After having an incredible career as a footballer, it is expected that you transition into coaching. Many football players who are yet to retire have stated of their desire to become a coach. You can even check out our list of 15 active footballers who will become coaches in the future.

However, today I will be looking at those that have already fulfilled their dream of becoming coaches after they retired. I will be mentioning players who recently retired and started coaching, and players who retired not too recently, but started coaching of recent. Also, I will only mention players who are not popular as coaches now. So I’ll be leaving out the likes of Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Xavi Hernandez and Sol Campbell. I covered most of these coaches in this article.

1. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney coach

We start with the latest retiree and the latest coach in England. Wayne Rooney enjoyed a stellar career for both the Three Lions and Manchester United. He currently manages Championship club Derby County, after he previously served as interim player-manager.

2. Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso Real Sociedad coach

Xabi Alonso is widely considered to be one of the best central midfielders in the world during his time. The Spaniard began his career at Real Sociedad, before moving to Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. H EZe retired from football on May 2017 and began coaching the Real Madrid U14s in 2018. However, on June 2019, Alonso was appointed manager of Segunda División B club Real Sociedad B.

3. Raúl González

Raúl González coach Real Madrid Castilla

There’s no doubt that Raul is one of the greatest Spanish strikers of all-time. He spent most of his playing career at the Bernabeu, and could one day become a manager there. After he retired from football in 2015, while playing for the New York Cosmos, Raul transitioned into coaching. He is currently the coach of the Real Madrid Castilla.

4. Robin van Persie

The Dutch striker made his senior debut for Feyenoord during the 2001–02 season, which resulted in a victory in the 2002 UEFA Cup Final. After he played at Arsenal, Manchester United, and Fenerbahçe, he moved back to Feyenoord, where he ended his career in 2019. A year after his retirement, Van Persie became an assistant-coach to Dick Advocaat at Feyenoord.

5. Per Mertesacker

Mertesacker enjoyed over 15 years as a footballer, where he played for the likes of Hannover 96, Werder Bremen, and Arsenal. The World Cup winner with Germany was an outstanding defender with good aerial ability. After his retirement, he was announced as the coach of the Arsenal Academy.

6. Damien Duff

The Irish international is currently the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland. He played most of his football career at Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Fulham and Newcastle United. He retired from football in 2015, and had coaching stints with the Shamrock Rovers under 15s, Celtic reserve team and became part of the coaching staff at Celtic. On April 2020, Duff was appointed as the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland senior team to Stephen Kenny, but he just quit the role on January 8 this year.

Honourable Mentions

  • Kolo Touré – coaching staff at Leicester City
  • Michael Carrick – coaching staff at Manchester United
  • Thiago Motta – former coach of Genoa
  • Samuel Eto’o – interim player-manager of Antalyaspor
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy – coach of the PSV under-19

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