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5 of the best Player-Manager combinations of all time in football

Pele, the greatest footballer of all time, had a good rapport with all his managers
Pele, the greatest footballer of all time, had a good rapport with all his managers
Subhadeep Roy
Modified 20 Dec 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

Managers or coaches play a very crucial role in football. They devise the strategies for the team and try to help the players adjust themselves to the team’s playing style both technically and tactically. Moreover, the players implement their strategies on the field and therefore, it is essential that the manager has a good rapport with them.

However, all players do not have the same capability and there are some exceptional ones who are more important for the team than his other teammates. Those are the players who can decide a game with a moment of individual brilliance and also win titles for their respective teams. They are the ones who are almost indispensable for the team and by extension, the manager.

Managers or coaches of all successful teams usually share a very good understanding with the talismanic player of that team. It is absolutely essential for the success of the team and such player-manager combinations are usually able to dictate terms in world football.

In this article, we discuss 5 of the most famous player-manager combinations of all-time:

#1 Pele-Mario Zagallo

Zagallo was the manager when Brazil won the World Cup in 1970
Zagallo was the manager when Brazil won the World Cup in 1970

It is quite obvious that the greatest player of them all had a good understanding with the manager of the best team he played for. The fact that his manager was his former teammate and a great player himself only made things easier for both.

Zagallo became the coach of Brazil months before the 1970 World Cup and convinced Pele to give his best for the team. They had together won the World Cup back in 1958 when a 17-year-old Pele announced his arrival on world football emphatically. Both of them had scored in the final against Sweden too.

Therefore, it was easy for Zagallo to persuade Pele to be at his best for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup. What followed was an exhibition of dazzling football dished out by the greatest bunch of players ever assembled in a football team.


Pele and his teammates like Gerson, Tostao, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto and Clodoaldo won the World Cup with ease. Pele scored 4 goals in his final tournament for Brazil including one in the final against Italy.

He also played brilliantly against England and Uruguay. Zagallo’s faith on “O Rei” was vindicated as the greatest team of all time made the Jules Rimet trophy their own.

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Published 20 Dec 2018, 12:46 IST
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