Football has always been a game of passion and planning. From players to football fans like us, we all understand the importance of the game plan in every match. Having a good manager, therefore, is crucial for every team to excel. History has it that there are many excellent football players who turned into managers as their retirement career. Unfortunately, not all players can turn into good managers.

To become a football team/club manager, one needs to have a good insight and a brilliant interpretation, apart from understanding all the nuances of the game. There is optimum requirement for hard-work, dedication, ability to strategize and decode and more. Their role is definitely the most critical, as well as tough. Their deliverables are very visible and one cannot hide if they are not a good manager for a particular team – The performance of the team, says it all!

Players and fans look for the instant result the moment a manager is newly assigned and the toil begins from day one. This is the reason why we see the manager at their best and worst, while their team performs. And we have also seen how aggressive they can get at times.

Every manager knows the fact that for a player to perform exponentially well requires mental and physical support and this is the prime role of each and every football team manager. The best managers are seen doing a straight talk with the players and motivating them all the way. They are constantly reminding the players how important they are for the team and for the fans and that they trust each player.

A footballer turned manager knows what the players need in a manager, as they have been there. They try to engage the players in fun, excitement and try to bring out the passion in them. From praising the smallest of developments in the players to rewarding them for the best-played games, they do it all.

As its all men in action, there are times when aggression gets the better out of the managers; however, a good manager will know how to keep calm when required. They definitely don’t want the players to hate them and there is no space for cold war.

Below mentioned are five football legends who had the acumen required to become brilliant managers. Know their stance and their abilities to master what they do…

#5 Mario Zagallo – Brazilian Player, turned Manager

Mario Zagallo was the first ever person to have won the World Cup as a player and as the manager. He was a part of two very great teams and won the World Cup, both on the pitch and off the pitch. The winger, Zagallo, player for Brazil in the year 1958 and also bagged the highly acclaimed Jules Rimet trophy.

Later he was involved with the 1962 team and was able to win the cup. He became the manager of the power team in the year 1970 and once again achieved the World Cup glory in Mexico.

#4 Carlo Ancelotti – Italian Player, turned Manager

Another legendary Italian player who won the European Cup consecutively, Carlo Ancelotti is surely admired by all football fanatics. Amazingly, he is the second man to have won three European Cups as a manager. Playing as the midfielder, Ancelotti had brilliantly conquered AC Milan in between the 80s and 90s.

Ancelotti created a niche for himself as a successful manager. And we all know his prowess in the career with his 2003 Italian Cup, which was followed by Champions League.

Not just that! He has managed three European Cup-winning teams and had been a guiding star for Real Madrid during the 2014 Champions League, and helped them bag it. How is that for a manager?

#3 Franz Beckenbauer – German Player, turned Manager

Franz Beckenbauer is one individual who has a very crucial presence in the Football history. Being a World Cup winner as a player and a manager, Beckenbauer had all that it took to strategize a perfect game plan. While playing for Germany, he displayed his foot magic during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the man who redefined centre-back role and had become widely known as a ‘sweeper

It was him, who acted as the prime catalyst in pushing Bayern Munich to win four Bundesliga titles and three consecutive European Cups. Also to mention, it was him who made it possible for West Germany to win the Euro in 1972 and World Cup in 1974. Now, isn’t that something?

Post his playing career; he guided the Hamburg team to win the Bundesliga title in the year 1982. And eventually, he became the manager of West Germany team. And we all know the history, where he avenged and defeated Argentina in 1990, giving Germany the World Cup glory.

#2 Pep Guardiola – Former Spanish Player, Present Manager of Manchester City

Pep Guardiola – A man who is possibly loved more than the players by the fans. Guardiola was no doubt a fabulous player and later went ahead and became a fabulous manager of his dream team. It was him, who has dominated the entire German football.

Guardiola was a part of Barcelona team in the 1991-1992 season and won the Spanish league title winner by displaying a wonderful performance. Many considered him to be the ‘European Cup hero’, as it was him who pushed the team and helped them win the success they deserved.

While creating his ‘Dream Team’ of Barcelona, he was again able to win La Liga in 1993 and 1994, adding much to his reputation. Few other wins that deserve mention are the Spanish Cup in 1997 and 1998, and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997.

He was an excellent player without any glitch, and later when he went ahead and became the manager, he didn’t stop displaying his calibre. Guardiola, as a manager, helped club Barcelona to win six trophies in one year. To his name, the club had bagged the Champions League, two Spanish titles, two Spanish Cups, two Bundesliga and one German Cup. Now, beat that!

1 Johan Cruyff – Dutch Professional Player, turned Manager

Johan Cruyff, a name without which the list of best football players is incomplete. And without any doubt, he is one of the best managers of the age. It was because of Cruyff that Guardiola achieved many acclaims. Cruyff was the main man in football history when it comes to Ajax’s ‘Total Football’.

n the early 1970s, he had also inspired the Dutch club to grab the European Cups. In the 1974 World Cup, he played for Holland. Though they did not win the title, yet every football fan still admires his display of sportsmanship.

Later, Cruyff played for Barcelona and helped the team reach and win the Spanish title in 14 years. Post that; he returned to Holland while winning the Dutch title and eventually became the Ajax boss. This was when he won them their first European glory. Today he is widely known as the man who revolutionized the club football with fabulous style and strong game plan.

So, now that we have presented you the list of brilliant football players turned managers, it’s time for you to go back to the game. With the World Cup going on, nothing could be more fun than analyzing the players and their gaming techniques.

We are sure that you too are looking at certain present-day players who hold the potential to become excellent managers in the future. Go ahead; keep your lists ready. And there might come a time when you witness your favourite player becoming the next generation football manager. Hope you enjoyed this 😀


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