They say you don’t have to be a great butcher to know the right kind of steak. It seems success as a player and performance as manager in football borrow from that. Most of the former players around who had very glittering careers, have struggled to make a name in the coaching industry, some failing spectacularly as managers.
Still there’s a number of them who have done well both as players and in management, winning the same accolades years after retiring from the game and trying their hand in management. The best example here would be France manager Didier Deschamps, who captained Les Bleus to the 1998 World Cup and 20 years later, led the team to win the World Cup in Russia.
A similar marker was also laid by Deschamps’ team mate, Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, winning the Champions League title as player and coach on numerous occasions. He just left Real Madrid for the second time last season but after having enjoyed quite some success at the dugout.
As Real Madrid sets out on the quest for yet another Champions League title, Zidane’s footprint remains in the team in his absence. They go to Match Day two of the competition among favorites to lift the title and even as they face debutants Sheriff Tiraspol the odds on the Wincomparator website back them to win at 1.17 on 1XBet, with the Moldova side the underdogs and tipped at 27, while 888Sport backs a draw at odds of 11.
So, who are some of the former celebrated players who failed to make an impact in management? Here we assess some.
Diego Maradona: The late Argentina icon almost single handedly won the World Cup for Argentina at the height of his illustrious career. He also had a great career at club level and the fact that the Napoli Stadium would later be renamed after him shows the kind of player he was. However, when he tried management, it ended in tears. In 2010, he took over the Argentina job with much expectation on his shoulders but his team badly disappointed. The team’s struggles were well documented but the biggest disappointment was in the 4-0 quarter final defeat to Germany. He would leave the role afterwards.
Thierry Henry: Unlike Maradona, Thierry Henry still has a chance to redeem himself. So far, the man who enjoyed a lot of success at Arsenal and Barcelona as a player, has struggled to make an impact as a coach. After very poor stints at Monaco and Montreal Impact, the World Cup winning forward is back under the wings of Roberto Martinez as the Belgium assistant coach. At Monaco he had a nightmare three months before getting sacked.
Alan Shearer: One of the biggest legends of the game in England is Alan Shearer. He is the all-time top scorer in the Premier League, after great stints at Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. He didn’t win as many accolades as his contemporaries, perhaps because of the clubs he played for, but Shearer’s remains a big name. So after retiring, he was appointed manager at Newcastle towards the end of the 2008/09 season as the club sought his influence to aid in the quest for survival. He failed. The club was relegated after picking five points from eight games and as the team headed to the Championship, it remains the only time Shearer has tried his hand in management.
Other former players who haven’t had much luck on the touchline include former Dutch international Edgar Davids who turned out for Juventus, Ajax, Barcelona and Inter Milan, as well as former Manchester United players Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.