The transition that a player makes from appearing on field to marshalling troops from the dugout can at times be an unpleasant one. Many former greats have in fact tried and failed at managing a football club, on the corollary, some not so great footballers have gone on to accomplish mightily off-field.
The second edition of the Indian Super League however provides us with a tantalizing case of many former greats who are at the helm of the franchisees as gaffers. In this anthology, we look at 5 of them.
Arguably one of the greatest footballers to have not won the world cup, Zico, or ‘white pele’ as he fondly referred to as, has returned to India for the second year running to coach FC Goa.
A skilled playmaker, he was known for his dribbling and expertise from set pieces. With 48 goals in 71 official appearances for Brazil, he is still the fourth highest goalscorer for Brazil.
His greatness can be gauged from the fact that in 1999, he came eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
#2 Nicolas Anelka
The youngest in this list, Anelka began his career at PSG but soon moved to Arsenal. He became a first team regular there and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award the following season. In 1999, Real Madrid signed him but he did not settle in well and returned to Paris Saint-Germain.
A yo-yo player in the truest sense, he subsequently returned to play in the EPL for Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Also a regular for the national team, Anelka’s resume also boasts of the championship medallion from EURO 2000 and the Confederations Cup from 2001.
#3 Marco Materazzi
Best remembered for being headbutted by Zinedine Zidane during the 2006 World Cup Final, Chennaiyin FC’s manager did have a glittering career as a player at Inter Milan. Vastly successful there, he lifted a host of trophies there including five Serie A league titles in a row from 2006 to 2010, one UEFA Champions League, one FIFA Club World Cup, four Coppa Italia titles, and the Supercoppa Italiana four times.
Even in that eventful final from 9 years back, it was Marco who brought Italy level after France had taken an early lead from the Penalty spot.
Here in India, much like Zico, it’s his 2nd tenure at the helm of a franchisee.
#4 David Platt
The Englishman first sprung in to international stardom with a flurry of goals at the 1990 World Cup. Then a regular for Aston Villa he subsequently moved to Italy, turning out for Juventus and Sampdoria before finally returning back in 1995.
He represented Arsenal for three years and was part of the 1998 team that won the Premier League and FA Cup Double.
#5 Roberto Carlos
A galactico, a world cup winner; Roberto Carlos fittingly culminates this illustrious list.
Best remembered for turning for a star studded Real Madrid team, he joined the Los Blancos in 1996 where he spent eleven hugely successful seasons, playing 584 matches in all competitions, scoring 71 goals. In Madrid, he won four La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League three times.
Also for Brazil, he appeared in three world cups, most notably in 2002, when the Selecao went on to lift their record fifth title.
Like Zico, he too was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004.
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