In theory, athletes at the top of their sport should be great coaches. They won a lot and knew what it took to get over the line. Being a huge success on the soccer field doesn’t always mean that players can become good coaches. Some ex-players take to the task like a duck to water, while others sink. So do great soccer players make good coaches?
An example of a great player becoming a great coach is the French superstar Zinedine Zidane. As a player he was one of the very best, winning the World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, and multiple domestic league titles. In three seasons as Real Madrid’s coach, Zidane was able to win the Champions League three years in a row, becoming the first manager to do so.
The Not So Good
Diego Maradona is thought to be one of the best players to ever step foot on a soccer pitch. Some believe he is even better than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo because he won the World Cup for Argentina practically on his own. Despite his success as a player, when it comes to coaching, Maradona appears to struggle.
He led Argentina as a coach to a disappointing World Cup in 2010, where it seemed he didn’t understand that defense is an essential part of the sport. Maradona has struggled to find a top job since, and anytime he does coach, he doesn’t stay there for very long.
Coaching isn’t straightforward. Ex-players who were at the top of the sport aren’t necessarily that great at getting their message across to their players. Sometimes the lockerroom respect counts for a lot, and they have as much success as a coach that they did when they were playing.