Bruno Labbadia named new head coach of Hertha Berlin

The former Wolfsburg and Hamburg coach will be the fourth different person to occupy the Hertha dugout this season.

Bruno Labbadia will be charged with saving a miserable season for the club.   -  AP

Bruno Labbadia will succeed Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach of Hertha Berlin, the Bundesliga club announced Thursday, confirming earlier reports in the German media.

“With Bruno, we have someone who knows the Bundesliga well from his many years as a player and a coach and has shown that he can stabilise teams and lead them back up the table,” sporting director Michael Preetz said.

According to newspaper Bild and football magazine Kicker, 52-year-old Labbadia will sign a contract until 2022 to oversee preparations should the German league resume next month after being halted on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Wolfsburg and Hamburg coach will be the fourth different person to occupy the Hertha dugout this season, and will be charged with saving a miserable season for the capital city club. Hertha, which is backed by a wealthy investor, is 14th in the table, six points from the relegation places with nine games left.

Labbadia has recent experience of avoiding relegation, having kept Wolfsburg up in 2017-18 before guiding it to a Europa League place the following season.

Return to training

Like most of the top-flight clubs, Hertha returned to training this week for the first time since the competition was stopped because of the virus. However, Hertha’s caretaker coach Alexander Nouri was not involved as he remained with his family in Bremen.

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Nouri was named in a caretaker capacity in mid-February when Klinsmann, a former USA and Germany head coach, walked out after just 76 days in charge. The former Bayern Munich and Tottenham star was brought in as a short-term solution in November after Hertha made a disastrous start to the season under former coach Ante Covic.

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