Bundesliga: No Raúl: Union Berlin brings Nenad Bjelica as new coach

Contrary to persistent speculation about world star Raúl, 1.

Bundesliga: No Raúl: Union Berlin brings Nenad Bjelica as new coach

Contrary to persistent speculation about world star Raúl, 1. FC Union Berlin has hired Croatian Nenad Bjelica as their new coach. The former national player succeeds Urs Fischer, who has been released, as the Bundesliga club, which has slipped to second-to-last place in the table, announced. The TV channel Sky had previously reported on it.

"In Nenad Bjelica, we have been able to attract an experienced coach who has worked successfully in various countries. He has a clear idea of ​​how he wants to lead our team and what type of football they should play; we are entrusting him with the task, to lead them to success again," said President Dirk Zingler the day after the 1-1 draw against FC Augsburg.

As usual, Union did not provide any information about the length of the contract. Since consistency is very important in Köpenick, the Berliners are likely to aim for a long-term commitment. Bjelica coached the Turkish first division club Trabzonspor until mid-October. Now he is moving from the port city on the Black Sea to the Berlin district association.

Active in Germany

Bjelica is known to German football fans from his time at 1. FC Kaiserslautern. The Croatian played there from 2001 to 2004. After his active career, coaching positions followed in the top leagues in Austria (FK Austria Wien), Poland (Lech Poznan), Croatia (Dinamo Zagreb) and Turkey. He gained Champions League experience with Zagreb and Vienna.

Union is his first Bundesliga position as a coach. Bjelica hardly has time to shape the team according to his ideas until Christmas. The next game is on Wednesday (9 p.m./DAZN), the Champions League game at SC Braga. Then the preliminary decision will probably be made as to whether the Iron Men will slip into the Europa League as third in the group next year.

The rest of the program is also tough: After the games against Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, Berlin will host Real Madrid.

Huge shoes to fill

Bjelica takes over the capital city team at a sporting low point: 15 games without a win, second to last in the table, in the middle of a relegation battle. Things can't really get any worse. "My job is to lead the team out of a difficult phase and to bring out its strengths again. I want to see well-organized, active and dominant football and players who are ready to take responsibility. We will work on that together from now on ", said Bjelica.

The footsteps that Urs Fischer has left behind after more than five years are huge. Union and the long-time successful coach separated amicably last week after slipping into the relegation zone. Now Bjelica should lead the unsettled team to stay in the league. The interim coaching duo Marco Grote and Marie-Louise Eta looked after the team against Augsburg.