In football, it is never easy for any manager to achieve anything with any team if he can’t win the dressing room. For some managers, it was a piece of cake as they would come back to coach their former teams and find one or two of their teammates to help them settle. Down some of the managers who played with their players.
7. Diego Simeone -Fernando Torres
Diego Simeone as an Atletico player with his captain; a 20-year-old Fernando Torres… pic.twitter.com/8oszyuL4og
— Football Facts (@FootbalIFact) February 16, 2017
Having played together since May 27, 2001, Simeone took another angle four years later to start a coaching career. Their footballing paths wouldn’t actually cross again until the 2012 UEFA Super Cup, when Simeone’s Europa League winners thrashed Torres’ European champion Chelsea teammates 4-1.
Then, in January of the following season, the big reunion happened. Torres wasn’t having a great time of it at AC Milan and came back to Atletico Madrid on loan, ahead of a permanent move.
6. Carlo Ancelotti -Paolo Maldini
— Rare AC Milan Pics (@ACMilanPics) July 4, 2015
They might have not won much as teammates, but when Maldini and Ancelotti were together at the San Siro as player and manager in Ancelotti’s eight-year spell, the pair won the Serie A title and two Champions League titles along with several other competitions.
5. Pep Guardiola -Xavi Hernandez
“I did not teach Xavi or Iniesta to play. Coaches are here to lend a hand, but they have been playing well for 20 years.” – Guardiola pic.twitter.com/AoDhUddCG0
— العنود (@ASherkawi) October 13, 2017
The footballing world was surprised when Guardiola was appointed a manager at Barca in 2008 as he was inexperienced and relatively new to coaching, having only been in charge of the Catalan club’s “B” team for one season.
Xavi, his former teammate, who was a key player under Guardiola, recently recalled that many were uncertain about how the manager would do at the club after his tough start, but added that he always believed they would be successful under the Spanish manager.
Guardiola won the treble in his debut campaign with the first team, proving his friend and former teammate, Xavi’s predictions and feelings right.
4. Zinedine Zidane -Sergio Ramos
Zidane: I'm not going to manage another team now. Sergio Ramos wished me luck. He said he respects my decision. I have told him what he means to Madrid and it has been a pleasure. pic.twitter.com/U2DQPW3Epo
— SB (@Realmadridplace) May 31, 2018
Having played with the French legend, Sergio Ramos knew him enough to predict his next moves. Speaking after Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year, captain Sergio Ramos hinted that he wouldn’t be surprised if coach Zinedine Zidane departed.
“Perhaps he will win the Champions League again and then want a break, that is a possibility,” Ramos told reporters.
“Everyone takes for granted that if he wins it then he’ll stay but he might want to have a rest for a little bit, you never know.”