Labbadia back as coach for struggling Stuttgart




STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Stuttgart brought Bruno Labbadia back for a second spell as coach Monday as it fights to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Labbadia has been given a contract through June 2025 and will take charge of his first training session next week.

Stuttgart is 16th in the 18-team Bundesliga and in the relegation playoff spot. Michael Wimmer had been caretaker coach since Stuttgart fired American Pellegrino Matarazzo in October.

Labbadia took Stuttgart to a sixth-place finish and a German Cup final during his first spell at the club from 2010 through 2013. He also twice qualified the team for the Europa League, something it hasn't managed since.

Both Stuttgart and Labbadia's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since. Stuttgart is trying to avoid what would be its third relegation since 2016, while Labbadia has been without a coaching job since being fired by Hertha Berlin in January 2021 after nine months in the job.

Stuttgart sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth, who himself was only appointed Saturday as part of wide-ranging changes at the club, said hiring Labbadia showed a need for ''experience and stability.''

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