Andrea Pirlo is the most recent former player to assume command of a soccer team .
These are the new coaches who have signed on to lead elite teams. / Photo: IG / andreapirlo21
LatinamericanPost| Theoscar Mogollón
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Leer en español: La nueva camada de entrenadores del fútbol de élite
Football and life always go hand in hand. Neither of them stops, not even despite a pandemic that has tried to paralyze the world. The years pass and not in vain, so much so that the footballers that we came to admire until recently end up "hanging up their boots" and leave their activities on the pitch to do them from the substitute bench, with a new position. There are innumerable players who have chosen to direct their course as coaches, obviously, some with more success than others.
Now, it is important to note that we are in the presence of, possibly, one of the best and most promising litters of ex-footballer coaches in history. Obviously, with the respect and admiration of those who have more experience on the bench. But many may be wondering if they really have enough potential to take on such an important role as this, since years of training are required to be a soccer coach, right?
Although they do not appear on this list, it is also worth doing a little recognition to those new strategists who until not long ago defended a club on the field: Marcelo Gallardo, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Hugo Sánchez, Rogerio Ceni, Carlos Reinoso, Diego Armando Maradona , Rafael Dudamel, Martín Palermo . It will be up to them, and their directing talent, to take a leap of greatness and continue to write their name in football in gold letters.
1. Josep Guardiola
What to say about Pep? He is probably the technician who started this crusade and he has set the bar high. After winning several titles as a footballer with FC Barcelona, he began his career as a manager with the Barça team in the 2008/2009 season. From there, the rest has been pure history. Between Barsa, Bayern Münich and Manchester City he has won 8 Leagues, 5 Cups, 5 Super Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 Champions League, 3 European Super Cups and 3 Club World Cups.
2. Diego Simeone
Brave in his days as a player and also now as a coach. The Argentine, after his retirement in 2006, began to try in various clubs in his country; such as Racing Club, Estudiantes, River Plate and San Lorenzo, to later jump to Europe with Catania and, later, Atlético de Madrid . The "Cholo" has been the architect of the resurgence of the mattress team since 2011, as he has won the League, the King's Cup and the Spanish Super Cup, as well as 2 Europa League titles and 2 European Super Cup.
3. Luis Enrique
Another of the referent players of Spanish football and FC Barcelona. After retiring with the Catalan entity, he began his path as a strategist in Barcelona "B", promoting him to the Second Division after eleven years. Subsequently, he had one-year internships with AS Roma and Celta de Vigo, finishing seventh and ninth in their respective leagues. In 2014 he became Barsa's coach and spent three seasons there, winning 2 Leagues, 3 King's Cups, 1 Spanish Super Cup, 1 Champions League, 1 European Super Cup and 1 Club World Cup. Since 2018 he assumed leadership as the coach of Spain.
4. Zinedine Zidane
The Frenchman has not lost his magic at all. Although he dazzled as a footballer, now he does the same as coach of Real Madrid, the only club that has had the honor of having him on the bench. He started at Real Madrid Castilla in 2014/2015 and then took on the challenge of leading the first team. Beyond winning 2 Leagues and 2 Spanish Super Cups, Zizou has been able to achieve a more than historical fact: win 3 Champions League in a row. A difficult feat to match and to which we must add 2 European Super Cups and 2 Club World Cups.
5. Frank Lampard
He is one of the living legends of Chelsea FC and this is demonstrated by his 13 seasons in the blue shirt. The record of the English as footballers reaches an enviable figure of 13 titles, which include, among many, 3 Premier League, 1 Champions League and 1 Europa League. His nascent coaching career began with Derby County in 2018/2019 and then, a year later, he returned to the club that he loves. Lampard came close to winning his first title recently, but failed to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final. He is still writing his own story.
6. Ryan Giggs
Manchester United's flagship player who is slowly building his path as manager. Giggs is one of the few players who never wore another jersey, since from 1990 to 2014 he defended the Red Devils. Precisely in that year, and after the frustrated passage of the coach on duty, the Welshman took over as temporary coach until the arrival of Louis Van Gaal, who chose him as his technical assistant. Giggs left the club in 2016 and two years later took over the Welsh National Team, where he presides to date.
7. Thierry Henry
One of the most lethal attackers of the late 90s. The Frenchman triumphed as a player at Arsenal and Barcelona, to later finish his career at the New York Red Bulls also with titles. Like Lampard, Henry began his journey as a coach in the 2018/2019 season with AS Monaco, but it did not go quite well and he left shortly after, in search of new challenges. He currently leads the Montreal Impact.
8. Xavi Hernández
There are many midfielders in the world, but like Xavi none. The Catalan won everything during his 17 seasons with FC Barcelona, leading a team that had no rivals for much of this century. After leaving the Barça team in 2015, the Spaniard headed to Qatar with Al-Saad, a team where he retired and began his career as a coach in 2019. In such a short time, Xavi has already given his club a Super Cup of Qatar and a Glass of Qatar. His contract is until 2021, but already in Barcelona they long for him to return to lead a new project.
9. Gennaro Gattusso
He is becoming one of the technical revelations of this year. As a player he lived a great time with AC Milan, winning 2 Leagues, 1 Italian Cup, 1 Italian Super Cup, 2 Champions League, 2 European Super Cups and 1 Club World Cup. His beginnings on the bench were at Sion in Switzerland, a team where he retired in 2012. After a few brief experiences, he took on his biggest challenge with Milan in 2017, but not fruitfully. Two years later, he arrived at Napoli, the club he currently directs and already has a Cup title.
10. Andrea Pirlo
He is the last to join this list and he did it in record time. His name is synonymous with good football, full of class and elegance. His history and his weight in Italy, where he spent practically his entire career, have made him worthy of the position that he will occupy from next season. Pirlo signed with Juventus on July 31 to take over the reins of the U23 team. Seven days later, the first team was eliminated from the Champions League. What happened in the hours after? The leadership of Vecchia Signora announced that Maurizio Sarri was leaving his position, so they did not hesitate to give the opportunity to the professional footballer until recently. Juventus begins a new stage under the guidance of a teacher.