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Hoffenheim make 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann the youngest ever coach in the Bundesliga

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SINSHEIM, Germany — Relegation-threatened Hoffenheim made 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann the youngest ever coach in the Bundesliga on Thursday.

Yet to even earn his coaching credentials from the German football federation (DFB), Nagelsmann was originally supposed to take over next season, but his appointment was brought forward, a day after Huub Stevens stepped down for health reasons.

Following "intensive talks," Hoffenheim gave Nagelsmann a deal through June 2019.

"We have a duty of care to the club and, of course, to the people involved. Together with Julian, we already went through all the risks involved last autumn and we've now decided to start our joint course earlier," Hoffenheim CEO Peter Goerlich said.

Hoffenheim was five points off the relegation-playoff place and seven points from safety after 20 rounds of the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann's first game is at fellow struggler Werder Bremen on Saturday.

"I know about this tremendous challenge that will be even harder due to the current table situation," said Nagelsmann, who added that he was nevertheless "not worried. I'm looking forward to the team and giving it a boost through my work."

Nagelsmann is highly regarded after almost a decade coaching the youth sides of 1860 Munich and then Hoffenheim. He was Hoffenheim assistant coach in 2012-13. The DFB and German football league have both approved the appointment.

As a player, Nagelsmann lined up for Bavarian sides Augsburg and 1860 Munich before turning his attention to coaching.

The 62-year-old Stevens resigned on Wednesday due to heart rhythm irregularities. He confirmed his coaching career was over.

Stevens took over at the end of October after Markus Gisdol was fired, but couldn't improve the side's second-to-last position.

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