Written by Paul Gorgas
As the new coach of Hertha, Sandro Schwartz, 43, will begin the rebuilding process, forming a unit of an uneasy team that has played against relegation three times in a row. BZ introduces coach Schwarz – and the person Sandro.
“I am not the type to like to talk about myself. I will pretty much embody what I want to see. We want to do it without spitting out big tones.”
Who is the coach that is supposed to get the Berlin players back on the right track, how does he move?
Although Schwartz was raised as the son of an Italian father in Gensheim, Hessen, he was born and bred in Mainz.
As a child, Schwartz wanted to become a bus driver – but then his football career took off.
His mother, Rosie, was already a fan of the 05ers, with Schwarz making it to the first team in 1998 as a defensive midfielder. At the time it was considered more straightforward, he had left the exact blade to others. His game intelligence was still evident.
Black played alongside current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (54) for the second tier side at the time – and he has painful memories of it. After several tough duels in training, Klopp in rage built up his forehead against Schwartz and gave him a light headshot – but Schwartz suffered a tear. This did not harm the friendship between the two, one day later both laughed at the incident and soon Klopp became Schwartz’s coach in 2001.
Another classmate became a close friend of Schwartz during this time: he established a joint apartment with former BVB coach Marco Rose (45). To this day, the two coaches are close and go on vacation together.
After Mainz was promoted in 2004, Schwartz remained in the second division, playing first with Essen and later with Wiesbaden. Like Klopp in Mainz, he went from player to coach overnight when he was in labour. In 2009, his officials made him a coach at a bar in Taunusstein. Schwartz, who used to take notes after every training session as a player, coached the club with a special permit from the German Football Association – the first step on the road that eventually led him to Hertha.
After more positions, especially with the Mainz youth team, Schwartz worked his way up to the position of Pro Technical Director in 2017. He sat on the bench at FSV in 85 competitive matches and played fast-paced football.
Herta has to move on now too. Schwartz: “We have a very active and forward-looking style of play. There has to be energy on the pitch.”
And blacks should make Herta’s jewels shine. He showed his youthful talent in Mainz, with Jonathan Burkhardt (21), Riddle Baku (24) and Abdo Diallo (26) making their debuts under his stewardship. In Berlin, Schwartz can count on talent from the Hertha Academy.
Who helps him: his proximity. Black trusts his players, so he keeps them tied up for a long time.
In Mainz, black was just “Sandro” for many. Anyone who knows Schwartz knows he’s ambitious and self-critical, but never takes himself too seriously. From time to time, the coach allows himself to smoke a cigarette. Perhaps to smooth things over: Lions can get emotionally at stake.
He was the first coach in the Bundesliga to receive a yellow and red card in 2019. Although the image of the friend annoys him, he has a good feeling for his team.
This is one of the reasons why he remained coach of the club Dynamo Moscow, where he has worked since October 2020, after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Schwartz: “People from the dynamo environment are good people, they have a clear position on this topic.”
Added to this is the focused football experience. The Lions are football crazy and seem to only think about the game 24 hours a day. Former assistant Andrei Voronin (42): “I kept asking him in Moscow: do you still have time for your family?”
Owned by Schwartz: He has children Frida and Carlo with his Croatian wife, Katharina. With them he is now planning the next chapter of his career in Berlin from his current residence in Frankfurt.
Schwartz: “I’m excited to be working hard now to make a difference in the mood as a society.”