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5 footballers who managed their teams while still playing

Kavan Flavius
Top 5 / Top 10
Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish became player-manager of the all-conquering Liverpool side in 1985

Player-managers are quite rare in the modern game, and appointments seldom happened back in the day. But some players were lucky and can boast of playing and managing at the same time.

Ryan Giggs played an interim player-manager role in 2013 for Manchester United after the dismissal of David Moyes. 

French striker Nicolas Anelka is one of the most recent player-managers, having taken up the top job at Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League last year. Now 37 years old, Anelka featured for several top clubs in his day, with the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain all taking him in at some point.

Former England keeper David James also took up such a role in the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters, while World Cup winner Marco Materazzi did the same with Chennaiyin FC.

We take a look at five other players who functioned in the dual role during their career.

#1 Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool

‘King’ Kenny was already a huge hit at Liverpool, having represented the club eight years prior to him taking over from Joe Fagan in 1985.

Before taking up the player-manager role, the legendary Dalglish won five First Division (now Premier League) titles, four League Cups, three European Cups (now UEFA Champions League) and a UEFA Supercup.

In his first season as player-manager, Dalglish went on to win Liverpool their first-ever double, claiming yet another League title, as well as the FA Cup. He hung his playing boots two seasons after taking over, but stayed on as manager to win a further two league titles and an FA Cup.

Dalglish resigned in 1991, much to everyone’s surprise. However, he returned for another stint in 2011 and won the League Cup. The Reds could only manage an eighth-place finish, though, and he was sacked the following year.

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