Nagelsmann – Spurs vs Leipzig not Mourinho against Baby Mourinho

RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsman has insisted that it won’t be a case of Mourinho versus Baby Mourinho when his side faces Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 fixture in London on Wednesday.

Nagelsmann has been previously tagged Baby Mourinho in Germany and will be taking charge of his first maiden UCL knockout game. However, the 32-year-old who is the youngest coach in the Champions League was quick to shift focus from the battle of wits in the dugout in his pre-match press conference.

He said: “It is only a game between Leipzig and Tottenham. Eight years ago, Tim Wiese [former Hoffenheim goalkeeper] called me Baby Mourinho, but that was only for two weeks. After that, he called me Julian again.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v Baby Mourinho.

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“The respect I have for him is enormous. He has won countless titles, not just with major clubs, and helped shape European football.

“The victories with Porto in the UEFA Cup and Champions League in a short time were very impressive. 

READ: Aurier – PSG likely to excel in UCL this season due to less pressure

“I read today that it will be his 59th knockout game in the Champions League. It will be the first for me!

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“He has an aura that can captivate you. I’m really looking forward to getting to know him.”

Nagelsmann won numerous admirers for his work at Hoffenheim and Leipzig and was heavily linked with the Tottenham Hotspur job before Mauricio Pochettino was axed in November. When he asked if he nearly took over at Spurs after Mourinho’s departure, he replied: “Me? No.”

RB Leipzig came out tops in a group that had the likes of Zenit Saint Petersburg, Lyon, and Benfica. Meanwhile, he downplayed the significance of the first leg in North London.

“I have a certain nervousness before every game,” he said. “But it is not the most important game in the club’s history. Of course, we want to reach the next round. But it is only the first leg.”

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The second leg of the encounter will hold at the Red Bull Arena on March 10 as both sides will turn their attentions to domestic exertions after Wednesday night.

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