Lampard, Solskjaer & club legends who managed the club they played for

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Frank Lampard follows in a long line of legends to manage the club that made their legend - but not all have been successful

On July 4, Chelsea announced the return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge as manager.

Following the exit of Maurizio Sarri, who led the Blues to the Europa League, they turned to the ex-England midfielder, who turned out 648 times for the clubs and scored 211 goals, becoming a hero of the fans.

His experience in the dugout may be limited to just one season in charge of Championship side Derby but he will at least have the complete loyalty of the supporters as he begins this new step in his career.

Here is a selection of other bosses who have returned to the sides where they forged their legends as players.

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    Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan)

    One of the few coaches to win the European Cup as both a player and a coach, and a member of an even more select band to do so at the same club. Ancelotti spent five years playing with the San Siro side, where he won two Scudetti and two European Cups, but he made an even greater impression as a manager, taking charge of over 400 matches and securing, among a myriad of trophies, two Champions Leagues during a stint that lasted from 2001-09.

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    Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)

    One of three men to have won the World Cup as a player and a coach, along with Mario Zagallo and Didier Deschamps, coaching West Germany was his first front-line coaching experience. He then spent a year with Marseille before returning home to Bayern Munich, where he had been such an icon as a player. He would spend only a few months in the FCB dugout but picked up the 1994 Bundesliga title and the 1996 UEFA Cup. He subsequently spent many years as club president.

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    Billy Bremner (Leeds United)

    A veteran of close to 600 league matches for the Elland Road side, Bremner is honoured by a statue outside of the ground and in 2013 was voted the greatest captain in the Football League’s history. As a manager, he spent three years in charge of Leeds between 1985-88, sandwiched by spells at Doncaster Rovers. He was tasked with leading the down-on-its luck club back to the First Division but was unable to do so and was ultimately sacked.

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    Antonio Conte (Juventus)

    While it might have eventually turned sour for Conte at Chelsea after he led them to the Premier League title in his first season, he was a complete success at Juventus, where he had spent 13 years as a player. He led them back to the top of the Italian game after the Calciopoli scandal, winning three successive Serie A titles before quitting to take the Italy job in 2014.

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    Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)

    One of the greatest players the game has known also stands as one of the most influential coaches the game has known, with the success of Barcelona in the last decade a monument to his brilliance. Pep Guardiola was heavily influenced by Cruyff, who had coached the midfielder during his eight-year stint in charge at Camp Nou, where he won four league crowns as well as the club’s first European Cup in the 1991-92 season.

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    Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)

    One of the finest players of his day, Kenny Dalglish was a legend at Liverpool for his exploits as a No.10. He became the club’s player-manager in 1985, eight years after initially joining them, and led them to three First Division titles, including the 1989-90 trophy, which is the last league they won. Subsequently took charge for a second stint that ran from January 2011 to May 2012, though this was far less successful.

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    Didier Deschamps (Marseille)

    Another with a Chelsea connection – he played for the club in the 1999-2000 season – Deschamps’ first big success as a player came at Marseille, where he captained the team to the inaugural Champions League. He might not have scaled such heights in the Stade Velodrome dugout, but a Ligue 1 title in 2009-10 is not to be sniffed at. He has since taken charge of France, leading them to the 2018 World Cup.

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    Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)

    The former Stamford Bridge midfielder took charge of the club in the midst of a crisis during the 2011-12 season, starting his reign as caretaker with a blistering succession of victories, including a 4-1 win over Napoli in the Champions League as the Blues trailed 3-1 from the first leg. Went on to lead the club to their only European Cup to date before being appointed manager on a full-time basis. He was sacked, however, by the following November.

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    Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)

    Was never manager at Old Trafford on a permanent basis, but the long-time servant of the club did serve as an interim boss following the departure of David Moyes at the end of the 2013-14 season. He won two of his four matches in charge and was overlooked for the post on a full-time basis, with Louis van Gaal taking charge instead.

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    Pep Guardiola (Barcelona)

    The decision to promote Pep Guardiola from Barcelona ‘B’ team coach to the top job at Camp Nou should be regarded as one of the sagest in the recent history of the game. Blessed with an outstanding crop of players steeped in the Barca tradition of pass-and-move, Guardiola built one of the most formidable sides ever known, including a remarkable sextuple in 2009-10.

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    Thierry Henry (Monaco)

    One of the greatest coaching flops of 2018-19 was Henry’s return to Monaco, where he had so much success breaking through as a professional. After a successful stint as a coach with Belgium, hopes were high, yet the 1998 World Cup winner struggled against an injury crisis and failed to win over his players. He was sacked after barely three months in charge.

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    Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan)

    Scorer of over 125 goals for the San Siro club, the former poacher failed to find the target once he was restored to the dugout at the Serie A giants. He was initially at success with the Under-18 team but failed wholly to replicate that with the senior side, leading them to 10th in the standings. He is now with Benevento in Serie B.

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    Neil Lennon (Celtic)

    The current Celtic manager is in his second stint in charge of Parkhead, where he turned out successfully as a player for seven years from 2000. Led the Hoops to five league titles in his first spell as manager and has already guided them to the ‘treble-treble’ after taking charge from Brendan Rodgers in February.

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    Ally McCoist (Rangers)

    The prolific striker, who was synonymous with the Gers’ push for nine-in-a-row in the 90s, took charge of the Ibrox side in 2011 when it was about to be dropped into freefall due to liquidation in February 2012, which saw them demoted to League Two. He helped them back to the second flight, albeit in rather unconvincing fashion given their resources, and was placed on gardening leave in December 2014 as the Glasgow giants failed to win promotion to the Premiership.

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    Martin O’Neill (Nottingham Forest)

    The Northern Irishman was a lynchpin of the famous Nottingham Forest sides of the 1970s, where he was a part of the side that won successive European Cups. When he returned to the club in January 2019, it was a heralded appointment, but he was sacked at the end of the season and infamously replaced just 18 minutes later by Sabri Lamouchi.

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    Tim Sherwood (Tottenham)

    Played nearly 100 league matches for Spurs and was initially drafted into the coaching staff in October 2008 by Harry Redknapp. After a successful stint in charge of the reserves, he took over first-team duties in December 2013 but was sacked six months into an 18-month deal, despite winning 50% of his matches in charge.

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    Santiago Solari (Real Madrd)

    When Solari took charge following the disastrous reign of Juel Lopetegui, it was hoped that his arrival would have the same impact as Zinedine Zidane’s had two-and-a-half years earlier. With a win percentage of 68.75, he took Madrid on an upwards trajectory and helped them to win the Club World Cup, but when they hit another dismal run of form he was sacked after just 32 matches in charge.

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    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)

    The Norwegian won a super-sub reputation at Old Trafford during his stint as a player with the Red Devils, though the jury remains firmly out on the ex-striker, who initially took caretaker charge when Jose Mourinho was sacked. After a superb start, which included an unlikely comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, United won only two of their subsequent 12 games, losing eight of those.

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    Graeme Souness (Liverpool)

    After enjoying success with Rangers as manager, Liverpool tempted their former midfield hardman back down south in 1991. He had been an iconic player for them at the same time as Dalglish, though left for Sampdoria in 1984. His return was not to be a triumphant one as he failed to rebuild an ailing squad, though he did have the 1991-92 FA Cup as some consolation.

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    Gianluca Vialli (Chelsea)

    Took over from Ruud Gullit in February 1998 when he was still playing, and he would continue to turn out for the Blues until the end of the season, at which point he quit to focus on management. By that point, he had become the youngest manager to win a European trophy, leading the club to Cup Winners’ Cup success, although that record has since been broken by Andre Villas-Boas. Lasted at the Bridge until the beginning of the 2000-01 campaign amid reports of squad unrest.

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    Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

    A superstar on the pitch and a superstar in the dugout, Zidane has proven to have the magic touch in all capacities. Led Real Madrid to an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles, although he could not shake the dominance of Barcelona in La Liga. Briefly departed the Bernabeu at the end of the 2017-18 campaign but now back in charge after a short hiatus in which the club floundered.