Created on 07-03-2012 at 00:00 AM
Markus Babbel would prefer not to be reminded of his last visit to the Allianz Arena, when the team he coached fell 3-0 behind after just 13 minutes, and went on to suffer a four-goal hiding. The former Bayern star returns to the Arena dugout on Saturday, not as Hertha Berlin boss as he was in October last year, but instead as Holger Stanislawski's successor as Hoffenheim supremo.
Babbel took up his new position in February, four Bundesliga matchdays ago - and the 39-year-old has yet to finish on the losing side with his new club. Ahead of his second trip to Munich this season as the visiting head coach, Babbel spoke to official FCB journal Bayern Magazin about the Munich giants, his new club, and his time in Berlin. fcbayern.de presents excerpts from the interview.
Interview: Markus Babbel
Did you know you're responsible for a Bayern Magazin first? You're the first visiting coach to give us an interview on behalf of two different teams in a single season!
Marcus Babbel: I didn't know that, but what I do know now is that no other coach who's changed clubs during a season has had to visit Bayern twice. And given I was steamrollered 4-0 with Hertha, at least I now have a chance to do better on my second time visit, this time with Hoffenheim.
Both as a player and coach, you've been with big and established clubs such as Bayern, Liverpool, Stuttgart and Hertha. What’s so appealing about the job in Hoffenheim?
There are a number of aspects, including working with a young and extremely talented team, the perfect training conditions, and management by an exceptionally competent set of officials. It’s also just as much of an attraction to play a part in the early, but already extremely fascinating history of Hoffenheim as a Bundesliga club. What’s happened here in such a short time is sensational. Hoffenheim are the first new club in decades to become established in the Bundesliga, and developments here are far from complete. It's very appealing and a huge challenge for me.