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Top 10 Bundesliga managers who had significant playing careers

  • A look at ten Bundesliga managers who had significant playing careers.
  • A few of the names on the list have won the Bundesliga as a player.
Varun Nair
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 17 May 2020, 04:33 IST

Jupp Heynckes is one of six men to win the Bundesliga as player and manager.
Jupp Heynckes is one of six men to win the Bundesliga as player and manager.

Not every great player is a great manager and vice versa, and it is no different in the Bundesliga as well. Being a player and a manager requires different sets of skills. Maurizio Sarri is an excellent example of the same. He never played in the top tier of any football leagues. Sarri worked as a banker before becoming the world-class manager that he is today. Likewise, Diego Maradona, with all his accolades and greatness as a player, was a failure when he donned the role of a manager.

The German Bundesliga has seen some of the most excellent managers as well as some of the greatest players to have graced the game. While some managers like Jupp Heynckes have gone onto great success as a player and manager, there are those like Julian Naglessmann. The latter are thriving in the league despite having nearly no experience as a player.


Top-10 Bundesliga managers who had significant playing careers

Here's a look at the top 10 Bundesliga managers who had significant playing careers.


10. Adi Hutter - Eintracht Frankfurt

Hutter was part of the first Austrian side that reached the UEFA Cup final.
Hutter was part of the first Austrian side that reached the UEFA Cup final.

The current coach of Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, Adi Hutter, spent his entire playing career in his native country of Austria.

The midfielder came through Grazer's youth academy but was best known for his time with Austrian giants SV Austria Salzburg (Red Bull Salzburg). The midfielder was part of the Salzburg side that became the first Austrian side to reach the finals of the UEFA Cup, now known as Europa League, in 1994.

In a career that spanned 18 years, Adi Hutter donned the jerseys of many Austrian sides, making over 480 appearances and found the net on more than 50 occasions. He retired from the game in 2007 after helping Red Bull Salzburg juniors to the first division.


9. Oliver Gasner - Wolfsburg

A Legend of the Austrian Football Bundesliga
A Legend of the Austrian Football Bundesliga

The Austrian's managerial stint at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg was his first foray outside his home nation. Signed up by the SV Reid in 1995, Oliver Gasner spent his entire playing career with the Austrian side. Gasner would go on to become one of the cult figures of the club, spending an impressive 16 years at the club before retiring in 2011.

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The former Linz manager made over 500 appearances and was part of the first SV Reid side that won the Austria Cup and the Austrian First League. Playing as a defender, Gasner also racked up an impressive 27 goals during his playing days.


8. Hans-Dieter Flick - Bayern Munich

A member of Germany
A member of Germany's coaching staff of the 2016 World Cup-winning squad

A player whose career was curtailed by injuries, Dieter Hans-Flick, signed his first professional contract at the age of 19 with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich after coming through the SV Sandhausen. A solid midfielder during his playing career, Hans-Flick played over 100 matches for Bayern Munich during five years with the German giants.

A move to FC Cologne followed after his spell in Munich. But unfortunately, nagging injuries forced Hans-Flick to retire from professional football in 1993. He took over as player-manager of lower league side Victoria Bammental a year later and finally retired from the game as a player in 2000.

Hans-Flick currently manages Bavarian giants Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.


7. Urs Fischer - Union Berlin

A Swiss Super league legend, Urs Fischer now manages Bundesliga club Union Berlin
A Swiss Super league legend, Urs Fischer now manages Bundesliga club Union Berlin

Urs Fischer is another Bundesliga manager who is managing a club outside his home nation for the first time. Fischer spent his entire playing career in his home nation of Switzerland. The current Union Berlin boss in the Bundesliga came through the FC Zurich academy and made his debut for the senior side in 1984.

Failing to secure a regular spot saw Fischer moving to St Gallen three years later before returning to Zurich in 1996.

A consistent central defender throughout his career, Fischer made close to 550 appearances in the Swiss league and represented the national team on four occasions before retiring from the game in 2003. The defender remains one of the leading appearance makers in the history of the Swiss League.


6. Alfred Shruder - Hoffenheim

An up and coming young manager in the Bundesliga
An up and coming young manager in the Bundesliga

The Dutch manager, Alfred Schuder, learned his trade as an assistant manager under Julian Naglesmann. Schuder then played a vital role in the young Ajax side under Erik Ten Haag that made a fairytale run to the Champions League semifinals last season. Much like in his managerial career, Shruder has always remained under the limelight.

A product of the famous Feyenoord academy, the Dutchman made his name playing at RKC Waalwijk and NAC Breda. A defensive midfielder, Schruder spent his entire playing career in the Netherlands. During a 17-year long career, the midfielder represented eight different clubs and made over 300 appearances in the Eredivisie before retiring in 2009.


Also Read: Bundesliga is back: Fitness, social distancing and zero fans – what to look out for as German football returns


5. Steffen Baumgart - SC Paderborn

Baumgart had his best years at Hansa Rostock
Baumgart had his best years at Hansa Rostock

Born in erstwhile East Germany, Steffen Baumgart played for Oberliga sides Schwerin and Aurich before turning professional with Hansa Rostock in 1994. A decent goal-scorer throughout his career, the German spent most of his prime with the East German side, where he won the 2.Bundesliga title.

A starter throughout most of his career at Rostock, Baumgart spent seven seasons with the club before eventually leaving to Union Berlin. A crowd favourite at the lesser-known Berlin side, Baumgart played two seasons with the side before moving to Energie Cottbus in 2004 and helping the side go back to the Bundesliga in 2006.

The striker left the club and played briefly for non-league sides FC Magdeburg and Germania Schoneiche before retiring from the game in 2008.


4. Uwe Rosler - Fortuna Dusseldorf

Rosler spent four seasons with Manchester City in the Premier League
Rosler spent four seasons with Manchester City in the Premier League

The German, Uwe Rosler, will forever be etched in the history of football as one of the last players to have represented the now-defunct East German football team. Rosler made his debut with Lokomotiv Leipzig in 1988 after coming through their academy.

Not a player known for staying at a club for more than two seasons, Rosler had subsequent spells at FC Magdeburg, Dynamo Dresden, BSG Chemie Leipzig and FC Nurnberg before finally joining Manchester City. A fan favourite with the Cityzens, Rosler spent four seasons in Manchester and ended as the top-scorer on three occasions before returning to Germany to join Kaiserlautern.

A vagabond yet decent goal-scorer in his playing career, Rosler represented an incredible 12 clubs during his 16 years as a professional. The striker ended his career as a player in 2003 after a brief spell at Norwegian side Lillestrom before embarking on his managerial journey.


3. Peter Bosz - Bayer Leverkusen

The man who got his UEFA A Licence at just 18 years of age (Pic courtesy Getty Images)
The man who got his UEFA A Licence at just 18 years of age (Pic courtesy Getty Images)

Born in the country that introduced the concept of total football, Peter Bosz started his playing career at Vitesse before making his name at RKC Waalwijk and Toulon. However, it was his stint with Dutch giants Feyenoord that cemented Bosz's reputation as one of the most dependable Dutch players' of his generation.

An Eredivise winner and a three-time KNVB Cup winner with Feyenoord, Bosz would go on to represent the national team on eight occasions. Bosz retired from the game in 1999 after double stints with Japanese side United Ichihara, Hansa Rostock and NAC Breda following his move from Feyenoord.

Peter Bosz once described his talents in football during an interview. He said:

"I wasn't great technically, I wasn't fast, I wasn't very strong physically and I wasn't good at heading. But I was at least somebody who liked to win and was an intelligent player, which brought me up to a very decent level in the end."

2. Bruno Labbadia - Hertha Berlin

One of the best German goal-scorers of his generation
One of the best German goal-scorers of his generation

The latest manager to join the Bundesliga bandwagon, Bruno Labbadia enjoyed a trophy-laden career as a professional player. The Darmstadt born Labbadia started his career and made a name for himself at the local club, Darmstadt 98, where he scored an incredible 44 goals in the 2.Bundesliga in three seasons.

A move to the Bundesliga saw Labbadia enjoying greater success as he represented Hamburg, Bayern Munich, FC Kaiserlautern, FC Cologne, Werder Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld. Labbadia retired from the game in 2003 while playing for Karlsruher in the second division.

One of the most prolific goal-scorers of his generation, Labbadia scored an astounding 103 goals in 328 Bundesliga appearances. He was also a part of the Bundesliga title-winning sides of FC Kaiserlautern and Bayern Munich. 


1. Heiko Herrlich - FC Augsburg

Borussia Dortmund legend and former Bundesliga top-scorer in a season
Borussia Dortmund legend and former Bundesliga top-scorer in a season

Heikko Herlich, the newly appointed manager at FC Augsburg, was the most decorated and arguably the best player among his managerial counterparts in the Bundesliga. Signed by Bayer Leverkusen in 1989 after coming through SC Freiburg's youth academy, Herrlich was part of the first-ever DFB Pokal-winning Bayer Leverkusen side in 1993.

The turning point of Herrlich's career came following his departure to Borussia Monchengladbach. An impressive goal-laden second season with Monchengladbach opened the doors for a move to Moenchengladbach's Bundesliga rivals, Borussia Dortmund.

At Dortmund, Herrlich was part of the Black and Yellows' first Champions League-winning team. He won the Bundesliga twice and the Intercontinental Cup once. Herrlich was a runner-up in the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. Unfortunately, a malignant brain tumour derailed his playing career, and he retired from the game in 2004 after scoring just once post his treatment.


Also Read: Bundesliga is back: Bayern out to continue run of away routs in Berlin.


Published 17 May 2020, 04:33 IST
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