Benjamin Weber: The man who conquered the football world with Tuchel – Sport
As a video analyst, Benjamin Weber dealt with the greatest footballers of the time. At Borussia Dortmund he edited game sequences for Ilkay Gündogan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembelé. At Paris Saint-Germain, he helped Kylian Mbappé, Angel Di Maria and Neymar to improve with his video editing Soccer. At Chelsea it was N’Golo Kanté, Thiago Silva and Romelu Lukaku.
Dortmund, Paris, London: The 39-year-old Weber worked for a total of twelve years under head coach Thomas Tuchel, first at FSV Mainz 05 and then at three of the most important football clubs in the world. He has gained so many titles, impressions, experiences and contacts that he now feels ready for a responsible role in professional football for the first time. To this end, the man from southern Hesse moves with his family from the metropolis of London to a town of 150,000 in East Westphalia and becomes the sporting director of the second division club SC Paderborn. The best players there are currently Ron Schallenberg from Paderborn, Felix Platte from East Westphalia and Julian Justvan from Landshut.
Little Paderborn is a source of inspiration for German football
Weber will have wonderful anecdotes to tell from the big wide world of superstars, but of course they didn’t bring him to SC Paderborn for that. When their head of sport, Fabian Wohlgemuth, was recently recruited by Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, they once again needed a short-term replacement. It is by no means the first time that the Bundesliga uses Paderborn. The coaches Roger Schmidt (today Benfica Lisbon), André Breitenreiter (today TSG Hoffenheim) and Steffen Baumgart (1. FC Köln) were recruited from there over the years, as was football manager Markus Krösche (Eintracht Frankfurt).
The once rather inconspicuous Paderborn has developed into a source of inspiration for German football. Under the care of president and former professional footballer Thomas Sagel, this image now even helps the club to keep finding promising newcomers in niches. They successfully replaced trainer Baumgart in 2021 with Lukas Kwasniok from 1. FC Saarbrücken, and despite a flood of external applicants, they turned to Tuchel’s video analyst Weber for the post as head of sport, who threw out the entire coaching staff at Chelsea in September had been.
“I didn’t expect a call from Paderborn,” Weber admitted with a smile at his presentation in East Westphalia, but “the family, the goal-oriented and the innovative in this club” gave him a good feeling right away. After six years abroad, he is also looking forward to working with his family just two and a half hours away from home, in the Taunus. He also said that at his first press conference in Paderborn, and when it was over, the moderator Matthias Hack reported to the camera that Weber was looking for a house in the Paderborn area, and if anyone had one to rent, please get in touch. “It has to be cheap,” Weber called out with a grin.
In 2006, when he was still a sports student in Mainz and a part-time job at a media production company, the passionate tennis player and skier happened to be a video analyst at FSV Mainz 05. From then on he had already prepared game and training scenes for coach Jürgen Klopp. He later conquered the football world with Tuchel – and won ten titles as part of the coaching team, including the Champions League in 2021 with Chelsea, the French championship in 2019 and 2020 with Paris Saint-Germain and the DFB Cup with Dortmund in 2017. Because this was his first title in football – and then of all things against the geographically closest club of his childhood, Eintracht Frankfurt – he counts that evening in Berlin as one of the most emotional of his career.
As a video analyst, Weber was not only an electronic assistant in the Tuchel team, but also provided relevant input as part of the coaching staff. His responsibilities grew with each club change. While he helped set up video analysis in Mainz, he was head of an entire department in London. Over the years he has learned from the head coach Tuchel as well as from his assistant Arno Michels. Assistant coach Zsolt Löw was added in Paris. Weber says: “Because I was constantly developing in this team, at some point the idea matured of doing more than the video job.”
Tuchel’s former analyst has a tennis and ski instructor license
He learned a lot from Tuchel as one of the most renowned coaches. When asked how much, he replies, “I don’t even know what I’m talking about Thomas Tuchel pour out all the praise.” He is Tuchel’s biggest fan and has found a friend for life in him. also “recognize situations in the dressing room” and be able to help. However, Weber does not see himself as a coach. He has a tennis and ski instructor license, but has never played football.
But that wasn’t important to those responsible in Paderborn either. “We are known for ‘projects’,” says President Sagel, referring to the sometimes unusual acquisition of personnel: “We also look at the second row.” The aim for the future is to further develop the Paderborn location in such a way that a trainer or sports director can then be retained for other offers. “We’re looking for people to help us on this journey.”
Benjamin Weber should also be one of them. But he first has to make a name for himself in this job, which is new to him. SC Paderborn ranks sixth in the second division, seven points behind the relegation place; he doesn’t want to lean too far out of the window with goals. In the seasons 2014/15 (when Breitenreiter was a coach) and 2019/20 (with Baumgart), Paderborn played for a season in the first Bundesliga. The desire to return there someday doesn’t sound too bold. Weber says: “The second league is a very exciting league and our aim is to develop further.” And getting promoted to the Bundesliga with Paderborn is about as emotional as winning the Champions League.