Managerial Careers of Former top players in football history

For some players the day they finally hang up their boots can mark the end of a long, arduous career in professional football, and the start of a new stage in their lives.

But for many stars it has proven difficult to leave the game in their rear-view mirror and the draw of elite management has given them a route back into the sport - although some have fared better than others.

In fact, the number of former pros turning to management seems to have grown, with the Premier League alone seeing the likes of Mikel Arteta, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker all emerge in recent seasons.


Xavi - Al Sadd (2019-21), Barcelona (2021-)

As playing careers go, there are few that can rival Xavi’s achievements in the game.

The Spaniard spent two decades at Barcelona, winning four Champions Leagues, eight league titles, three Copa Del Rey titles, eight Spanish Super Cups, a pair of Club World Cups and UEFA Super Cups, plus two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain.

After leaving for Al Sadd in 2016, Xavi hung up his boots and was appointed the club’s manager, guiding them to success in four cup competitions and a league title before a prodigal return to Barcelona in 2021, 26 years after joining the Under-16s.
After a shaky start at the Camp Nou - overshadowed by financial crisis and Lionel Messi’s departure - Xavi has put together a side that sit 12 points clear in the race for the LaLiga title, having already won the Spanish Super Cup.

Should the Catalan giants find a way out of the economic disaster they find themselves in and back Xavi in the transfer market, the ex-midfielder’s prospects appear frightening.