Soccer-Coach Labbadia returns to Hamburg on 15-month deal

* Labbadia returns for second spell * Hamburg end talks with Tuchel (Updates with more details, quotes, background) BERLIN, April 15 (Reuters) - Struggling Hamburg SV on Wednesday appointed Bruno Labbadia as their new coach with immediate effect in a surprise decision with the former European champions anchored in last place with six matches left. Despite widespread speculation about a pending deal with former Mainz 05 coach Thomas Tuchel, Hamburg said they had agreed on a 15-month contract with Labbadia, who had coached them in 2009-10. The coach's contract is also valid for the second division should Hamburg be relegated. He takes over from interim coach Peter Knaebel who replaced sacked Joe Zinnbauer in March and will now return to his post as sports director. "We decided to take this step because we consider the coach question the most important," said Hamburg CEO Dietmar Beiersdorfer in a statement. "With Bruno Labbadia we now have a strong coach who is also experienced in relegation battles." Beiersdorfer said the club had ended talks with Tuchel after an agreement could not be reached. Hamburg are the only club with a perfect Bundesliga record, having played every season in the top division since the league's creation in 1963. The 49-year-old Labbadia, a former Hamburg player, has also coached Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart among other. "We have no time to waste," Labbadia said. "Every point matters for us and I am happy that Hamburg has such support from the fans. Because we have to be a unit until the last matchday." (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)