World Cup legends returning in a new role

Some familiar faces will be spotted among the coaching staff on the sidelines at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, former players who are bound to trigger feelings of nostalgia among football fans all over the world.

Miroslav Klose (Germany)

Miroslav Klose (Germany)
The legendary German goalscorer ended his relationship with the FIFA World Cup on a high note in 2014: not only was he part of the team that lifted the trophy, he also broke the all-time record for goals scored at the tournament (16). After finishing his playing career in 2016, Klose immediately joined Joachim Low’s coaching staff.

Thierry Henry (France)

Thierry Henry (France / Belgium)
In 2018, one of the best strikers in history will once again appear at the FIFA World Cup, only this time he will be sat on the bench instead of performing on the pitch. Henry won the World Cup in 1998 and competed at a further three tournaments, in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Now he is assistant manager of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium.

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
Senegal’s captain at their only prior appearance at the World Cup in 2002, when the Lions of Teranga made it to the quarter-finals, Cisse began coaching his country’s youth teams in 2012. After working his way up the ladder, the former defender was appointed head coach of the senior team in 2015 and immediately led them to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Cha Du-ri (Korea Republic)

Cha Du-ri (Korea Republic)
A right back renowned for his energetic runs forward, Cha Du-ri was first spotted by Guus Hiddink playing student football ahead of the 2002 World Cup on home soil. He then made four appearances off the bench at that tournament and also played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The son of legendary Korean footballer Cha Bum-kun, Du-ri had a respectable career in Germany, Scotland and Korea Republic. After retirement, he entered the world of coaching and is currently responsible for the defence in Shin Tae-yong’s squad

Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia)

Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia)
The former goalkeeper travelled to two World Cups in 1994 and 2002 but only played in one game, albeit one that went down in history. When Russia thrashed Cameroon 6-1 at USA 1994, Oleg Salenko scored a record five goals and Cherchesov himself conceded to Roger Milla, who at 42 years old became the oldest marksman in World Cup history. Now Stanislav has the honour of managing his country at their home World Cup.

Didier Deschamps (France)

Didier Deschamps (France)
The captain of France’s victorious World Cup campaign in 1998, Deschamps replaced Laurent Blanc as coach in 2012 and led them to a runners-up spot at the UEFA EURO 2016 held on home soil. After leading France to Brazil 2014 quarterfinals, The World Cup in Russia will be his second as a coach

Vahid Halilhodzic (Yugoslavia / Japan)

Vahid Halilhodzic (Yugoslavia / Japan)
Bosnian striker Halilhodzic played for Yugoslavia at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. As head coach, he has overseen three successful World Cup qualifying campaigns for three different countries, taking Cote d’Ivoire to South Africa in 2010, Algeria to Brazil in 2014 and Japan to Russia 2018. Next summer will be his second experience at the finals, after he led Algeria to the Round of 16 four years ago.

Mladen Krstajic (Serbia and Montenegro / Serbia)

Mladen Krstajic (Serbia and Montenegro / Serbia)
One of the most consistently high-performing defenders in the Bundesliga for Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 during the 2000s, Krstajic represented Serbia and Montenegro at Germany 2006. The final tournament ended disappointingly for the Serbs, who finished bottom of their group, especially as the team had breezed through qualifying conceding only one goal thanks to the formidable backline of Krstajic, Vidic, Dragutinovic and Gavrancic. Krstajic retired in 2011 and five years later became part of Slavoljub Muslin’s coaching team for Serbia. After the latter’s departure, Krstajic took over the side on an interim basis.

Adam Nawalka (Poland)

Adam Nawalka (Poland) 
Nawalka made his debut in midfield for Poland aged 19. A year later, he played five matches at the 1978 World Cup, as Poland finished in fifth place. Nawalka’s international career was prematurely curtailed by injury, but he returned to the Poland national team 30 years later, initially as an assistant from 2007-08 and since 2012 as head coach

Ivica Olic (Croatia)

Ivica Olic (Croatia)
Olic appeared at three World Cups – in 2002, 2006 and 2014 – and scored two goals at the tournament overall, the second coming 12 years after the first. The former striker brought the curtain down on his playing days in June 2017 and by October he had accepted an offer to join newly-appointed Zlatko Dalic’s coaching team that will guide Croatia’s campaign in Russia.

Oscar Ramirez (Costa Rica)

Oscar Ramirez (Costa Rica)
Ramirez was part of Costa Rica’s team in their debut appearance at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, playing in all four of his country’s matches at the tournament. The former midfielder began his coaching career in 2002 and since then has spent it entirely in his home country. He took over the national team in 2015 and successfully guided them to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Gareth Southgate (England)

Gareth Southgate (England)
One of the most well-known English defenders of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Southgate played three matches at the 1998 World Cup and was named in the squad for 2002 but did not feature. He ended his playing career at Middlesbrough before immediately moving into the manager’s role at that club. After learning his craft coaching England’s youth teams, he took charge of his first senior game on an interim basis following Sam Allardyce’s departure. Southgate then made a good impression during the World Cup qualifiers and was offered the job permanently after four games in charge.

Taffarel (Brazil)

Taffarel (Brazil)
A world champion in 1994 and runner-up in 1998, Taffarel began his post-playing career as goalkeeping coach at Galatasaray in Turkey. He now works in this capacity for Brazil, after joining the Selecao set-up in 2014.

Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark)

Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark)
The joint top-scorer in Danish football history with 52 goals, Tomasson played at two World Cups, in 2002 and 2010, and managed five goals at the tournament in total. His performance in Korea Republic and Japan was particularly impressive, firing four goals in as many games. Tomasson took over as head coach of Dutch side Roda JC Kerkrade for the 2013/14 season and accepted Age Hareide’s offer to join the Denmark coaching team in 2016.

Juan Antonio Pizzi (Spain / Saudi Arabia)

Juan Antonio Pizzi (Spain / Saudi Arabia)
Pizzi started out as a striker in Argentina but spent most of his career in Spain, the country he represented at France 1998, where he featured in a 0-0 draw with Paraguay. He has since managed a variety of teams and his biggest success to date was in charge of Chile during their triumph at the Copa America in 2016. He was unable to lead Chile to the 2018 World Cup, but another chance to appear at the tournament arose when Saudi Arabia offered him the job of head coach.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *