The fear of another disappointing season was too great, the confidence too low. The bosses of FC Bayern have decided to dismiss Julian Nagelsmann after just 21 months in office as coach of the German record champions. Her decision is hard, surprising and momentous.

A week before the top game in the Bundesliga against Borussia Dortmund, the club is filling one of the most coveted positions in European football: Thomas Tuchel is expected to sign his contract in the coming days. Nagelsmann found out about his resignation from the media, and the club management wants to personally inform him of the decision this Friday.

The timing is surprising, Nagelsmann and his team had just won against Paris St. Germain in the Champions League round of 16. But then came the defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in the league. Previously, under Nagelsmann, Munich had already lost a lot of points and thus the lead over the current leaders Dortmund. The club bosses around CEO Oliver Kahn and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic were no longer convinced, they had seen too many fluctuations and question marks for a long time. Under Nagelsmann, the team rarely showed consistent top performances. The public oaths of allegiance over the past few weeks were worth little in the end.

Nagelsmann was to shape an era, the Bayern bosses had given him a five-year contract when he took office in 2021. A very expensive coach with a transfer fee of up to 25 million euros. However, the 35-year-old only won one title in his debut season.

Nagelsmann was the only young German coach at a world club. The public criticism of his captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer about the dismissal of the goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic recently raised questions about the internal relationship between Neuer, the team and the coach. Honorary President Uli Hoeneß publicly protected Nagelsmann. It was no use in the end. The bosses feared a season without a title – a disaster at Bayern. That is why they are now accepting a high severance payment for Nagelsmann.

Tuchel was available, the Bayern bosses took the opportunity to contact the coach, who was also being courted by other top clubs. In him, a coach joins the record champions who is an excellent professional and has experience in big clubs: he has coached Paris St. Germain, Chelsea and Dortmund, among others, and is used to dealing with international stars. Bayern have been interested in him in the past. In the top game he now meets his former club BVB, of all places, and then Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Tuchel had several problems with those responsible at his previous club. His collaborations with Salihamidzic and Kahn will be crucial to the club’s success.

FC Bayern had big plans for Julian Nagelsmann. At the end of his time in Munich there is only one title. One less than Niko Kovac, who managed the double. For Nagelsmann it is the first dismissal of his career as a head coach in professional football. FC Bayern and him – it didn’t work well enough. A courageous project with one of the youngest coaches in the club’s history comes to an unsuccessful end.