Guardiola, Solskjaer, Klopp: Ranking all 20 Premier League managers by success as players

Pep Guardiola as a player for Barcelona

It is generally accepted that footballers who enjoy excellent playing careers are unable to translate their success in the realm of management. 

Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could yet be held up as examples to counter that pervading wisdom during their respective careers, while Zinedine Zidane's three Champions League titles with Real Madrid have already started to alter perceptions amongst football fans. 

However, even with those aforementioned examples in mind, it must be said that plenty of managers had mediocre, relatively uneventful playing careers at best.

Just a handful of the current 20 Premier League managers played at the elite level during their playing careers, with many languishing in the lower echelons before enjoying a far better time as tracksuit-clad or suit-wearing tacticians. 

Brendan Rodgers and Thomas Tuchel both fall into that category, though their careers were also cut short due to knee injuries. 

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola won six La Liga titles, two Spanish cups and one European Cup as a player with Barcelona and is one of those rare examples of someone who managed to translate their glory as a player into management. 

And the 50-year-old's career has seen him ranked as the most successful player from the current 20 Premier League managers.

In an article produced by Squawka, all 20 managers have been ranked based on the success of their playing careers. 

Guardiola, who is described as a 'proto-Busquets' in the article, beats Carlo Ancelotti and Man United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to top spot. 

On balance, it's fair to conclude that the top seven all had noteworthy playing careers but once we reach Jurgen Klopp in eighth place the quality begins to diminish rather rapidly. 

That less than 50% of managers' playing careers are worth writing home about adds some substance to the theory that top players are unable to transfer their expertise into the technical area. 

Take a look at the ranking in ascending order below:

20. Brendan Rodgers 

19. Thomas Tuchel 

18. Marcelo Bielsa

17. Graham Potter 

16. Roy Hodgson 

15. David Moyes 

14. Nuno Espirito Santo 

13. Paul Heckingbottom

12. Dean Smith

11. Sam Allardyce 

10. Sean Dyche 

9. Ryan Mason 

8. Jurgen Klopp 

7. Ralph Hasenhuttl 

6. Mikel Arteta 

5. Scott Parker 

4. Steve Bruce 

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 

2. Carlo Ancelotti

1. Pep Guardiola 

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