Guardiola, Zidane, Hammon: 10 trailblazing athletes who became successful coaches

Split image of Becky Hammon and Pep Guardiola

Sport has produced many legendary athletes and coaches over the years but there is a pool of extreme talent who have been successful as both.

There are a lot of incredible individuals who have led iconic careers on the pitch or court and have also gone on to be decorated managers.

GiveMeSport Women takes a look at ten sporting trailblazers who carried their success on past their playing days.

Zinedine Zidane

As a player, Zidane won two Serie A titles with Juventus and the La Liga title with Real Madrid. He also won the Champions League with Los Blancos, the club he has also found success with at managerial level.

The Frenchman led Madrid to two league titles, three consecutive Champions Leagues, two Super Cups, and two Club World Cups.

Sonia Bompastor

TURIN, ITALY – MAY 21: Sonia Bompastor, Head Coach of Olympique Lyonnais celebrates with the UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy following victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at Juventus Stadium on May 21, 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Bompastor won eight Division 1 Féminine titles between her time with Montpellier and Lyon, as well as two Champions League trophies.

After winning the European title with Lyon as a player, she went on to achieve the same feat ten years later but as manager of her former club.

Since being appointed manager in 2021, Bompastor has won three major trophies with Lyon.

Boris Becker

Becker’s successful tennis career started when he was just 17 years of age. He won the 1985 Wimbledon Championships to mark his maiden Grand Slam title and went on to win five more majors before retiring in 1999.

Becker worked with Novak Djokovic for three years and during that short period, he helped the Serbian win every single Grand Slam tournament.

Under Becker’s coaching, Djokovic won three Wimbledon titles, two Australian Opens, the French Open and the US Open.

Amélie Mauresmo

Mauresmo reached world number one status in tennis in 2004, the same year she won an Olympic silver medal at the 2004 Games.

The Frenchwoman went on to win two Grand Slam titles during her playing career and they both arrived in the same year. She won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006.

After she announced her retirement in 2009, Mauresmo coached Andy Murray to two ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, and Marion Bartoli won her first and only Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2013 under her compatriot.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola with Premier League trophy
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City celebrates with the Premier League trophy after their side finished the season as Premier League champions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Widely regraded as one of the greatest football managers of all time, Guardiola also found a lot of success as a player.

The Spaniard won 15 major trophies with Barcelona during his playing days, including six La Liga titles. He then replicated this gold rush as manager of the Catalonian side, winning 14 major titles.

Guardiola also managed Bayern Munich, where he won seven trophies in three years. He has won 12 trophies with current club Manchester City — including four Premier League titles — since he joined 2016.

Becky Hammon

Earlier this month, Hammon became the first head coach in WNBA history to win a title during her rookie year with a team when she led the Las Vegas Aces to their first ever Championship.

As a player, despite never winning a title, Hammon became a six-time WNBA All-Star and was named twice in the All-WNBA first team. She also became the most prolific scorer in the history of the Colorado State University program.

Kenny Dalglish

‘King Kenny’ was inducted into both the Scottish and English Halls of Fame after a hugely decorated playing career.

Throughout his time at Celtic and Liverpool, he won a combined ten first division titles along with 14 Cups and three European trophies.

As a manager, Dalglish returned to both Celtic and Liverpool to win eight titles in total, including two FA Cups and three top flight titles with Liverpool. He also enjoyed a stint at Blackburn Rovers and won his first Premier League title as manager.

Tracey Neville

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 21: Tracey Neville manager of England waves to the crowd at the end of the bronze medal match between England and South Africa at M&S Bank Arena on July 21, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Before Neville made history as England head coach by spearheading them to their first ever Commonwealth Games gold in 2018, she won two domestic titles on the court as a player.

The Brit won the South Australia Farmers Union League with Contax in 2000 before returning home to win the Super Cup with Northern Thunder in 2002.

Neville has managed both the England and Manchester Thunder, winning three European Netball Championships with the Roses, and two Super League titles with the Thunder.

Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff Total Football
Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff (1947 – 2016) of Dutch team Ajax Amsterdam, in Wembley Stadium, London, UK, 1st June 1971. (Photo by R. Powell/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Cruyff is regarded as one of the best players and managers in football history.

During his playing career, he won 18 trophies with Ajax, where he became a club legend. Cruyff also won four titles combined across his time at Barcelona and Feyenoord.

As a manager, Cruyff returned to both Ajax and Barca, where he won a total of 14 titles across both eras.

Larry Bird

‘Larry Legend’ is viewed as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, having won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics and an Olympic gold medal with the US national team.

Bird is a three-time NBA MVP, 12-time NBA All-star, and was included in the All-NBA first team nine times.

As a manager, Bird went on to lead the Indiana Pacers to the NBA Finals. He is the only person in NBA history to be named  Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.

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