Nine players who managed their former side: Giggs, Conte, Keegan, Shearer

Quick Reads

Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool have all seen former playing heroes return to their respective clubs to take up the reins as manager.

Few players become fan favourites at clubs, and even fewer become loved as both a player and manager.

We’ve taken a look at nine examples of players who decided to take on the challenge.

Kevin Keegan

His managerial career may be remembered for his infamous meltdown on television during the golden Premier League era, but King Kev’s time in the North-East was superb, only lacking in silverware.

Indeed, Keegan is a local hero for Geordies, and it’s not hard to see why. Playing at St James’ Park at the end of his career, his 48 goals saw Newcastle earn promotion to the First Division.

The attacker announced his retirement from football soon after, but it was only eight years later when he returned as manager. He guided the club from the bottom of the Second Division and into the Premier League the following season.

The club finished third, sixth, and second in the top tier before Keegan resigned.

His return in 2008 was welcomed by adoring Newcastle supporters. But this tenure was short-lived, owing to a fallout with owner Mike Ashley.

READ: A tribute to Kevin Keegan and the Newcastle United Entertainers

Diego Simeone

Simeone had two spells at Atletico Madrid as a player – from 1994 to 1997 and 2003 to 2005 – but his managerial career at Wanda Metropolitano has proved much longer and more successful.

The former defender was an outside choice when he was appointed manager of Atleti in 2011, but the club have not looked back since.

The Argentine has developed his own brand of tough, well-drilled football. The defensive philosophy he’s installed has seen the side win seven major trophies, including one miraculous league title and two Europa Leagues.

Ryan Giggs

United gave it Giggsy until the end of the season following the dismissal of David Moyes in 2014 as their legendary player presided over two wins, a draw and a loss.

He was eventually replaced by Louis Van Gaal, although he remained assistant until the arrival of Jose Mourinho, and recently reignited his managerial career with Wales.

Alan Shearer

With only eight games of the season remaining, Newcastle’s all-time leading goalscorer couldn’t save his beloved club from relegation in the 2008-09 season.

The iconic No.9 had hoped for the manager’s position the following season, but he wasn’t given the opportunity.

It was Chris Hughton who stepped up from the coaching staff and returned the Toon Army to the top tier at the first attempt.

Diego Maradona

The former Barcelona and Napoli attacker is adored in Argentina, not least because of his display in the 1986 World Cup. Argentina won the tournament as Maradona produced some of the greatest performances across a major international tournament.

Despite his larger-than-life persona and lack of experience, he was remarkably appointed the national head coach in 2008.

Under his tenure, Argentina qualified for the 2010 World Cup, but it was not without controversy. They lost a record 6-1 to Bolivia, while Maradona was given a fine and two-month ban for telling reporters at a press conference to “suck it”.

The South Americas were knocked out of the World Cup after losing 4-0 to Germany in the quarterfinals and the AFA decided not to renew Maradona’s contract for the 2014 World Cup.

READ: Diego Maradona the manager: When Argentina was ruled by the hand of God

Johan Cruyff

The Dutch icon managed two of the clubs he played for, Ajax and Barcelona, and left a lasting legacy at both.

As manager in Amsterdam, the Dutchman won UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the Dutch Cup over two seasons.

For the Catalan side, Cruyff not only won 11 trophies –  a haul bettered only by Pep Guardiola’s 15 – but he reshaped their philosophy.

He also set up the prestigious La Masia, an academy whose graduates include Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. A lasting legacy indeed.

READ: Johan Cruyff: The best quotes on a Netherlands, Ajax & Barca icon

Graeme Souness

Souness would likely have fonder memories of his playing days than his time in the dugout at Anfield. The Scotsman was a member of one of the most successful British sides in history as a Liverpool player.

Over a period of seven seasons, he was part of a squad which won five First Division titles, three European Cups and four League Cups.

His time as the Reds’ manager from 1991 to 1994, however, wasn’t so successful. He won an FA Cup and even brought through such youth players like Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler to the first-team, but his business on the transfer market didn’t turn Liverpool’s fortunes around and he resigned in 1994.

Antonio Conte

Five Serie A titles, Four Italian Super Cups, and a Champions League title represent Conte’s trophy haul during his some 400 appearances for the Juventus.

When he returned as manager of the Old Lady, the success continued. Three back-to-back Serie A titles and two Italian Super Cups saw Conte cement his place as a club legend.

Kenny Dalglish

Another on the list who managed two clubs he played for.

The Scotsman first made his name as a player at Celtic and returned to the club as Director of Football with John Barnes installed as manager. After Barnes was sacked, Dalglish took over until the end of the season, leading the Hoops to the Scottish League Cup.

As a Liverpool player, Dalglish won an unprecedented 22 major trophies in what was the Reds’ greatest era.

In his first stint as boss, initially as player-manager, he led the side to three First Division titles, one Super Cup, and two FA Cups.

He returned to manage the Reds in 2011 after the sacking of Roy Hodgson, winning Liverpool’s most recent honour in the form of the League Cup.

More from Planet Football

Diego Maradona the manager: When Argentina was ruled by the hand of God

Johan Cruyff: The best quotes on a Netherlands, Ajax & Barca icon

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