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Baba determined to repay Schalke faith

Football
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Domenico Tedesco 'not bothered' by Julian Nagelsmann comparisons

Domenico Tedesco has replaced Marcus Weinzierl at Schalke.
Domenico Tedesco is one of the youngest coaches in Europe.

New Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco is not bothered by comparisons with Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann.

Following a disappointing season at the Veltins Arena that saw the club fail to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2009, Schalke parted ways with coach Markus Weinzierl, 42, and appointed 31-year-old Tedesco.

The Italian-born German only left Hoffenheim's academy to take over second-tier club Aue in early 2017, but he caught Schalke's eye by securing them another year of football in the 2. Bundesliga with 20 points from 11 matches.

Tedesco becomes the second-youngest manager in Europe's top five leagues, after Nagelsmann, and he has been compared with the 29-year-old because of his age and his path through the Hoffenheim academy.

"I am not bothered by them," Tedesco told a news conference about the comparisons with Nagelsmann. "We are both young, we are both from Hoffenheim, and both went through the same coaching course. I like Julian a lot. And everything's just fine."

Schalke and especially sporting executive Christian Heidel are under pressure after last season's performance but, speaking at Tedesco's unveiling, Heidel said that he could have taken an easier path by sticking with Weinzierl.

"We could have just entered the new season with the old setup," he said. "It would have been easier, and I put the pressure on myself. We were no longer convinced of our path, and needed to make changes. It's not about me, it's about Schalke."

Heidel added that the goal in the 2017-18 season has to be to "steer [Schalke] back to the European places, no doubt about that."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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