womenforfootball.com – These players’ names will surely ring a bell for die-hard football fans. The memories of their goals, celebrations and defeats at 1998 or 2002 World Cup games cannot be wiped out of mind. Yet, these former stars did not left football for good. Almost immediately after their retirement, they kick started their coaching career; some of whom are now among the most successful managers in Europe.
Amongst the long list of former stars, only the ones who are younger than 50 years-old, manage a top Division league team or a national team, and who are currently in charge of a team are included. In no particular order:
- Luis Enrique: Currently 44 years old, Luis Enrique was part of Spain’s 1998 and 2002 world Cup squad, netting many goals for Spain. In his managerial journey, he worked his way up starting from Barcelona B in 2008 and is currently the manager of one of the top teams in Europe, Barcelona.
- Diego Simeone: The 44-years old Diego Simeone is one of the well-known former Argentina national team stars of 1998 and 2002 World Cup games. He kick-started his managerial career in 2006 starting with La Liga’s Racing all the way up to Atletico Madrid, where he has marked a remarkable record at his current club.
- Roberto Carlos: Former Brazil national team’s super star, who is now 41- years old, has also pursued managerial route. Most famous for his outstanding goals as left-back, upon his playing retirement, he started his coaching career at Brazil’s União São João. He is currently in charge of Turkish side, Akhisar Belediyespor.
- Fabio Cannavaro: The prolific Italian defender, and winner of 2006 FIFA World Cup player of the Year, is now 41 years old and just recently initiated his managerial journey. Ever since 2014, he is in charge of China’s professional league side Guangzhou Evergrande.
- Laurent Blanc: The well-known former French international back in 1998 World Cup, 49-years old Laurent Blanc has had successful spells as manager. Starting with French side Bordeaux in 2007, he is currently the manager of Ligue 1 title contender, Paris Saint German.
- Didier Deschamp : Another French international that made the list is Didier Deschamp. The 46-year old former defender featured for France at 1998 World Cup. He initiated his managerial reign as early as 2001, starting with Monaco and has had impressive coaching record ever since and is currently the manager of France National team.
- Frank De Boer: All the passionate football fans would likely remember Frank De Boer. The prolific Dutch centre back was a crucial part of Netherland’s semi-final spot at 1998 World Cup. Soon after, he pursued his managerial path starting with Ajax Youth team. Currently 44, he is now in charge of Ajax team, who has had outstanding record in domestic league.
- Vincenzo Montella: Montella was one of the top strikers of Italy during his playing career. Starring in 1998 and also 2002 World Cup, he hung his boots in 2008. As a manager, he first took reign of AS Roma. Currently 40 years old, he is now in charge of Fiorentina team in Serie-A.
- Roberto Di Matteo: Another Italian in this list is Roberto Di Matteo. The former striker featured for Italy back in 1998. Immediately after retiring, he started his coaching career by taking reign of English 2nd team tier team, Milton Keynes Dons. Known for his Champions League win with Chelsea, at 44, he is now in charge of Bundesliga’s Schalke.
- Filippo Inzaghi: Last but not least is Filippo Inzaghi. The former Italian striker was one of the icons of Italian football during his playing career. Even to date, he carries the record of fourth-highest scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals under his name. Now 41, he is in charge of AC Milan.