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Nagelsmann deserves 'Baby Mourinho' title, says Kramaric

Rookie coach Julian Nagelsmann deserves all the plaudits he is receiving after leading Hoffenheim into the Champions League, according to the club's striker Andrej Kramaric.

In his first season in charge in the Bundesliga, 29-year-old Nagelsmann has masterminded Hoffenheim's guaranteed top-four finish and has been dubbed 'Baby Mourinho' in honour of United boss Jose, who enjoyed similar success at a relatively young age with Porto.

Kramaric has hit 13 Bundesliga goals to help Nagelsmann's men sit fourth in the table with two games to go and the Croatian forward hailed the impact of his boss.

"He deserved that ['Baby Mourinho' tag]," Kramaric told Omnisport. "For me, he is one of the best coaches that have trained me.

"I have to say for now everyone is happy with him and surely he's happy with us because this is a special season for him, for me, for my team-mates and for the club. So everything is special.

"He's so young to be one of the best coaches in the league. Why not be one of the best coaches in the world? It is the dream of every coach, it is the dream of every player to be able to say that one day you are the best. Surely that's his dream.

"From the first moment he came into the club he put in front of us where he wanted us to play. And we saw what he wanted and it was very clear that we had to follow these rules. From the first game I think everybody knew our job and we follow those rules and the principals and the style of the football. We work on that in training every day and that is of course one of the reasons why we are here."

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Kramaric watched much of Leicester City's unlikely Premier League title triumph from the bench before joining Hoffenheim in January 2016, with his two league appearances making him ineligible to receive a winners' medal, but he has no regrets about leaving.

"Of course every player wants to play as much as possible," Kramaric added. "I played some games in the Premier League, I played some games in the cup.

"But I knew that admittedly the style of the football and the style of the team was a little bit different than, for example, now in Hoffenheim. Especially as it was the summer of some special story, which is very rare to happen in sport. 

"There were a lot of quality players and when you have success of course the coach doesn't want to change something. And of course in the end I was very happy because I had been there and I don't regret anything. It was my first step from Croatia, from home and in the end I don't regret anything. And I'm happy because I felt it."