Top 15 Soccer Managers Who Sucked As Players

Being a great player does not equate to being a great manager, that much is clear, with the likes of Diego Maradona, Hristo Stoichkov and Graeme Souness proving that. However, it is still rare in the modern game for there to be managers who weren't at least half decent players. The vast majority of this list is made up a very successful managers, with only a couple of exceptions, yet none of them had any noteworthy success as players.

Many played non-league and amateur soccer, whilst some never even got that far. Those on this list who did make the grade of professional soccer either didn't last long or were simply known as terrible players. The list is restricted primarily to those who have had decent spells in management with fairly reputable clubs, all but one of the men featured on this list have won trophies, and a number of them have won many.

One of the managers on this list famously said "I never realized that in order to become a jockey you have to have been a horse first," when he was questioned about his lack of playing experience. As time goes by, coaches who have been involved in the back room staff at clubs without having played the game are given more opportunities, and we could well see an increase in managers who couldn't actually play the game very well. Here are the top 15 managers who were rubbish as players:

15 Louis van Gaal

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

14 Rafa Benitez


13 Arsene Wenger

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC

12 Juande Ramos


11 Sven-Goran Eriksson


10 Guy Roux


9 Jose Mourinho

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

8 Gerard Houllier


7 Roy Hodgson

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

6 Luiz Felipe Scolari

Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

5 Bill Struth


4 Carlos Alberto Parreira


3 Ron Noades


2 Andre Villas Boas


1 Arrigo Sacchi


"I never realized that in order to become a jockey you have to have been a horse first," that quote you read in the introduction, was Arrigo Sacchi. There is no greater example of a fine manager who was far from being a fine player. When Italy faced Brazil in the 1994 World Cup final the two managers were Carlos Alberto Parreira and Arrigo Sacchi, two men who had zero playing experience managing the biggest soccer game on the planet. Sacchi failed to make the grade with a lowly Italian side and became a shoe salesman instead.

He soon got his break in management though, and after impressing with Parma he was given the AC Milan job, where he would make history. He soon answered his critics at Milan, winning the Serie A title in his debut season, the club's first for nine years. His greatest achievement in management though was undoubtedly winning back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990. He later managed Italy and Atletico Madrid, before returning to Parma, where he retired in 2001.

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Top 15 Soccer Managers Who Sucked As Players