Photo: Tom Weller / dpa
Pellegrino Matarazzo should save TSG Hoffenheim from relegation from the Bundesliga.
The club of majority owner Dietmar Hopp announced the commitment of the 45-year-old coach, who received a contract until June 2025.
Matarazzo succeeds André Breitenreiter, from whom the Kraichgau parted ways on Sunday as a result of their month-long decline.
The new coach celebrates his debut on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen (3.30 p.m. / TV: Sky).
»Rino not only knows our club, but also a large part of the team from his own experience.
Conversely, we also know him and are therefore convinced that he is the right man for the head coach position," says TSG director of professional football Alexander Rosen in a club statement.
Matarazzo, who had to leave TSG local rivals VfB Stuttgart last October, is an old acquaintance in Hoffenheim.
Before his time at VfB, the American with an Italian background was U17 coach at Hoffenheim from 2017 to 2019 and later assistant to boss Julian Nagelsmann.
In December 2019, Matarazzo was signed by VfB.
The coach led the then second division team back to the Bundesliga and held the class twice with the club.
After nine games without a win at the beginning of the current season, Matarazzo was over with the Swabians.
Ten competitive games without a win
A difficult task awaits the new coach, who lives just a few kilometers from the TSG headquarters.
The Kraichgauer have not won any of their last ten competitive games.
In the round of 16 of the DFB Cup, defending champions RB Leipzig were the last stop (1: 3), in the league Hoffenheim have only scored two points in the last nine games.
The advantage over the relegation rank is only three points.
The development does not correspond to Hopps' ideas, who would like to see his club continuously in international business.
That's why Breitenreiter was the third TSG coach in a row after Alfred Schreuder and Sebastian Hoeneß to have to leave early.
All of Nagelsmann's successors did not make it to the original end of the contract.