LISBON: RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann says he is relishing facing former mentor and Paris Saint Germain coach Thomas Tuchel in the Champions League semifinals following his side’s stunning win over Atletico Madrid.
Leipzig, who were only founded in 2009, booked a semifinal berth at their first attempt when US midfielder Tyler Adams hit an 88th-minute winner in Lisbon.
It sealed the Germans’ win after a Joao Felix penalty for Atletico had cancelled out Dani Olmo’s header for Leipzig early in the second half.
Leipzig now face PSG next Tuesday for a place in the Aug 23 final.
It was German coach Tuchel who gave Nagelsmann his first break at Augsburg 12 years ago as a scout which saw him then become a coach.
“They are a top team with a top trainer,” said the 32-year-old Nagelsmann, whose playing career was ended in 2008 by a serious knee injury.
“I have often played (as a coach) against him (Tuchel) but rarely won.
“They are a team full of stars,” Nagelsmann added, referring to Neymar and fellow PSG forward Kylian Mbappe.
“That’s no surprise to anyone and we will have to put in a top performance against them.”
Nagelsmann’s Leipzig held their nerve after Felix equalised before Adams came off the bench to seal the winner after superb work in the build-up by leftback Angelino and midfielder Marcel Sabitzer.
“I was getting ready for extra time and thinking about who I would bring on, so I am happy that I didn’t have to do that,” added Nagelsmann.
“I couldn’t believe we scored that beautiful goal.
“We had trained for the situation when we went 1-0 up, but things didn’t work out exactly.
“The boys sorted things out for themselves on the pitch and showed how mentally strong they are, so I am really proud of them.” – AFP