For coach Pal Dardai, the return to relegation candidate Hertha BSC was an affair of the heart. “Actually, the plan was for me to come back to the academy in the summer. Then the call came that they wanted to talk to me,” Dardai said at his presentation on Monday: “It took a little long, but I said yes. I want to go back get to the point that the Hertha youth players don’t leave the club, that they find the A team sexy again.”
He gave “half his life to ensure that we have a good youth department,” said the 47-year-old: “But we need a good senior team for that. And if this senior team is relegated now, then with me – that’s that. Either stay in with me or get off with me.”
After the 5-2 swatter at Schalke 04, Hertha fell to last place in the table on Friday. As a result, Dardai, who had looked after the Berliners from 2015 to 2019 and 2021, replaced coach Sandro Schwarz on Sunday.
However, the final decision on Dardai’s third term in office was made by his wife Monika. “The whole of Germany can laugh now. I don’t have the pants on at home, but Monika,” said Dardai: “Tommy and Benni (Managing Director Thomas Herrich and Sports Director Benjamin Weber/ed. Red.) Were lucky, they persuaded them . Monika made the decision: ‘Okay, if you want to do it, then do it’.”
In the meantime, Dardai had already made friends with life without the Bundesliga circus. “I’ve always said, ‘Now I’m retired.’ I got used to it. I didn’t know that there was such a beautiful life. Without the stress. I also thought that after two weeks I would go crazy,” he said. Instead, he followed his three sons’ soccer games – and bought a dog.
More precisely a malitpoo. “Just like dad”, is the four-legged friend: “He bites. No, he’s a dream.” the Hungarian joked, admitting: “I’ve become a completely different person. A friend said to me: ‘If you buy a dog, you become a completely different person.’ I laughed at him. But it’s really like that. It’s a dream. Pal Dardai is a nice person now. Yesterday I agreed, today the poor dog suffered because I left him at home. My wife can’t travel away, she has to stay home.”