In the world of football, it is common knowledge that success as a player is not always directly proportional to success as a coach. There are many players whose quality is unquestionable on the gridiron, but who don’t shine as much as a tactician.
Some players even experienced that while dealing with their former clubs. They are indeed known as club legends, but failed to bring their former club achievements so they had to be sacked.
Santiago Solari (Real Madrid) : Santiago Solari is a former Argentine midfielder who became famous as a Real Madrid legend when he was active. Solari defended Real Madrid from 2000 to 2005. He was part of a star-studded Real Madrid team known as Los Galacticos at that time.
During his time at Madrid, Solari recorded a total of 208 appearances in all competitions with 22 goals and 19 assists . Solari also managed to bring Los Blancos to 7 trophies, including 2 LaLiga trophies, and 1 Champions League.
Unfortunately, Solari’s period as Madrid coach was not as successful as when he played. Solari started managing Madrid in October 2018 and he only lasted less than 5 months. Although he had brought Madrid to win the Club World Cup, he was still considered a failure by management and was sacked in March 2019, then replaced by Zinedine Zidane.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) : Frank Lampard is one of the best and most successful midfielders Chelsea have ever had. As a player, Lampard’s contribution to the Blues is unquestionable.
During 13 years defending Chelsea, Lampard played 648 times in all competitions with a record of 211 goals and 150 assists . He has almost always been a key player for Chelsea and played a major role in bringing Chelsea to 12 trophies, including 3 Premier Leagues and 1 Champions League.
At the start of the 2019/20 season, Lampard was surprisingly appointed to manage Chelsea even though he still lacked experience as a coach. His first season went well because he managed to bring Chelsea to finish in the top four even though at that time the Blues were being banned from bringing in new players.
The following season, Chelsea brought in many top-priced players. Ironically, it actually makes their performance decline. Lampard, who is considered the culprit of the failure, was sacked in early 2021 and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) : Andrea Pirlo is more widely known as an AC Milan legend, but at the end of his career he defended Juventus long enough so that he also deserves to be called a Juve legend. To be precise, Pirlo defended Juve for 4 seasons. He recorded 164 appearances with the Old Lady and helped them win 7 trophies.
After retiring, Pirlo turned into a coach. In 2020, he was appointed coach of Juventus U-23s, but was suddenly assigned the task of leading the first team just days later. As a result, Juve’s performance declined under Pirlo until they had to end the 2020/21 season in fourth place in Serie A.
For Juve, it was the first time they failed to win the Scudetto in the last 9 years. As a result, Pirlo was sacked even though he had presented two trophies, namely the Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia and passed Juve to the Champions League in the last week.
Ronald Koeman (Barcelona) : This coach has also recently been fired, to be precise at the end of October 2021. The Dutch manager is considered to have failed to lift Barcelona’s performance so he had to be expelled from the Camp Nou. Although Koeman managed to present the Copa del Rey trophy last season, this achievement was still not enough to save him.
In fact, as a player, Koeman is one of the legends of Barca. He defended the Blaugrana from 1989 to 1995. As a defender, Koeman was very productive with a record of 86 goals in 262 matches in all competitions. He also presented 10 trophies for Barca. Unfortunately, Koeman could not continue that success as the captain of Barcelona.