Zidane must fare better than these five World Cup legends did in management

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It’s official: the short reign of Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid manager is over and club legend Zinedine Zidane has been drafted in to replace him, although the length of his contract is yet to be made public.

Los Blancos fans everywhere will now be hoping the Frenchman can replicate his form on the pitch into something more substantial behind the scenes at the Bernabeu.

But as these five footballing greats demonstrate – being a great player does not always equate to being a great manager.


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1. Lothar Matthaus

As a player, he won almost every major honour - barring the Champions League – but as a manager he is yet to win a single piece of silverware.

With a managerial career that includes spells in Austria, Serbia, Hungary, Brazil and Israel, Matthaus’ most recent job came with the Bulgarian national team, where he won just three of his 11 games in charge.

2. Carlos Alberto

The scorer of one of the most famous team goals in world football may boast managing 16 clubs on his CV but he has only stayed in a job for over a season in just two of those roles.

Last employed by the Azerbaijan national team over a decade ago, Alberto famously became embroiled in a spat with Michael Owen, after he incorrectly claimed the England striker had pledged to score five against the European minnows.

3. Marco van Basten

A truly remarkable player in his prime, Van Basten’s first coaching job was with the Netherlands’ national team, where he encountered criticism at the 2006 World Cup after dropping Ruud van Nistelrooy in favour of Dirk Kuyt in Holland’s 1-0 second round loss to Portugal.

Despite reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2008 with the national side, subsequent spells with Ajax, Heerenveen and AZ Alkmaar saw Van Basten fail to deliver any major honours.

4. Hristo Stoichkov

A troubled player at the best of times, Stoichkov’s three-year spell in charge of the Bulgaria from 2003 to 2007 saw the national team miss out on the 2006 World Cup and subsequent European Championships.

Worse still, the Barcelona legend became embroiled in spats with match officials and captain Stiliyan Petrov during his tenure.

Short and largely disappointing spells in charge of Celta Vigo and Mamelodi Sundowns followed before Stoichkov returned to Bulgaria for equally unimpressive stints at Litex Lovech and CSKA Sofia.

5. Diego Maradona

Having briefly dabbled in management with Mandiyú de Corrientes and Racing Club in the mid-1990s, Maradona made a surprise return to the touchline as Argentina manager in 2008.

Despite barely scraping through qualifying, La Albiceleste looked solid enough at the 2010 World Cup until Maradona could find no answer for a ruthlessly efficient Germany side in the quarter-finals, with Die Mannschaft winning 4-0.

His most recent job came with Al Wasl in Dubai, where the Argentine lasted just over a year and garnered negative headlines after clashing with his own fans.

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Zinedine Zidane
La Liga
World Cup
Real Madrid

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