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.

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