De Ligt: Nagelsmann sacking 'hard to swallow'

By Sports Desk March 29, 2023

Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt was surprised by the club's decision to part company with head coach Julian Nagelsmann and says it has been "hard to swallow".

German heavyweights Bayern officially called time on Nagelsmann's 20-month reign on Friday and swiftly appointed Thomas Tuchel as his successor.

Nagelsmann won the Bundesliga in his only full season in Bavaria, but Bayern find themselves a point behind Borussia Dortmund with 25 games of this campaign played.

Bayern face leaders Dortmund in a huge clash on Saturday, while they also have DFB-Pokal and Champions League quarter-final ties to play in April.

And with the club still in the hunt for a treble, De Ligt – who has been away on international duty with the Netherlands – did not see Nagelsmann's sacking coming.

"I was surprised," he told Dutch TV broadcaster NOS. "We're second in the league and in the quarter-finals of the cups. We're still playing for everything.

"Those in charge decide who the coach is, but it was a difficult decision that is hard to swallow. But I also believe that Tuchel is a coach who suits us."

According to a report in the German media, certain Bayern players turned against Nagelsmann and effectively forced him out of the Allianz Arena.

But De Ligt, who has played 31 times since arriving at Bayern from Juventus at the start of the season, refuted those suggestions.

"Oh, the German media. That says it all," he said. "I had a good relationship with him and his team.

"I sent him a message and thanked him for everything he taught me.

"He really wanted me here at the club and was very important to me. 

"Thanks in part to him, I have taken important steps in my development over the past few months."

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