers in four years as well."

Werner was delighted to sign off by grabbing the club record and admitted he will depart Leipzig with fond memories.

"Firstly, it makes me really happy that we won our last game of the season," he said.

"We qualified for the Champions League and ended the season on a high.

"The fact that I am the record goalscorer for Leipzig makes me really proud. I will miss the club and the city."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd and Man City battling for Koulibaly and Skriniar, Rangnick agrees Milan deal Rumour Has It: Man Utd and Man City battling for Koulibaly and Skriniar, Rangnick agrees Milan deal

    Already rivals on the field, Manchester United and Manchester City might be set to clash off it.

    Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan Skriniar of Inter are both reportedly wanted in Manchester.

    An off-season battle may therefore be set to take place between the two foes.

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED, CITY EYEING DEFENDERS

    Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are going head-to-head for centre-backs, according to the Independent.

    United and City are both reportedly eyeing defensive reinforcements as they look to catch Premier League champions Liverpool next season.

    Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter defender Milan Skriniar – also wanted by Real Madrid – have been strongly linked to the Manchester clubs.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Ralf Rangnick has agreed a deal to become the head coach of Milan in 2020-21, says The Guardian. Rangnick will replace Stefano Pioli, who was only appointed in October. The German is also set to hold talks about combining the coaching role with that of sporting director – a position held by Milan great Paolo Maldini.

    - Qualifying for the Champions League will be the first step of any deal to bring Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho to United, reports the Evening Standard. Sancho has been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea and Madrid.

    - According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Paris Saint-Germain are poised to make an €80million offer for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Ligue 1 champions, however, are wary of competition from United, Madrid and Chelsea.

    Kai Havertz is aware of interest from Chelsea but the Premier League side are yet to make an offer for the Bayer Leverkusen star, claims Bild's Christian Falk. Liverpool, United, Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have also emerged as possible destinations.

    Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid are eyeing Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to L'Equipe.

    - A cross-town move? Gianluca Di Marzio says Inter are continuing to pursue Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

    Nathan Ake to United? The Daily Mail claims Bournemouth could be forced to sell some of their stars as they battle to avoid relegation. The defender has previously been linked to City.

    Juve are interested in Arkadiusz Milik but Napoli would prefer not to sell to their Serie A rivals, reports Calciomercato. Napoli are said to be prepared to move Milik abroad amid links to Atletico and Tottenham.

  • Kohfeldt hails retiring Claudio Pizarro after Bremen survive Bundesliga play-off Kohfeldt hails retiring Claudio Pizarro after Bremen survive Bundesliga play-off

    Florian Kohfeldt lauded Claudio Pizarro after Werder Bremen narrowly managed to retain their Bundesliga status against Heidenheim as the club great retired from football.

    Pizarro called time on his career following Monday's 2-2 draw at second-tier Heidenheim – four-time German champions Bremen prevailing in the Bundesliga relegation play-off on the away goals rule.

    The 41-year-old Pizarro, who announced his retirement plans in July following 20 seasons in the Bundesliga – was an unused substitute as Bremen survived a dramatic second leg following last week's goalless draw.

    It caps Pizarro's fourth stint with Bremen, having won six league titles across two separate spells at Bayern Munich, while he also spent a season playing for Chelsea in the Premier League.

    Kohfeldt heaped praise on Bremen's all-time leading goalscorer Pizarro, who netted two goals in 2019-20.

    "Awesome," Kohfeldt replied when asked how nice it was for Pizarro to end his career as a first-division player. "I was with him after the game as well and apologised that I couldn't bring him in his last game.

    "Unfortunately the situation was just not there. But he said it didn't matter, the main thing was that we were not relegated.

    "The other day we watched a video on YouTube in the coaching team. And we saw videos from the 90s, the 2000s and 2010s and I said to the assistant coach: "It's always the same face that laughs.

    "That just shows what meaning he has and what joy he has given to the Werder fans. How much importance he has for this club. And it makes me happy for the team.

    "I can't pull my hat any lower and bow any lower before Claudio Pizarro and what he has done for Werder Bremen and the Bundesliga. And I am delighted that we were able to close this chapter in the first division. Many thanks Claudio!"

  • Milan target Szoboszlai 'ideal' for Napoli, says Hungary boss Rossi Milan target Szoboszlai 'ideal' for Napoli, says Hungary boss Rossi

    Hungary head coach Marco Rossi believes Salzburg star Dominik Szoboszlai is the "ideal player" for Serie A side Napoli.

    Szoboszlai is a player in demand and tipped to leave Salzburg following his exploits for the Austrian champions – the Hungary international linked to Napoli, Milan, Inter, Lazio and Premier League outfit Arsenal.

    The 19-year-old midfielder has scored 12 goals across all competitions in 2019-20, supplying 10 league assists for Salzburg in Austria.

    Amid growing speculation, Hungary's Italian boss Rossi feels Szoboszlai would thrive with Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli.

    "He's a 19-year-old who made his debut for the national team at the age of 18. He's a very elegant and talented player, rich in technique," Rossi told CalcioNapoli24.

    "He plays between the lines and is good at assisting in the final third. He has great physicality and is tall but, despite its height, also has an excellent burst of pace.

    "If he decides to accept an offer from Serie A, it would complement his technical expertise with a couple of things where he still needs to improve, for example his defensive game.

    "Tactically speaking, Salzburg have played him high up on the left and he's posted good numbers there, but in possession he often plays between the lines to make room for the full-back.

    "In a 4-3-3, instead, he could be a box-to-box midfielder, capable of supporting the centre-forward.

    "Szoboszlai expresses himself best in a team who play positionally. In Italy, Napoli must play football and not counterattack because they're among the best teams in Italy, [even if] they might suffer in a couple of games every season.

    "Dominik would be the ideal player for [Napoli’s] style of play."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.