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Ranking the top 5 managers at EURO 2020 based on their playing career

Ranking the top 5 managers at EURO 2020 based on their playing career

Article by: Mitchell Grimes

Tue, Jun 22.21

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  • Ranking the top 5 managers at EURO 2020 based on their playing career

    Ever wondered who the best managers at EURO 2020 are, but based on their playing career?

    There's some quality players like Roberto Mancini who didn't make the cut. Who finished first? Find out as we count down our top 5: 

    5. Paulo Sousa

    Starting the list off is Poland Manager Paulo Sousa. 

    Sousa was a versatile player, usually employed as a defensive midfielder but could also be used to dictate the tempo of games as a deep lying playmaker with his excellent vision and control. Sousa was a regular at Benfica from an early age, winning the Portuguese league title in 90/91 and the Taça de Portugal two years later.

    While in Portugal he had a brief stint at Sporting Lisbon where he played with Real Madrid legend Luis Figo. Following one season at Lisbon he moved to Juventus where he led them to the 94/95 Serie A title and the Champions League one year later. 

    Sousa became one of four players in history to win the champions league in back to back seasons with different clubs after moving to Borussia Dortmund in 1996 where the Germans beat his former side Juventus 3-1 in the final. 

    Sousa was capped 51 times for Portugal playing in both the 96 & 2000 Euros going as far as the semi finals and was part of the side that went to the 2002 World Cup.

     

     

    4. Luis Enrique 

    Next up is Spain manager Luis Enrique 

    Enrique was usually used by managers as an attacking midfielder or winger but again he was extremely versatile playing in all outfield positions throughout his career except for central defender. Enrique brought an abundance of energy & work rate to the teams he played for but was also blessed with great technical skills. 

    Enrique started his career off at local side Sporting Gijón where he stayed for 3 years before moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid. His stay in the capital was successful winning the Copa del Rey in 93/94 and the league title 2 seasons later. Despite this success Enrique publicly stated that he didn’t feel appreciated by the fans and didn’t enjoy his time at the club. 

    Enrique moved on to major rivals Barcelona, spending 8 years at the club becoming a fan favourite and eventual captain, scoring multiple goals against his former side, celebrating every time. Enrique won back to back league titles in 97/98 and 98/99 which included a league and cup double in 97/98.  

    Enrique also won 62 caps for his country, making three world cup squads from 1994-2002 and featuring in Spain's Euro 96 campaign eventually losing to England in the quarter finals.

    3. Frank de Boer 

    Coming in third is Netherlands manager Frank de Boer 

    Frank de Boer was one of the best defenders in the world during his playing days, starting his career off at left back before becoming a world class ball-playing central defender. Frank was known for his pace and technical ability allowing him to play the ball out from the back and initiate attacks. 

    Frank was one of the many stars to break through the Ajax academy in the late 80s/ early 90s along with his brother Ronald, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf and Champions League hero Patrick Kluivert. 

    At his boyhood club de Boer won 5 domestic league titles, 2 KNVB cups, and was part of the side that tasted the ultimate success in the 1995 champions league final beating previous years champions AC Milan 1-0 in the 85th minute. 

    Frank left Ajax with his brother to join Barcelona where they won a La Liga title along with Luis Enrique in 98/99. de Boer was a regular for the Spanish giants in the early 2000s making 144 appearances prior to having brief stints at Galatasaray and Rangers and finishing his playing career in Qatar 

    de Boer made 112 appearances for the Dutch national side, at the time making him the most capped player in the nation's history. Frank played in 5 major tournaments making it as far as the semi-finals in Euro 2000.

     

     

    2. Andriy Shevchenko 

    The Ukrainian Manager comes in second in our list. 

    Shevchenko was scouted for the Dynamo Kiyv under 14s side where he finished top scorer in the Ian Rush cup for which he was rewarded with a pair of the Welshman's boots. 

    He would go on to win a lot more than just boots, winning the league in his first season with Kyiv’s first team at 18 and repeating that success for the next 4 seasons winning the league title with Dynamo in each of his five seasons with the club. While playing for Dynamo he scored a Hat-trick against Barcelona in the champions league, which wouldn’t be done again until Mbappé in 2021. 

    He was bought by AC Milan in 1999 for 25 million euros winning the Capocannoniere for most goals scored in the league in his first season. At Milan he also became the first Ukrainian player to lift the champions league scoring the final penalty against Juventus in 2003 after extra time. 

    Andriy won his second Capocannoniere in 2003/04 firing Milan to their first Scudetto in five years and capped off a stunning 2004 with the Ballon d'Or becoming the third Ukrainian ever to win the award. 

    He signed for Chelsea in 2006 for 46 million euros, a record fee for a British signing, linking up with Jose Mourinho. His time at Chelsea was relatively underwhelming only netting 9 goals in 48 appearances, although he was part of the side that beat Arsenal in the league cup final in 2007. 

    Shevchenko ended his club career back at his boyhood club making another 55 appearances and 23 goals before retiring in 2012. 

    For his country Shevchenko is the second most capped player and top scorer with 48 international goals in 111 appearances. He led the Ukraine national team to its first ever major tournament in 2006 where they went out in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Italy.

    1. Didier Deschamps 

    Coming in at number one on the list is France manager Didier Deschamps who won everything there is to win and then some. 

    Deschamps was a hard working and tactically brilliant defensive midfielder who excelled in breaking up opponents attacks and recycling the ball to teammates to start attacks of their own. 

    He was scouted and signed by Nantes in 1983 making his professional debut in 1985, he made 111 appearances for the club before moving to Marseille where he would collect his first of many trophies. He won two league titles with Marseille in the early 90s and was part of the first and only French side to win the Champions League in 1993 becoming the youngest captain in the competitions history to lift the trophy. 

    After his success at Marseille Deschamps moved to Juventus where he won another 3 Serie A titles, a Copa Italia and his second Champions League playing alongside the likes of Del Piero and Poland manager Paulo Sousa. 

    Deschamps then made the move to England where he added the 99/00 FA Cup to his list of honours with a young John Terry watching the defensive masterclass from the bench. 

    He ended his club career in Spain at Valencia helping them to the Champions League final which they eventually lost to Bayern Munich, taking his total Champions League final squad appearances to five. 

    The Frenchman’s International career is what sets him aside from the rest on this list, making his first cap in 1989 and captaining the nation’s golden generation which included the likes of Zidane, Viera, and Henry. France dominated international football in this period winning the 98 World Cup and the Euros two years later where Deschamps announced his retirement from international football.

     

     

    There you have it. Our top 5. Let us know in the comments who you would have in your top 5 list, did we miss anyone?

    We'll have to wait and see if one of these former players will add the EURO 2020 title to their honours list as a manager come the end of the tournament. 


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