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Ranking the top 5 European club managers as players

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo
Shambhu Ajith
Modified 07 Sep 2020, 19:25 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

If you take a look at the prominent football managers in Europe, you'll see that some of the best managers in the world weren't outstanding players. In fact, only a handful of excellent players have had excellent coaching careers.

Managing a team requires a wide array of skills ranging from tactical astuteness all the way to man-management. As the leader of a group, a manager has to balance the egos in his team and also be able to read the goings-on in the pitch and make decisions that benefit the team as a whole.

The debate over the best managers in the world is an eternal one. Here today, we are looking at something different. We rank the top 5 managers in Europe right now based on their playing ability.

#5 Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman

The current Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman had an excellent playing career and was a part of the Barcelona 'Dream Team' assembled under Johan Cruyff. The Dutchman had triumphant stints at both Ajax and PSV and had won the league championships at both clubs before moving to Catalonia.

Koeman won 4 back to back La Liga titles with Barcelona and also netted the winner in Barcelona's 1991-92 European Cup triumph. Koeman also won the European Championship with Netherlands in 1988. He also became the Dutch footballer of the year in 1987 and 1988.

Koeman was a versatile player who could slot in as a defender just as well as he could as a midfielder. This is testament to his understanding of the game from a very young age. Koeman's best position was perhaps as the sweeper providing extra cover for his backline while doubling as a deep-lying playmaker thanks to his vision.

Koeman is one of the most prolific defensive players in the history of football when it comes to goalscoring and he was just as good at finding the back of the net from long-range as he was at picking out teammates with his excellent long-range passing. Koeman was an excellent set-piece taker as well and used to maintain a habit of scoring scorchers from a long way out.


#4 Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

The Chelsea manager is also the greatest goalscoring midfielder in the Premier League and is also the all-time top scorer for the Blues. He scored 211 goal for Chelsea and he did that playing in midfield.

Frank Lampard had an illustrious career as a player and he spent the great majority of it at Stamford Bridge after joining from West Ham United in 2001 for £11 million. By the time he left 13 years later, the Englishman had won three Premier League titles, one Champions League, one Europe League, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

One of the most powerful strikers of the football in the modern era, Frank Lampard just like the rest of the players on the list had an incredible long-range strike in him and never shied away from testing goalkeepers from distance in his entire career.

Though he has been deployed in various positions across midfield, Lampard was more of an attack-minded box-to-box hustler who was excellent at building attacks with his incredible passing and movement.

Not only did he have great vision and passing ability, his keen eye for goal and late runs into the box made him a ridiculously good goalscorer. Frank Lampard, like his contemporaries on the list, was excellent from set-piece situations as well.

He was also an excellent leader both on and off the pitch and he looks to have kicked on in the same vein in his career as a manager.

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Published 07 Sep 2020, 19:25 IST
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