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10 Legendary Footballers-Turned-Managers

With FC Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez landing his first managerial job this week, here are some legendary players-turned-managers, a list that includes Johann Cruyff, Pep Guardiola and the 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning coach.

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see the 10 players-turned-managers, as per talkSPORT!

Xavi enjoyed an illustrious 22-year career, and is most notably remembered for his spell with the Blaugrana, for whom the Spain international amassed a record 737 matches facross all competitions, in addition to winning 32 titles.

The 39-year-old, who left Barca in 2015, took over the reins at Qatari side Al Sadd this week, replacing Jesualdo Ferreira as the club's manager.

Xavi is set to follow in the footsteps of a host of footballers who made the move into management.

Watch: Casillas On Zidane 

Arguably the most well-known is late Ajax Amsterdam and Netherlands legend Cruyff. Not many players or managers in world football can lay claim to having their influence extend across both borders and years like he can.

The Dutchman, who clinched three Ballon d'Or titles, was a key proponent of the "Total Football" philosophy, and played an integral role in Ajax's dominance in Europe in the 1970s. After retiring, Cruyff enjoyed a great deal of success at both Ajax and Barcelona, most notably guiding the latter to four consecutive LaLiga titles.

His style of play and his philosophy has influenced a host of managers and players, including the likes of Guardiola, Frank Rijkaard, Michael Laudrup and Xavi.

Manchester City boss Guardiola, as a player, formed part of the Blaugrana's famous European Cup-winning "Dream Team" of 1992. While he was by no means prolific as a player, the 48-year-old played an integral role in Barcelona's revival under the guidance of coach Cruyff.

Despite his trophy-laden career as a player, Guardiola will most likely be remembered for his contribution in the world of coaching. In his four-year spell in Barca's hot seat, he clinched 14 trophies, including three league titles and two Champions League trophies.

Guardiola followed up his successful spell in Spain with another trophy-laden stint, this time with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, guiding the Bavarian giants to three league titles, two German Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.

Having already won back-to-back league titles with City in his first three years in the Premier League, Guardiola has already cemented his legendary status in England as a coach.

Next is French legend Zinedine Zidane. As a player, "Zizou" won every single club trophy on offer, plying his trade for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid and France.

Indicative of his individual brilliance, Zidane won the Ballon d'Or award on three different occasions (1998, 2000, 2003) while also helping Les Bleus win the FIFA World Cup title in 1998 and finishing as runners-up in 2006 after being sent off in the final against Italy for his infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

In his role as manager, Zidane made history at Real, guiding the Spanish giants to three consecutive Champions League titles, while also winning a league crown, a Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Other players-turned-managers include a three-time Champions League-winning tactician and a Frenchman who made history last year in becoming only the third person, after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer, to win the FIFA World Cup as both a player and a manager – click through the gallery above to see all the legendary players-turned-coaches!

Read: 'Ronaldo Is The Best Player I Ever Signed To Real'

Which player-turned-manager in the gallery do you consider to be the best coach? Have your say in the comments section below.

 

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