Christian Heidel, the man who gave Thomas Tuchel his first senior managerial job at Mainz, has revealed what makes the Chelsea boss special ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday.
Heidel first met Tuchel in 2008, when he was interviewing for Mainz’s Under 19 role.
He made an immediate impression and, a year later, Heidel promoted Tuchel to first-team boss.
“Thomas is an absolute perfectionist. That concerns every aspect of his job – every training has to be perfect, every game has to be perfect,” Heidel said as quoted by Daily Mail.
“He plays the game through in his head before and expects it to be perfect.”
“We were on a training camp in Austria and we had a training match against Olympiacos. Thomas was really looking closely at the lawn – he was basically measuring the height, sniffing the grass, paying so much attention,” continues Heidel.
“He was so thrilled about this particular pitch that he wanted me to transfer the groundsman to Mainz.
“The next day the groundsman called me and said, ‘I heard that we’re going to have some talks about a contract’.”
“It’s important to let them become who they are,” addes Heidel. “Give them freedom to be themselves and to make mistakes. Don’t punish them right away.
“Give them trust and have trust in their development. I believe Thomas really enjoyed this and this helped him develop as a coach and become who he is.”
“Everybody is lucky that he usually wins more games than he loses,” says Heidel.
“If there is a loss, it actually pains him a lot. It’s almost like physical pain to him because he’s so invested in the game. He will not so much blow up but rather analyse every little detail of the game to find out why his plan didn’t work.
“Jurgen, who is one of my close friends, is a people whisperer – he puts a spell on his players. But Thomas, despite his reputation, is kind of the same.
“He clashed with more players but even then the team would have followed him into any battle – they were devoted to him. Jurgen, Thomas and Pep Guardiola work close to absolute perfection.”