Why Thomas Tuchel retired from football at the age of 24

Most people recognize Thomas Tuchel as former manager of Dortmund and PSG and current manager of Chelsea. A lot of people do not know that he used to be a player. Well, his playing career did not last and here is why.

Born in Krumbach, Bavaria, Tuchel starred as a member of local club, the TSV Krumbach, coached by his father Rudolf. Tuchel moved to the academy at FC Augsburg in 1988, however, he never appeared for the first team, being released when he turned 19.

There, coach Heiner Schuhmann’s evaluation of Tuchel during his tenure at Augsburg noted he “was a passionate player who gave his all on the pitch, but had few friends among his teammates because he was exacting and demanding”. After he was released, Tuchel signed for 2. Bundesliga side Stuttgarter Kickers in 1992.

Tuchel played eight games during the 1992–93 season. After the 1993–94 season, he was dropped from Kickers’ first team, and joined Regionalliga Süd side SSV Ulm, coached by Hermann Badstuber, the father of Holger Badstuber, whom Tuchel would later manage at youth level.

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Playing as a central defender, he played for SSV Ulm until being forced to retire in 1998, at the age of 24, after suffering a knee cartilage injury.

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