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“Hard to talk about”- Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel opens up on how he rekindled his career in football after early setback at 24

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Thomas Tuchel has had a massive impact at Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel opens up on making it as a coach following a career-ending injury at the age of 24

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is one of the visionary bosses of his generation and is currently leading the Blues into a new era of domination.

Having taken the reins midway last season from club legend Frank Lampard, the German manager’s task was never an easy one. He has however met the challenge head-on and led the club to a top-four finish and also the UEFA Champions League title.

Tuchel has since led Chelsea to the UEFA Super Cup and has made them into early-season title challengers. Such glory would have sounded fantastic years ago, when a 24-year-old Tuchel had to cut short his playing career due to injury.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel opens up on making it as a coach following a career-ending injury at the age of 24
Tuchel’s career as a player was cut short. (Jose Breton)

According to the club’s official website, Tuchel goes on to reveal how he overcame the stigma of having played only lower league football to emerge as a top tier coach.

The 48-year-old has no qualms about admitting the lack of first division opportunities he experienced. But then action speaks louder than words and Tuchel’s experience as a manager has certainly shown that.

“It is a bit hard to talk about my [playing] career because it ended before it even started, with some games in the second and third division. That was pretty much it.”

The Blues boss goes on to add that having to give up his playing career was a dream that came crashing down. It was a difficult thing to accept and Tuchel could not muster the willpower to even attend games.

“It was a dream that crashed and I did not know what to do. It was even painful to go into a stadium and watch games because it did not feel right to not be a part of it.”

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel opens up on making it as a coach following a career-ending injury at the age of 24
Thomas Tuchel won the UCL with Chelsea in 2021. (imago Images)

Tuchel went on to complete a business degree before being persuaded by the legendary Ralf Rangnick to try his hand at coaching youth teams. It proved to be a life-altering piece of advice as Tuchel rediscovered his passion for the game.

“From there the story went very well for me because I found the passion again and instantly found the joy to be on the pitch out there.”

The Blues boss is unsure if having a second chance to make it in football gives him something more. He, however, remains grateful to still be a part of the game.

“I am just grateful to have the chance to do this as a job.”

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Tuchel is one of an elite band of managers who have lacked that element of success as players. Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have also proved themselves adept given their relative lack of glory as players.

On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and even Frank Lampard failed to reach the same levels they exhibited on the field. Clearly, there is no definitive answer as to what makes a top-class coach.

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