Almost all managers played football at some level, so the transition from playing to coaching is nothing new, but it is the varying levels of success that make the conundrum as to which current player will make a top manager so intriguing.
Coaching is one thing, being the fall guy, which is what a manager essentially is, is a totally different ball game.
Which current player has the best chance of success? Who can handle the pressure of the watching world? We take a look.
#1 Xabi Alonso
Having announced that he will bring a glittering playing career to an end at the culmination of the current campaign, Alonso has been immediately linked with a host of clubs to become their manager. What’s more, he already has Pep Guardiola’s blessing.
What stands Alonso apart is how it is impossible to dislike him. The rapport he has with players at every club he has played at is palpable. Whether it is seeking out Steven Gerrard for a handshake in a TV studio, hurdling a barrier to celebrate with team-mates in the Champions League final or helping out youngsters, Alonso seems to relish building relationships, which is ultra-important for a manager.
“He [Alonso] was phenomenal with me in the two years I was there [in Liverpool],” Athletic Bilbao’s Mikel San Jose said in a recent interview. “Then we came back to Spain at the same time. I returned to Athletic and he went to Real Madrid. Since then, we have always had a very good relationship. As such a role model on the pitch, I'm sorry to see him retire.”
Everybody just loves him.