Football players who became the most successful managers


Johan Cruyff

JOHANNESBURG – SOME of the greatest players have struggled when they switched to coaching.

This is because the two jobs are not the same. Playing a game like the 888bet aviator game many times and becoming a pro can obviously help if you are coaching another to do well at it, but that also involves great communication skills to effectively transfer your knowledge. This is probably not a great example to illustrate the difference between playing and coaching, but you get the basic idea.

And so with that, we move to our main topic to discuss some of the best footballers who also became the most successful managers in the sport.

1- Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff was one of greatest footballers of all time. He was incredibly successful during his playing career at Barcelona and Ajax, while he also led the Netherlands team to the final of the 1974 World Cup. The Dutch footballer, who played either as a forward or an attacking midfielder, won three Ballon d’Or awards during his career.

Cruyff switched to coaching after retirement and also achieved enormous success as a manager. He was a proponent of Total Football, a system in which any outfield player can take over the role of any other player in a team. The Dutch expert favoured a more possession-based approach, and his style became hugely popular around the world.
He started coaching at Ajax and led them to cup successes before going on to join Barcelona. His managerial stint at the Catalans saw them winning a maiden European trophy as well as four La Liga titles.

2- Pep Guardiola
Anyone who follows football is very likely to have heard of Pep Guardiola, an example of an enormously successful player-turned coach. He spent most of his playing career at Barcelona, where he was part of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team that won the European Cup in 1992 and four successive Spanish league titles. The Spaniard also had stints with Roma, Brescia, Al-Ahli and Dorados de Sinaloa.

Guardiola became the first-team manager at Barcelona in 2008, and in his first season led the team to a continental treble. He won another Champions League at Camp Nou but ended his four-year stint in 2012.

After taking a sabbatical, Guardiola took charge of Bayern Munich as their head coach in 2013. His three years at the Allianz Arena saw the Bavarians lifting the Bundesliga trophy in each season. Though success in Europe eluded the 52-year-old, Bayern completely dominated the German top-flight during his reign.

Guardiola took on another huge assignment when he joined Manchester City in 2016. The Premier League is regarded as the hardest league in the world, and many doubted the effectiveness of his system in England. However, it didn’t take him long to prove the skeptics wrong as he led City to the league title in his second season, smashing numerous records along the way.

And since then the Spanish boss has missed out on the Premier League title only once, clinching five of the last six trophies. And in the 2022-23 season, he led the Citizens to a continental treble, matching the record of their arch-rivals Manchester United.

3- Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti spent most of his playing career at Roma and AC Milan, clubs where he attained great success. He was part of the dominant Milan side of the late 80s and early 90s, when they won the European Cup and Serie A twice.

Ancelotti was even more successful when he transitioned to management. After stints at Reggiana, Parma and Juventus, the Italian boss joined the Rossoneri where he won two Champions League titles. He has subsequently gone on to manage clubs like Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Napoli. But it was at Real Madrid where he became enormously successful.

4- Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time who showcased his skills at some of the biggest clubs in Europe. For all the gaming and enthusiasts, you might have encountered him in a FIFA football video game if you ever happen to play one.

The Marseille-born player began his career at French outfit Cannes before switching to Bordeaux in 1992. He subsequently joined Italian giants Juventus where he won several trophies including two Serie A titles.

Real Madrid spent a world record fee at the time in 2001 to sign Zidane. He also achieved incredible success at the Santiago Bernabeu, which included the La Liga and the Champions League. The talented playmaker also played an instrumental role in helping France win the 1998 World Cup, netting a brace in the final. He also received the Golden Ball as Player of the Tournament at the following World Cup.

Many world-class players have struggled when they made the transition to coaching. However, Zidane is among some of the most successful player-managers. He took over Real Madrid as their head coach in 2016 and quickly made a huge turnaround at the club.

The 51-year-old stunned the whole world when he led Los Blancos to three Champions League trophies in a row. He departed the club after two and a half seasons but returned in 2019 to win another La Liga title and a Supercopa de Espana.

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