Blessin, a German at Genoa. His creed? Players need little sleep …

Rangnick’s former student in Leipzig makes the group train in the morning when his team plays in the evening: he claims that resting for a long time does not help to better prepare for the game

Empty stage, little enthusiasm. With the Coronavirus, football has changed. At least in the emotions it conveys. The absence of fans at the matches affects a lot. Some protagonists, without them, flatten out. Alexander Blessin no, never. Not even during the break for the national teams, not even during training sessions in which, without the best players (involved in the national team, in fact), he is forced to promote several Primavera players. He screams, yells, makes himself heard. He does not accept that there are drops in concentration or tension, he does not accept that he does not push the accelerator. All time. The German, the new Genoa coach, is like that. He does not ask the best of his players, he demands it. And also for this attitude of his in Belgium he has just been awarded as the best coach of 2021. And to vote were his colleagues and the players of the Belgian league.

Profile

For about 18 months Blessin has been the manager of Ostenda, a club with which he won a title while not winning any competition: being awarded as the best coach without having achieved successes is significant. It shows that it is perceived, both inside and outside the club, as an added value. “I am proud of the award because coaches and players vote – explained Blessin -, but who is a good coach today? You simply want to be authentic, have an idea, a precise game philosophy, but in the end, the results count. In the last year we have done a good job, but nothing more ”. Yet it is not easy to work at Ostenda: eight coaches had passed before him in four years. In 2020 the club was second to last, but with the outbreak of the pandemic the federation decided to block relegations. That summer Blessin arrived, who with him, in his suitcase, also brought excellent results: fifth place in 2020-21. And so the club was able to gross 15 million euros on the market in the summer. Oxygen for society. Blessin likes a modern attacking football, possibly with young players able to keep up the pace. The preferred form is 3-5-2. Curiosity: he does not like to sleep too much. When his team plays in the evening, he has the group train in the morning, arguing that resting long does not help to better prepare for the game.

Career

After a not particularly exciting career as a footballer, Blessin first does an internship in the police, then works for an insurance agency. In 2012, however, he enters the Leipzig youth sector, where he will train for 8 years following the precepts of Rangnick. There it does so well that it attracts the attention of the Pacific Media Group, which controls several clubs (for example Nice until 2019) and professionals around the world. Among these, the Ostend, which thus decides to take Blessin and bet on him. “In Leipzig he helped many players, who later became first-tier, to grow – explained the Belgian club on the day of the presentation -. This is more than enough for us. We have analyzed some matches of his teams, including some of his choices in race after race. His changes are always offensive, he never puts in a defender with 10 minutes left. He always tries to score another goal, even when he is ahead ”. Married to Charlotte (who works for Hugo Boss), he has three daughters. However, the women in his life continued to live in Germany even during his time in Belgium. Yet, every weekend, they traveled over 600 kilometers to be present at the Ostenda matches. Now the adventure at Genoa, the first as a coach in a club of one of the top 5 championships in Europe. He signed up to 2024. But he aspires to more. It will be noticed with his enthusiasm, which echoes in the often (semi) empty stadiums of the post Covid.

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Blessin, a German at Genoa. His creed? Players need little sleep …

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