“HE’S STILL THE BEST ON THE TRAINING PITCH”
Not every elite player makes an elite manager. Here’s how some of Zizou’s fellow Ballon d’or winners have fared in the dugout
The Barça icon has managed Bulgaria, Celta Vigo and Litex Lovech, amongst others, but hasn’t enjoyed much success in the dugout. The two most likely factors are Stoichkov’s hot-headedness (he’s fallen out with several of his players), and his insistence that “I don’t believe in tactics”. His Bulgaria side once lined up in a 2-4-4...
MARCO VAN BASTEN
The Dutch media were baffled when the inexperienced Van Basten became national team coach in 2004. His side shone brightly during the Euro 2008 group stage, before a surprise quarter-final defeat to Russia. Spells at Ajax and Heerenveen followed, before his tenure at AZ Alkmaar was cut short by a stress-related heart problem.
For a while it seemed like the master of ‘sexy football’ could be joining the managerial elite: he helped put Chelsea on the map pre-abramovich, winning the 1997 FA Cup. Yet it quickly went south up at Newcastle – he didn’t get on with marksman Alan Shearer and dropped the striker for a loss to Sunderland. He walked out three days later.
King Kev took Newcastle from the second tier to the brink of Premier League glory, before falling agonisingly short and eventually packing it in. Later bowed to public pressure and left Fulham for England, before quitting. Led Manchester City from the second tier and into Europe, before a brief, unhappy second stint with the Magpies.
Lost the 1986 World Cup Final with West Germany but got his revenge against Argentina four years later at Italia 90. He then guided Marseille to the Ligue 1 title and European Cup final in 1991, prior to two spells with Bayern Munich which saw him seal the Bundesliga and UEFA Cup. Has since ‘moved upstairs’ rather than dwell in the dugout.
The Soviet Union’s star striker of the ’70s led Olympiacos in the early-90s (where he won the Greek Cup), then bounced around the Greek Superleague for a decade before taking the Ukraine job in 2003. He guided them to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup, but in his second stint failed to get out of the group during Euro 2012.
The attacking midfielder won almost everything as a player, but he couldn’t follow that up with managerial glory. Bobby grabbed the reigns at Preston in 1973 but his first campaign ended in relegation to the old Third Division. Failure to go back up after his second season and a slow start to the third meant he left Deepdale under a cloud.
When Cruyff returned to Barça as manager in 1988, La Masia prised physique over skill and waved goodbye to any decent teenagers who wouldn’t grow to at least 5ft 9in. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi are all 5ft 7in. In the 89 years before Cruyff, Barça won 40 trophies; in the 29 years since they’ve collected 48. ‘Nuff said, really.
The first recipient of the Ballon d’or moved across the Potteries to lead Port Vale in ’67. Expelled from the Football League over financial irregularities – owing Stanley £7,000 in the process – the Valiants needed to use the former wideman’s good name to get re-elected back into the league. Utterly disillusioned by it all, he never managed again.
ALFREDO DI STEFANO
The Blonde Arrow guided both Boca Juniors and River Plate to league titles, as well as winning La Liga and the European Cup Winners’ Cup while at Valencia. He was less successful at Real Madrid, finishing runners-up in five competitions in 1982-83 including La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Cup Winners’ Cup to Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen.