"Professor" Tuchel versus Flick "the emphatic leader"
Paris Saint-Germain versus Bayern Munich: Tuchel versus Flick
Erich Rutemoller, who trained both men to be coaches, gives his insight
Flick is an "emphatic leader", Tuchel a "footballing professor"
When the final of the UEFA Champions League between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich kicks off on Sunday 23 August in Lisbon, there will be a German coach on both benches, namely Thomas Tuchel and Hansi Flick. As was the case in 2019, when Jurgen Klopp steered Liverpool to Champions League glory, the winning coach will come from Germany once again. Julian Nagelsmann of RB Leipzig also made it three German coaches in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time.
"It’s a great sign and shows that Germany stands for good training methods and has a wonderful teaching staff for coaches," said Erich Rutemoller, who was head of training for those looking to achieve their coaching licences at the German Football Association (DFB) for a good number of years, and is proud of the work done by his successors Frank Wormuth and Daniel Niedzkowski and the team that they work with.
Rutemoller had both Bayern coach Flick (in 2003) and PSG coach Tuchel (in 2006) as his students when they were applying for their licences. "Flick came to coaching training and wanted to learn absolutely everything. Along with Thomas Doll, he was the best in his year. His methods stood out to me and it comes as no surprise that he is where he is now," explained Rutemoller, who has gone on to work in an advisory capacity with Koln, to FIFA.com.
"Tuchel’s development came as more of a surprise to me. He came to training having already completed his sports science studies and he was working with youth teams at Augsburg. I thought that his career would take him into working with sports associations or youth teams as opposed to coaching clubs like Dortmund or PSG. So I’m all the more delighted to see how Thomas has developed."
We asked Rutemoller what particular characteristics the two coaches have that sets them apart from the rest:
Flick — calm yet emphatic
"Comparing coaches is always tough because they each develop their own style. What I can say is that even back when he was a player, Flick already had a coach’s mindset. He was always questioning different things – and himself. We talked about having a game plan and he was a real team player," said Rutemoller, who was Flick’s head coach at Koln in 1990/91.
"Flick’s main strength is his calm yet emphatic manner. He knows that he’s no Diego Simeone and that it wouldn’t come across as genuine if he behaved like that on the sidelines. He’s the kind of coach that he already was as a player under me. He was a solid midfielder who was full of running, never spectacular but did what was asked of him and was always willing to learn."
Tuchel gets Neymar up and running
"Tuchel is more savvy – he’s a footballing professor. In the semi-final against RB Leipzig you could see his imprint on the match and it showed what a great coach he is. He managed to get an entire team of world-class players right behind him," said Rutemoller, before going into greater detail.
"What really impressed me was the whole team’s willingness to run. I’ve rarely seen Neymar cover so much ground, and he did it because he wanted to and not because he had to. When you get that kind of impression watching a team as a spectator, then you know that the coach has done an excellent job."
Who is going to win on Sunday?
"Jose Mourinho said that in football, you’re always battling against chance, and I tend to agree with that. Sunday’s match will come down to little details and I’m expecting it to be a tight one. The defences on either side will really be up against it when you look at how strong the two forward lines are," said Rutemoller. "My heart is obviously with Bayern as they’re a German team but first and foremost, I’m looking forward to a really good match, because in my eyes, the right two teams have made it through to the final."
Photo: DFB coaching academy 2003; Erich Rutemoller (back row, right), Hansi Flick (third row, third from the left)