Guardiola, Lampard, Zidane: 16 club legends who managed their former teams and how they fared

Lampard, Zidane, Guardiola.

Wayne Rooney is being backed as a favourite to become the next Everton manager.

Former Blues boss was sacked on Sunday afternoon after overseeing Everton drop to a lowly 16th in the Premier League table, just six months after joining the club.

Also in the running for the vacant position is another ex-affiliate of the club, Roberto Martinez, who spent three seasons in Merseyside and guided the Toffees to their highest league finish in the last 10 years.

Rooney is currently in his first managerial job with Derby County and despite having incurred a points deduction at the start of the season, Rooney’s side have impressively won four of their last five matches and could avoid relegation this season.

While Rooney has no managerial experience in the top-flight, he certainly has been doing an excellent job for the Rams.

Rooney, who is a boyhood Everton fan, made 117 appearances for the Merseyside club across two stints at the club, scoring 28 times for the Toffees.

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney.

But if he does join up again with the Toffees, Rooney will join an illustrious list of ex-players who have gone full circle to take charge of their old club.

In no particular order, here are 16 other managers who returned to coach the teams they once played for.

1. Frank Lampard – Chelsea
Having made 648 appearances while scoring 211 goals for Chelsea, it’s no wonder why Lampard is considered a legend at his former club. Being an integral cog in Jose Mourinho’s title-winning Chelsea side, Lampard is considered one of the club’s greatest and most successful captains. But unfortunately, his tenure as the Chelsea manager did not reflect the same success being sacked by Roman Abramovic after only 18 months at the helm.

Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard.

2. Roberto Di Matteo – Chelsea
Di Matteo is another Chelsea legend who was sacked by Abramovic after only a short period at the club. He made his debut on the pitch for Chelsea in 1996 before leaving in 2002, winning both the League Cup and the FA Cup. But he went on to greater heights in 2012 after he took over from departing manager Andre Villas-Boas to lead the Blues to their first Champions League trophy.

3. Alan Shearer – Newcastle
While Shearer is renowned for being Newcastle’s greatest ever goalscorer, scoring 206 times across 405 matches for the Magpies, many will have forgotten he also took charge of the club for eight games in 2009, overseeing Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship.

Former Newcastle manager Alan Shearer.

4. Howard Kendall – Everton
Rooney could take the same steps as Everton legend Howard Kendall who made 177 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 21 times for the club. After hanging up his boots, Kendall went on to manage the club on three separate occasions and became Everton’s most successful manager, winning three league titles, one FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Manchester United
Solskjaer’s injury-time winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final helped Manchester United clinch the treble that season but also turned the Norwegian into a sacred figure amongst United fans. Yet his tenure as the clubs manager was a bumpy one, with Solskjaer taking over from Jose Mourinho’s turbulent reign and struggling to fulfil the club’s high standards across a three-year spell at the club.

GMS Giveaway.


6. Thierry Henry – AS Monaco
Before the Frenchman became a Premier League legend at Arsenal, he started his career at AS Monaco, scoring 28 goals over 138 games for the Ligue 1 side. But his time as a manager lasted a meagre three months before he was suspended after winning only two league games with the club.

7. Antonio Conte – Juventus
Before Conte took over at Chelsea, he spent two years managing his former club Juventus. But the Italian may have tarnished his reputation amongst the Bianconeri fans after he took up a position at rival club Inter Milan following his time in London.

Spurs manager Antonio Conte.

8. Luis Enrique – Barcelona
One of only a few players to have played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, Enrique enjoyed success as the Blaugrana head coach, winning two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies and one Champions League trophy.

9. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid
It’s safe to say Simeone will go down as an Atletico legend. While winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey as a player with the Rojiblancos, Simeone has quadrupled his achievements as a player, now winning eight pieces of silverware with the club, including the Europa League.

10. Andrea Pirlo – Juventus
As a player, Andrea Pirlo was one of the most decorated men on this list, winning six Serie A titles, two Champions League Trophies, and of course, the World Cup with Italy. Four of those Serie A titles came during his time with Juventus, and in 2020, the ex-midfielder once again joined up with the Bianconeri, lifting the Italian Super cup a year later.

Andrea Pirlo as Juventus manager.

11. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal
After leaving in 2011, the Spaniard moved to Arsenal, where he won two FA Cup trophies over five seasons. He later returned to the club in a managerial capacity, taking over from departing boss Unai Emery in 2019, and won the FA Cup and FA Community Shield in his first year.

12. Pep Guardiola – Barcelona
Considered one of the greatest tacticians of the modern age, the Catalonian is also deemed to be one of Barca’s greatest managers and amassed 14 trophies during his managerial tenure at the Blaugrana.

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13. Graeme Souness – Liverpool
The Sky Sports pundit was one of several ex-Liverpool players to both play and manage the side. And while Souness won three European Cups with the Reds, his managerial career failed to live up to the same standards with the Scot winning one FA Cup trophy in his three-year tenure at the club.

14. Sir Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool
Perhaps one of the most successful player-managers in world football, Dalglish’s reputation preceeds itself, scoring 161 times for the Reds, over 497 matches. Winning multiple European Cups and eight league titles with the Reds, he resigned in 1991, only to return again in 2011, and helped Liverpool win the League Cup trophy in 2012.

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Jorgen Nielsen - Liverpool

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15. Zinedine Zidane – Real Madrid
Los Blancos legend Zidane was an icon on the field for Madrid, being one of a handful of players to have won the World Cup, Champions League and the Ballon d’Or during his playing career. After hanging up his boots in 2006, the Frenchman took over as Real Madrid manager in 2014, becoming the first coach in football history to win three consecutive Champions League titles.

16. Carlo Ancelotti – AC Milan
Ancelotti played for the Rossoneri for over five years, winning two European Cups with AC Milan and a further two Serie A titles. But the former Everton boss was another who returned to his old club and had great success on his return to Milan. Over eight years, Ancelotti worked with the likes of Kaka, Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf, winning the Champions League another two times for AC Milan.

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