TSG 1899 Hoffenheim have parted company with coach Ralf Rangnick, with Marco Pezzaiuoli promoted from the role of assistant to take his place.
Rangnick, 52, leaves Hoffenheim in eighth place in the Bundesliga following a remarkable journey together since his appointment in 2006, when the club were still in the third division. Just over two years later, Hoffenheim won promotion to the Bundesliga and they actually led the table midway through their first season among Germany's elite.
"The club's amazing success in getting to the Bundesliga will forever be linked with Ralf Rangnick, but after the project of reaching the Bundesliga was already achieved after two years, it is reasonable that Ralf Rangnick is seeking challenges of a bigger dimension," said the club's benefactor, Dietmar Hopp, when announcing that Rangnick had departed by mutual consent. The news came 24 hours after confirmation of defender Luiz Gustavo's sale to FC Bayern München.
Hopp also revealed that Hoffenheim's new coach would be the 42-year-old Pezzaiuoli, who became Rangnick's assistant last summer. His coaching experience is mostly limited to training Germany's junior national teams, though he also had spells on the staff of Karlsruher SC and Korean club Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
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