Still terrified of Temuri.

7 former footballers you had no idea are international managers in 2024

Every now and again, the international break throws up some person in a suit or a branded tracksuit, and we look at them and we go, I know you. Then our brain catches up, and we go, Hang on. You spent three years in the Barclays. And that is a fun feeling.

They’re cultured people, footballers. It shouldn’t surprise us to see them popping up in far-flung corners of the world, toeing the dotted chalk of a technical area, navigating language and customs.

Football dressing rooms, at club level, are some of the most multicultural places on Earth. We reckon it goes: Premier League dressing room, London Underground carriage, the UN.

It’s only natural that successful players should go on to stretch their wings, so we’re taking a look at some former ballers who have slipped under the radar and taken up international football management.

Lee Bowyer (Montserrat)

Montserrat is about 20 times smaller than London. If you did a lap of its entire coastline, you’d still be a mile and a bit off completing a marathon. Except you couldn’t do that because more than half of the island is an exclusion zone, as it’s essentially one big volcano.

The Caribbean island has a population of around 4,390, meaning that, presumably, roughly 1% of its population is involved with the national football team in some capacity.

And Lee David Bowyer is managing them.

Sylvinho (Albania)

You remember Sylvinho. Left-back, couple of seasons at the Arsenal, then five years at Barca. Well, now, he’s managing Albania with Pablo Zabaleta as his assistant (what?!).

Tell you what, they only lost one game last year, and that was away to Poland. You’d think that puts them in with a shout as dark horses at the Euros but, unfortunately, they were drawn in a group with Italy, Croatia, and Spain.

The Eagles are the darkest of dark horses. They are horses completely devoid of light. Yet, they are horses.

Ashley Westwood (Afghanistan)

Not the 33-year-old former Burnley stalwart. That would be weird. This Ashley Westwood had spells at thirteen different clubs up and down the Football League, most notably at Crewe Alexandra, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wrexham.

Westwood was briefly player/manager at Kettering in 2012, before f*cking off to India and Malaysia for ten years, where he most recently managed RoundGlass Punjab.

Now, the journeyman is with Afghanistan, whose (fun fact) best striker Balal Arezou plays for a Norwegian side called Trauma.

Side note: Someone needs to update Ashley Westwood’s Wikipedia image because it’s unsettling.

Emmerson Boyce (Barbados)

Wigan legend Boyce is in interim charge of Barbados, and we love it. Imagine your first managerial position being as the boss off the country you represented.

Boyce was the first ambassador of Street Soccer USA, which saw him visiting homeless shelters all over America to help develop sports programs. That makes Emmerson one of the good guys.

Some Bajan niche knowledge: Forward Nadre Butcher plays for Bray Wanderers in the Irish second tier, and Curtis Hutson Barbados’s twice-capped winger, plays semi pro in Wales and is distant cousin of Ryan Giggs.Soccer - Manchester Senior Cup - Final - Manchester City v Manchester United - City of Manchester Stadium. Giuseppe Rossi, Manchester United

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Stern John (Saint Lucia)

One of the top ten best names in football, ever. A first name that describes the second. Stern John. What’s John like? Stern. Sounds like a jazz musician. Or a pirate. Stern John.

Anyway, the 47-year-old prime Barclaysman from Trinidad is now the gaffer at Saint Lucia. they’d change their name to Stern Lucia if they had anything about them.

Temuri Ketsbaia (Cyprus)

One very scary bastard, Ketsbaia was. Kicked f*ck out of an advertising board after he scored a goal. Do you remember? Took his boot off. And his shirt. All because he wasn’t starting for Newcastle. Or because he really hates McDonald’s. Only he really knows the truth.

Hopefully the twice former Georgian footballer of the year has found peace in Cyprus. Wouldn’t count on it.

Andy Morrison (Sri Lanka)

Real Manchester City fans will remember this fella. Couple of seasons at centre-back around the turn of the millennium, before the money.

The Scot took up management a full fourteen years after retiring in 2001, spending six years in the Cymru Premier with Connah’s Quay Nomads before making the logical next step to… the Sri Lankan national team. And why not?

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