The number of legendary footballers becoming managers has increased significantly in recent years. There have been many successful player turned managers like Johan Cruyff, Kenny Dalgish, Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane. Hence, it becomes easy to see why so many clubs are turning to former superstars to lead them from the dugout.
Having thrived at the highest level of the game, these individuals know exactly what it takes to triumph. They use that experience to their advantage, getting their teams firing on all cylinders with their igniting presence and leading them to claim several honors.
However, having a great football career doesn't guarantee that it will transcend into management. That is why some iconic footballing figures failed to replicate the level of success they enjoyed as players when they became tacticians.
Whether at club or international level, you will certainly find a number of such cases. Without further ado, let's quickly take a look at five legendary footballers who failed as managers.
#5 Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry enjoyed a successful playing career with Arsenal. The Frenchman was a vital member of the Gunners' historic team that took the Premier League by storm by winning the title with an unbeaten record in 2003-04.
Shortly after calling time on his playing career, Henry was appointed Arsenal's youth coach. He spent a year-and-a-half with the Gunners before leaving to act as assistant coach to Roberto Martinez for Belgium at the 2018 World Cup.
The Frenchman was appointed head coach for the first time as he took charge of Monaco in 2018. However, he was sacked just three months later after failing to deliver decent results. He managed just two victories in 12 league games and many controversies.
MLS outfit Montreal Impact offered Henry the chance to rebuild. But he couldn't take advantage of it, facing the sack again after delivering just four wins in 20 games.
#4 Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes is definitely one of the few legendary players to have represented Manchester United over the years. After winning 25 trophies with the Red Devils in his playing days, many expected the midfielder to enjoy similar success as a coach.
He was appointed Oldham Athletic manager on February 11, 2019 but failed woefully, picking up just one victory in seven games. He resigned after just 31 days, citing interference from the club's owner in the team's affair. Although he's had spells as assistant/caretaker manager at Manchester United and Salford, none of the two stints proved to be successful.
#3 Edgar Davids
Another legendary footballer who failed to shine in his managerial career, Edgar Davids was a real force to reckon with during his playing days. The Dutchman represented elite teams such as Inter Milan, Barcelona, Ajax and Juventus. He won multiple trophies and enjoyed a reputation as one of Europe's finest midfielders.
His coaching career, however, was a far cry from what he represented as a player. After enduring terrible stints as head coach at Barnet and Telstar, Davids was appointed manager by Portuguese club Olhanense in January this year.
However, after recording eight victories in 19 games and missing out on promotion to the top flight by one point, the club parted ways with the Dutchman. He is currently without a club and it doesn't look like he'll be making a return anytime soon.
#2 Alan Shearer
Being the all-time scorer in Premier League history is no mean feat. Alan Shearer is without doubt the most prolific striker the English top flight has witnessed since its establishment. However, apart from his exploits in front of goal, the Englishman hasn't had any tangible sporting success.
Like the other names on the list, Alan Shearer took to management after calling time on his playing career. He was appointed Newcastle head coach towards the end of the 2008-09 campaign, with the objective of saving the club from being relegated.
It ended on a pathetic note as the club picked up just five points from 24 in their last eight Premier League games of the term. The unwanted happened, with Newcastle parting ways with the Englishman after being relegated to the Championship at the end of the term. Ever since then, Shearer hasn't returned to management.
The notion that legendary footballers don't always become great managers is well summed up in the life of Diego Maradona. The former Argentina maestro is arguably the greatest player in history. But he'll need to take a back seat when great managers are being discussed.
The former Napoli attacker arrived as Argentina's manager entering the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with much fanfare. However, his team couldn't make any serious statement in the tournament, with a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Germany prematurely ending their campaign in the quarterfinals.
Maradona was relieved of his duties at the end of the competition. Even though he later coached clubs like Al Wasl, Dorado and Gimnasia, he couldn't achieve tangible success. He passed on on November 25 last year at the age of 60.
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