In recent years we’ve watched stars of their generation such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Xavi, Vincent Kompany, Thierry Henry, and Andrea Pirlo all swap the playing field for the manager’s office.
Some have enjoyed success, others have found the transition difficult.
Now, news has broken that another former high-profile player will make the step into senior management: Xabi Alonso.
The popular Spaniard, who won three titles as a Bayern Munich player, will become the new Borussia Monchengladbach manager in the summer, as reported by Christian Falk who is Head of Football at BILD (@cfbayern).
While a stellar playing career doesn’t automatically mean you’ll flourish as a manager, Alonso can draw on the experience and methods of some of the best bosses in the business having played under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez.
Alonso got his first taste of coaching with Real Madrid’s U14s, then took charge of Real Sociedad’s B side in the summer of 2019 - his hometown club where he also began his playing career.
His troops finished 5th in the third-tier last season while they are currently top of the table after 19 games.
It’s a similar route that Guardiola (Barcelona B) and Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid Castilla) took with both going on to enjoy trophy-packed managerial careers, while Alonso’s former Reds teammate Gerrard coached at Liverpool’s academy before he embarked upon his own managerial journey at Rangers with whom he led to the title earlier this month.
Gladbach had been on the hunt for a new manager since it was revealed in mid-February that Marco Rose would depart for Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.
The announcement has since had a negative impact on the club’s performances; they then lost seven straight games in all competitions but finally got back to winning ways over the weekend after they beat Bundesliga whipping boys Schalke.
Considering Gladbach are now 10th in the league, a return to the Champions League - where they recently lost to Man City - seems remote, while it could even be a struggle for the club to make the Europa League spots.
However, Alonso is sure to bring fresh ideas as he looks to make a real statement in his first senior post.