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7 Players Who You Can't Help But Feel Will Make Great Managers

7 Players Who You Can't Help But Feel Will Make Great Managers
By Mikey Traynor
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Granted, it is almost impossible to predict which footballers will go on to become great managers.

Just as the likes of Sami Hyypia and Clarence Seedorf failed after being widely tipped to be huge successes, some of the very best managers in the game barely kicked a ball during their playing career.

There are, however, examples of players looking like managers during their active career, and then going on to do just that, such as Pep Guardiola, and to a lesser extent Zinedine Zidane (jury is still out but a Champions League win would be very impressive).

We've had a think through the active players that we feel will go on and become strong managers, and here is what we have come up with.

Phillip Lahm

Style: Tactical/Inspirational
Key Attribute: Gentlemanly conduct

We saw last week the type of thing that sets Phillip Lahm apart from other footballers, when during the Bayern Munich title celebrations he stopped the crowd from singing an anti-Dortmund song and asked them to sing about Bayern instead.

The man is all class, and has been described by Pep Guardiola as the most intelligent footballer he has ever seen. And you'd believe him. Lahm is a true treasure of the modern game, and his transition to management is inevitable. Clubs in Germany will be lining up to give him a chance when he hangs up his boots, and he could go on to be a truly great manager.


The only doubt is that he's so damn smart he may be fast-tracked into a position of power upstairs at Bayern.

Xabi Alonso

Style: Tactical/Composed
Key Attribute: Universal respect

You could easily envisage Xabi Alonso calmly patrolling the touchline at the likes of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.


Having played under the likes of Mourinho, Guardiola, and Benitez, the Spaniard is a student of the game and it is very difficult to see him not step into management, something he has made clear he intends to do upon retirement.

Alonso would have his sides playing beautiful football and instantly command respect from any player.

Daniele De Rossi

Style: Motivational/Madman
Key Attribute: Fear


A true leader of men, De Rossi is much more than just a destructive defensive midfielder.

Italians tend to make good managers, and a recent story about the AS Roma legend giving away his World Cup winner's medal is the exact type of thing that leads us to believe his interpersonal skills are well suited to top-level management.

Just like Simeone at Atletico, you feel that at the end of the day De Rossi could just scare his players into doing what he wants.


Mikel Arteta

Style: Tactical
Key Attribute: Can absolutely rock a suit

Arteta will be leaving Arsenal this summer in order to take up a role on Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Man City as a first step on his road to becoming a manager.


As a player, Arteta was a calm and classy footballer who showed a clear tactical appreciation for the game, so don't be surprised to see him on the touchline at a big club in the future.


Plus he looks magnificent in a suit, it has to be said.

Darren Fletcher

Style: Motivational/Tactical
Key Attribute: Perseverance

Our best shout to keep Scotland's proud tradition of having good managers alive is former Manchester United man Darren Fletcher.


Tony Pulis said back in January that Fletch has all the qualities to make a great manager and has started working on his badges, and his learning under Alex Ferguson will no doubt be a help.

His own personal battle with debilitating illness would serve as inspiration to his players should they find themselves in times of trouble.

Leonardo Bonucci

Style: Italian
Key Attribute: Italian

A commanding Italian centre-back, Bonucci has the distinct look of a manager about him already, and his thriving under Antonio Conte and the 3-5-2 system would suggest that he already has a favoured formation sussed.

There is also the story of a time when Bonucci was at a Ferrari dealership in Italy with his wife and child when an armed robber put a gun in his face and tried to make-off with the Juve star's cash. Instead of giving in, he punched the gunman in the face and then chased him down the street as the coward fled on a motorbike. That's management material.

Dirk Kuyt

Style: Motivational
Key Attribute: Passion/Work-rate

The next great Dutch thinker, Dirk Kuyt's unrelenting work-rate would see him make it to the very top if he chooses to become a manager.

He will definitely get a shot at Feyenoord if he fancies it, as he is pretty much player-manager there already by all accounts, and again he is another well-travelled player who has experienced pretty much everything.

Of the Dutch players still playing, Kuyt is the only one who you could see going on to keep the trend of successful Dutch coaches alive.

Bonus: Robbie Keane?

Style: Motivational
Key Attribute: Universal respect (in Ireland)

Robbie is currently being groomed for the Ireland manager's job by both Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.

He pretty much admitted as much when talking to Tubes of Soccer AM last month, and you would have to admit that it makes total sense.

What young Irish player wouldn't give their absolute all for Robbie Keane? We'd love to see it work out, and we're Balls.ie, we had to include Keano on the list.

We would love to hear your suggestions if you feel we left anyone out, so be sure to get in touch and let us know.

SEE ALSO: 15 Premier League Managers Who NEVER Should Have Been Premier League Managers

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