KENYA BROWN - Friday, May 29, 2020
VfB Stuttgart has locked down Pellegrino Matarazzo to a new contract as he leads the team to the brink of promotion.
The 2. Bundesliga team announced on Thursday that they and the Italian-American coach have agreed to a one-year extension to his contract, which will now run until June 2022. This comes on the heels of the team's latest win - a 3-2 victory over fellow promotion chasers Hamburg.
With the team currently in second place in the standings, Stuttgart saw fit to reward their coach.
"This contract extension had been planned for weeks now, and it is our way of demonstrating that we want to focus on consistency," said Stuttgart chairman Thomas Hitzlsperger. "Working together already with Pellegrino Matarazzo has made it clear to us that he has all the personal and professional skills required to be part of the club for a long time to come. In the space of just a few months, Pellegrino has shown that he is a perfect fit for VfB Stuttgart. In conjunction with the current sporting management team, the coach will have a considerable impact on the future of VfB Stuttgart on the pitch."
Matarazzo took over the Stuttgart coaching post in December 2019, leaving his assistant coaching duties at Hoffenheim. The 42-year-old has a lengthy resume as a player and coach in Germany. After graduating from Columbia University, he headed across the Atlantic to play 10 years in Germany's lower leagues. He then made the transition to the coaching ranks in 2010 when he was appointed as an assistant coach for Nurnberg's reserve team.
After moving through the ranks at Nurnberg, Matarazzo moved over to Hoffenheim, where he became an assistant under Julian Nagelsmann, who now coaches Tyler Adams at RB Leipzig.
The coach sees the new deal as the board putting faith into his plans as Stuttgart remains very much in the race for automatic promotion.
"Working with Thomas Hitzlsperger and Sven Mislintat has been a partnership based on trust right from the very first day. We have a common goal and an incredible motivation to enjoy success with VfB. I would like to thank Thomas and Sven and of course the other members of management at VfB for the trust that they have shown in me. My coaching staff and I will continue to do everything in our power to achieve our goals," said Matarazzo.
With a new contract in the books, Matarazzo will now continue to keep his players focused on moving up to the Bundesliga. Their next game is on Sunday when they face Dynamo Dresden.