Guardiola, Ancelotti, Dalglish & the other returning heroes – The coaches AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf could emulate

There has been many a success story over the years when a player has returned to a club to take the helm, but there have been a few nightmares too

By Stephen Crawford & Kris Voakes

As AC Milan attempt to put an horrendous first half of 2013-14 behind them, they finally have something to look forward to after the appointment of Clarence Seedorf as coach.

The Dutchman has been drafted in ahead of schedule following the dismissal of Massimiliano Allegri after the embarrassing 4-3 loss at Sassuolo which left the Rossoneri making the turn in Serie A with just five wins to their name.

As an ex-Milan player, the club hope that the 37-year-old will serve with a sense of loyalty and devotion, with a strong winning mentality, and with faith that he can re-establish the club as the Italian superpower they once were.

Goal takes a look at 10 players who have returned to their former clubs in a coaching capacity over the years, to assess just how much of an advantage it can be to bring back an individual who starred on the pitch and place them in the dugout…

More about Ancelotti…
Returned to: Milan

Playing career: 1987-1992

Management career: 2001-2009

Part of a unique band of men to win the Champions League as both player and manager, Ancelotti has enjoyed a career in football that has been littered with success. Winning a combined total of 17 honours between spells on the field and on the sidelines with Milan, the former Chelsea tactician lifted the coveted European Cup on two occasions as a midfielder before raising ‘Big Ears’ twice more at the helm of the Rossoneri.

More about Capello…
Returned to: Milan, Roma, Juventus

Playing career: 76-80, 67-70, 70-76 respectively

Management career: 91-96/97-98, 99-04, 04-06

During his first return to Milan, Capello guided the ‘Invincibles’ to the Champions League in his third season in charge. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the boss developed a fine knack for winning the Italian league, picking up at least one Serie A title at every one of his former teams – although both Scudetti won at Juventus were revoked following the Calciopoli scandal.

More about Conte…
Returned to: Juventus

Playing career: 1991-2004

Management career: 2011-

For 13 years, he was the midfield dynamo, captain and all-round heart of a Juventus side which got used to winning just about everything in sight, yet when Antonio Conte returned as coach in 2011 the club was still searching to return to those glory days following the nadir that was Calciopoli. In the two-and-a-half years that have followed, the ex-Siena boss has delivered two Scudetti and two Super Cups and already has them on the verge of a third straight crown for the first time in 79 years.

More about Dalglish…
Returned to: Celtic, Liverpool

Playing career: 1969-1977, 1977-1990 respectively

Management career: 1999-2000, 1985-1991/2011-2012

Dalglish only managed to win the Scottish League Cup in his time as Celtic boss, but the Scot’s real legacy is written in red ink, not green. A Liverpool legend, the 62-year-old won three league titles and two FA Cups during his first spell in charge, before returning again to steer the Reds back to winning ways, picking up a League Cup win before making way for Brendan Rodgers.

More about Deschamps…
Returned to: Olympique de Marseille, Juventus

Playing career: 89-90/91-94, 94-99 respectively

Management career: 2009-, 2006-2007

After four years at Monaco, Deschamps moved to Juventus, who had been relegated following Calciopoli. In his first and only year in charge of the Italian club, the Frenchman led them back to Serie A before moving to another former side in the form of Marseille. At the Stade Velodrome, the 45-year-old earned three Coupe de la Ligues and the Ligue 1 title before taking up the national head coach role vacated by Laurent Blanc.

More about Garcia…
Returned to: Lille

Playing career: 1982-1988

Management career: 2008-

Garcia won’t be remembered at Lille for his time spent on the pitch, but more for his career on the sidelines. The boss’ work ethic saw him lead Dijon to promotion into Ligue 2 before catching his big break with a move to his former side, whom he led to a sensational domestic double in 2011.

More about Guardiola…
Returned to: Barcelona

Playing career: 1990-2001

Management career: 2008-2012

Not much can be said about the former Barcelona boss that is not already widely known. A glittering 11-year career as a midfield pivot with the Catalan side saw him earn a hefty haul of silverware, before eventually becoming the boss of the team that cultivated his talents. Considered one of the best coaches in the world, Pep’s list of honours speaks for itself.

More about Klinsmann…
Returned to: Bayern Munich

Playing career: 1995-1997

Management career: 2008-2009

A German striker with an impressive goal return is almost guaranteed to ply their trade for Bayern at some point, but the story of Klinsmann’s return to Bavaria as a coach proved to be disastrous. Die Roten‘s decision to appoint the former Tottenham and Inter hitman brought with it his zany attempts to revolutionise the club – which included leaving Buddha figurines around the training ground. Klinsmann survived for less than a year before being shown the door.

More about Schuster…
Returned to: Koln

Playing career: 1978-1980

Management career: 1998-1999

Brought to Koln after their first ever relegation, Schuster’s men finished the 2. Bundesliga season in 10th place, missing promotion. The coach was so disappointed with his team that during the campaign he refused to enter the dressing room with the players at half-time. Such was his defiance, he would gladly stand in the rain instead of mingle with his men. A dark time for a club already reeling from demotion.

More about Terim…
Returned to: Galatasaray

Playing career: 1974-1985

Management career: 1996-2000/2002-2004/2011-2013

Despite being regarded as one of the most influential Turkish players of all time, Terim’s spell as a player at Galatasaray was largely unfruitful in terms of silverware, as the Istanbul side failed to win the league during his period on the pitch. However, upon his return as a coach, Cim Bom would win six domestic titles as well as two Turkish Super Cups and the Uefa Cup over three different spells.

Guardiola: Salzburg loss was an important experiment

The European champions were comfortably beaten by the Austrian side on Saturday but their coach insists it was a valuable way to test new formations before the Bundesliga returns

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola used his side’s friendly against Red Bull Salzburg to experiment as they suffered a 3-0 loss.

The match was the last of Bayern’s three January friendlies and first-half goals from Sadio Mane, Jonathan Soriano and Robert Zulj saw Salzburg to the surprise win on Saturday.

Kevin Kampl also missed a second-half penalty for the hosts at the Red Bull Arena.

Guardiola said it was important he used the friendly to try new things ahead of Bayern resuming their Bundesliga campaign against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.

“I made some tactical changes today because we wanted to have one more player in the midfield,” he said.

“Yesterday, we trained a new system with three defenders. This was mainly so that we could have the ball a little bit more in the midfield.

“We have to use these friendlies to try out new things, for me that is what they are about. Javi [Martinez] played 35 minutes with a little injury, so we had some problems.

“But again, friendlies are exactly for that. I can’t test new things during the season. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg can play as a central defender or in the midfield.

“However, when you are three goals behind after the first half the coach goes crazy and the players sadly have to try to deal with that.”

Klopp: Unrealistic to keep up with Bayern

The 46-year-old has played down the expectations of supporters, claiming the rest of Europe’s elite will struggle for pace against Bayern Munich

Jurgen Klopp has asked for Borussia Dortmund fans to remain realistic about their prospects for silverware in the face of Bayern Munich’s current dominance.

Last season’s Bundesliga and Champions League runners-up currently lie fourth in the league after an injury-ridden season so far, and face a tough task to finish in second place.

But Klopp believes finishing behind die Roten represents an excellent achievement already, claiming no team from the Premier League or Primera Liga would stand a chance either.

“If we should finish second this summer, I’ll find a truck and drive it through my garden. If nobody will rejoice at that, I’ll do it alone,” the 46-year-old lamented to WAZ

“We have to win every game or else nobody is satisfied. It’s totally unrealistic [to keep up with Bayern]. We do not take dissatisfaction that another team is so good. 

“Go through the world and find me a team who can finish champions in the same league as Bayern. Manchester United? No chance. Manchester City? No chance. Barcelona? Maybe. Real Madrid, no chance.”

BVB will host Augsburg when the Bundesliga gets back underway after the winter break next weekend.

Dortmund will get over Lewandowski loss – Reus

The German insists that the 2013 Champions League finalists will continue to challenge in the Bundesliga in spite of their star forward’s imminent switch to Bayern Munich

Marco Reus insists there is life after Robert Lewandowski for Borussia Dortmund.

The Poland international is bound for Bayern Munich, after signing a pre-contract agreement with the European champions ahead of a summer switch to the Allianz Arena.

However, Reus says that BVB will get on with business as usual after their star striker heads for Bavaria.

“Robert Lewandowski is a great player but he’s made his decision and we’ve got to live with that,” Reus told reporters.

“Every player has to make his own decision. If that’s where he sees his future, that’s his future and Borussia Dortmund will go on without him.”

The Dortmund star is realistic when assessing his side’s prospects this season, though, with a 12-point gap to bridge to Pep Guardiola’s irrepressible Bayern in the Bundesliga meaning that much of their focus may switch to the Champions League, in which they face Zenit St Petersburg in the last 16.

“Everyone would agree that the Bundesliga is becoming a force to be reckoned with, and lots of top stars and top coaches are choosing to go there,” added Reus.

“I can’t say why Guardiola chose to go there but it’s obvious that he has a good group of players to work with there.

“Bayern have played pretty much perfectly this season, which has made it hard for the other teams.

“It’s obviously difficult to say that we want to catch Bayern because the difference is so great, but we want to try to make sure we at least get the second spot.

“But we’re still in the Champions League and the German Cup so there’s plenty for us left to play for. And in the Champions League, we have tricky opposition but we have the opportunity to progress.”

Dortmund return to league play after the winter break next weekend as they look to reduce the five-point gap behind second-placed Bayer Leverkusen with a home win against Augsburg.

Marco Reus was speaking at PUMA’s 2014 Nature of Believing event in Barcelona which featured the launch of the new evoPOWER football boot.

PUMA Power players Cesc Fàbregas, Thierry Henry and Mario Balotelli put their football skills to the test on the evoPOWER wall, the custom built football simulator that utilises Hawk Eye technology to measure players’ power and accuracy.

evoPOWER was inspired by the freedom of movement of a bare foot and the players showcased their skills and the boots’ performance enhancing technology through four interactive challenges.

For more information:

Guardiola: Squad depth is vital to Bayern success this season

The Spaniard admits he is relieved to have almost a full contingent of players to call on as the German and European champions head into a gruelling run of fixtures

Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola admits he will depend on his entire squad as the Bavarians head into a tough run of games in their hunt for an unprecedented second successive treble.

The current Bundesliga and Champions League holders return to action following the winter break against Borussia Monchengladbach on January 24 as part of a sequence of six matches in just 18 days prior to their Champions League meeting with Arsenal.

Guardiola says he is relieved to have a full contingent of players to call upon as his side look to maintain their assault for silverware on all fronts in 2014.

“I have a big squad. We have so many games, every three days, so we need every player,” said Guardiola at the club’s training camp in Doha.

Bayern lifted the Club World Cup in December to give Guardiola is first trophy in charge of the club, and the former Barcelona man admits he would have preferred the chance to rotate his line-up in order to keep his players fresh for the return to domestic action.

“In the first round I could not rotate, since many important players were injured,” he said. “Now we have a full squad and everyone deserves to play.”

Bayern are looking to become the first side to defend the modern Champions League as they bid to retain their domestic and European treble from last season, but Guardiola has warned his side against complacency as they continue their charge for trophies.

Asked whether his side can replicate the feat of Jupp Heynckes’ team last season, Guardiola stated: “It depends on the performance.”