Season finale at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei! On Saturday afternoon (kick off 15:30 CEST), the Bulls take on 1. FC Union Berlin.
Ahead of the game, head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke to the media at the virtual press conference about what will be his final game in charge of RBL.
Julian Nagelsmann on ...
... a record-breaking season as his legacy:
- "Fundamentally, I am very happy with the development of the team. We, team and staff, had another dinner together on Wednesday, where I praised the team and thanked them for their openness to accept my ideas. Especially this season, we have improved in every area statistically and we have consolidated our team. Even though we didn't score as many goals as last season, we created far more chances. Our defence was one of the best in the league, and Péter Gulácsi kept clean sheets very often.
If we can get the three points against Union, it will be the best season in RB Leipzig's history. I don't think any player has got worse under my leadership, many players have taken a step in the right direction. And I would also say that they enjoyed playing my style of football. We all enjoyed coming to work every day. In that regard, I'm very happy with the 'legacy' that I'm leaving behind."
- "It's never easy to say goodbye. When I was coach at TSG Hoffenheim, there was a feeling of uniqueness there. I didn't think I would experience such a bond again. But now, in my second year in Leipzig, I feel the same way once again. There has been an unbelievable feeling of togetherness here, not only on a professional level, but above all on a personal level.
Players, coaches, staff: everyone gave their all every day. Going to work felt a bit like going home. And when you spend so much time together, you develop friendships that extend far beyond the football pitch. Therefore, at the end of my speech at yesterday's dinner, a few tears were shed. However: you'll always meet again. That's the beauty of football; you will always come up against familiar faces. I will really miss the work here.
I'm incredibly grateful to the players here. As a coach, you can only take the next step in your career if your team has implemented your ideas. You need a team that believes in you as a coach and plays for you at certain times. I saw that just last week in the second halves against Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg.
I wish my players and the club nothing but the best! I am sure that there will be no drop-off. Every coach is replaceable - including me. Jesse Marsch is a capable coach, we have a very capable club here with capable players. I know that RB Leipzig will continue on its successful path. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to win a trophy, so I'll leave that to Jesse."
... His last opponent as RBL head coach:
- "Union Berlin deservedly find themselves in seventh place. When you see how Urs Fischer works with his team and how incredible the team spirit is, they could have done even better. But at the end of the day, they can be very happy with their season.
They have always shown a clear plan on the pitch and shown a lot of bravery in their play. They have had an equally clear plan with new signings. They are calm in their work and you don't have the impression that there are any disturbances from the outside. That's why I'm not surprised that they've shown such consistent performances in what is just their second season in the Bundesliga is just. They know how to put the opposition under pressure, they have the best running stats at 120.4km per game and are physically strong."
... the return of 2,000 spectators at the Alte Försterei:
- "It's important and nice that we're all returning bit by bit to normality. Even outside the football bubble, there are initial relaxations and gradual reopenings. We're really pleased that spectators will be allowed on Saturday at the Alte Försterei, even if the 2,000 fans won't exactly give us the warmest of welcome. However, it's a great thing that Union will have support."
... Halstenberg and Klostermann being called up to the Germany squad:
- "Both have earned it. Their performances have been good, even though both Halste and Klosti have been forced to miss parts of the season with injury. Joachim Löw will decide whether they will start the tournament as regulars. But of course, I wish them as much playing time as possible and hope that they will make an impact. Joachim Löw will know what they offer. In my opinion, it's a very sensible decision to call them up, because each of them can play in every position across the defensive line."
+++ Team news +++
- Tyler Adams has travelled to the USA to undergo rehabilitation for a back injury.
- Dani Olmo will also not be available to face Union Berlin due to a calf inury.
- Angelino is not yet completely pain-free and still has problems with his left thigh. In order not to avoid the risk of a serious injury, he will not be involved on Saturday.
- Lazar Samardzic is still in rehabilitation training - he is ready to resume normally again and is expected to return to training after the summer break.
- Dominik Szoboszlai took part in the team training this week and made a good impression, but he is not an option for Berlin. He is still lacking a bit of match toughness and needs a few more sessions.
- Péter Gulácsi will also not play against FCU. He has been given an early release in order to allow a capsule injury in his finger to heal and to be able to go into the European Championship free of pain.
- Josep Martínez will play in goal against Union Berlin.