5 former players who currently manage their old club
The managerial merry-go-round of football is one facet that’s seemingly unique to the sport. After all, in what other walks of life could you be fired for doing a bad job, paid off handsomely and then walk into another similar – equally well-paid – job without really proving you’re going to do any better of a job than you did before? And most jobs demand experience – and while some clubs will only ever touch an experienced boss, there are plenty of others that take risks on less experienced managers.
Quite often you’ll find that the prerequisite for becoming a football manager is simply that you were a legendary player at the same club. We’ve seen countless numbers of former players receive a chance in this way – Ryan Giggs at Manchester United for instance, once David Moyes was sacked. And sometimes players become managers elsewhere, only to head back to the club where they made their name later on. Here are five current bosses in charge of teams they once played for.
# Zinedine Zidane – Real Madrid
Although he’s come under pressure this season for a series of bad results – by Real Madrid’s lofty standards, of course – thus far in his managerial career, Zinedine Zidane has almost been as successful from the dugout as he was as a player for Los Blancos. The French legend is of course recognised as not only one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid but one of the best players in the history of the game, period.
During his time at Real as a player, Zidane was massively successful – he starred in the legendary Galactico side and won La Liga in 2002/03, but of course his crowning achievement came a season prior to that, when he scored the winning goal in the Champions League final – a classic volley – to help Real claim their ninth title.
In a way though, Zidane’s Real side flattered to deceive – with players like him, Luis Figo, David Beckham and Roberto Carlos they probably should’ve won far more trophies than they did.
The same can’t be said for Zidane the manager. He took over in January 2016 when Rafael Benitez was sacked after years of behind-the-scenes work after his 2006 retirement, and a short stint as the head coach of Real’s B-team.
His new team won his first game in charge 5-0 and then didn’t look back, winning the Champions League that season and then repeating in Zidane’s first full season in charge – becoming the first team to ever retain the trophy. They also won La Liga that season, meaning after just one and a half seasons in charge, Zidane’s somehow won more trophies at Real as a boss than he did as a player!