Player and manager cohesion is one of the strongest and important aspects of international or club football as the relationship needs to hit top gear for the growth of the player. The maturity of a player lies in his ability to strike a balance with the manager. The successful players like to take up the leadership role of a manager to ensure that they can provide and enhance their man-management skills with the set of players they deal with.
Some of the top footballers in Europe have gone on to become managers of clubs as mentioned above. It is the desire to take up these roles and bring knowledge and experience to the table. Below are some players who have become managers:
The Manchester United top goal scorer was a legend of the game during his time as a player. He scored 253 goals for the Red Devils in 559 appearances during his 13-year reign at the club. Rooney’s 53 goals for The Three Lions makes him the top goal scorer for the country. He joined Derby County from DC United in a player-coach capacity and made 35 appearances for the club before hanging up his boots to become full time Manager of Derby County in 2020. Since then, he has been managing the Championship side and has been doing a wonderful job with the Club.
The Liverpool Messiah and as the fans proclaim, their Captain forever was a stalwart for the Merseyside club. Stevie G played for Liverpool for 17 years as a player and provided many memories to the faithful. He is the only footballer to have scored in an FA Cup final, League Cup Final, UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League final, winning on each occasion. He scored 120 goals in 504 appearances for the club before playing for LA Galaxy for a single year.
Once he called it quits as a professional player, Steven Gerrard was appointed the manager of the Scottish side, Rangers in 2018. He has been doing a splendid job with the club getting them a Runners up positions in the next two seasons and in the current season, as we speak Rangers are table toppers. He has been referred to as a ‘natural’ in terms of his skill with respect to management. The results show his prowess as a phenomenal tactician and thinker of the game who is driven to succeed in his new endeavour.
The 1974 World cup winner spent majority of his career at Borussia Monchengladbach as a striker. He is the fourth highest goal scorer in Bundesliga history with 220 goals to his name. The German national later went on coach the Bavarians and won 4 Bundesliga titles, 3 German Super Cup titles and the German Cup during his time at the club. He was also awarded the World’s Best Club Coach for his exploits in the year 2012. Jupp also had stints with Real Madrid as manager where he won the Champions League and Spanish Super Cup. The transition from player to manager was illustrated in a fine manner by this legend of German Football.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
The Norwegian was one of the greats as a Manchester United player where he was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best signings. He was part of the 1999 treble winning team and also won all major honours available at that time. He scored 91 goals for the club in 235 appearances. Ole almost immediately post his retired took to managerial duties when he was appointed Manchester United Reserves team coach for 3 years from 2008-11, following which he had stints at Molde, Cardiff City before finally becoming Manchester United manager in 2018 and since then he has been on the job.
Solskjaer is yet to win a trophy with the Red Devils as manager and would be looking to win lots of silverware if he would like to be added to the pantheon of great Manchester United managers.
The French international who was once described by Sir Alex Ferguson as – ‘Give me Zidane and 10 pieces of wood and I’ll win you the Champions League’. Such was the dynamism and aura which Zizou had during his time as a player. His infamous headbutt to Materazzi may have been the turning point of the 2006 FIFA World Cup final, and was probably the only low point of his career but none the less, he was part of the victorious French team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Zidane won the Ballon d’Or in 1998 and was World Player of the year in 1998, 2000 and 2003. These are few of his individual honours. He won many titles for Juventus and Real Madrid including a Champions League title and domestic honours as well. Zizou was part of the ‘Galácticos’ at Real Madrid where he partnered Figo, Beckham, Ronaldo.
Zidane was appointed manager of Real Madrid in 2016 and has since won 2 La Liga titles, a hat trick of Champions League titles in successive seasons and other domestic honours as well. He keeps reaping the benefits of his sharp mind and intricate play and is visible in the way he has managed Los Blancos.