Raul, Carlos Tevez, Xabi Alonso – the next generation of former canoe footballers
Almost seven years have passed since Raul played his last professional football game, but the Real Madrid legend has been working hard since then as he climbs the coaching ladder.
After scoring more than 300 times for Los Blancos, and a handful more in Germany, Qatar and the United States, Raul hung up his hat after ending his stint with the New York Cosmos in 2015. Since then, however, he was welcomed back. into the fold at Madrid with a managerial role in charge of the ‘Castilla’ team – the second-string team that prepared current first-team players Lucas Vazquez and Nacho for first-team football.
Raul’s development has seen him linked with jobs in Europe’s top leagues, with Eintracht Frankfurt reportedly considering a move before settling on eventual Europa League winner Oliver Glasner. Madrid themselves are also said to be open to promoting the Spaniard to the first team, eventually opting for Carlo Ancelotti, but many see Raul as a future manager of the European champions.
“We needed more experience and Raul is taking it year by year,” club president Florentino Perez told Onda Cero (via Managing Madrid) after Ancelotti’s appointment. “One day it will happen – he has all the qualities you need to coach Real. Madrid.”
Former coach Jorge Valdano, who was in the dugout when Raul broke through as a player, also praised the former Spain international. Raul himself has insisted he lives ‘in the present’ but that hasn’t stopped outsiders and insiders from seeing him as a future Bernabeu boss.
“Raúl manages the youngest team in Castilla,” Valdano told La Galerna (via FanSided) in 2021. “He grabs seventeen-year-olds and gives them back to you as men six months later. He grabs Miguel Gutiérrez and makes a man out of him. With Anthony? The same. Marvin? A man.
“Men were made through an incredible level of demand. Passing those values on to boys today is increasingly difficult, and Raúl does it.”
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At 45, Raul has time on his side as he seeks to establish himself as a manager. And he’s part of the next wave of former players looking to establish themselves in management. Here, Football Mirror look at the ones that are starting to have an impact.
Former Manchester United and Manchester City star Tevez only confirmed his retirement this year but has already taken his first steps in management. The Argentina international has taken over at Rosario Central, signing an initial 12-month contract with Lionel Messi’s hometown side.
“I have the same butterflies in my stomach as when I was acting,” Tevez told Ole before being confirmed in the role. “My teams are going to play the way I feel about football.
“I think I can help a lot of boys integrate them into football. They will listen to me because I have a way of seeing life, that’s the most important thing, I can give them tools on and in off the pitch, it has to be something complete.”
Tevez is not the only former Argentina international to lead in the country’s top flight, with Sebastian Battaglia and Fernando Gago among the others. If he can make an instant impact in Rosario, where the team finished 16th last season, other opportunities could arise.
Alonso, who turned 40 at the end of last year, is a few years behind Raul in his managerial development. However, like his compatriot, the former Liverpool midfielder has started coaching youth and reserve teams at another of his former clubs.
Born in the Basque Country, Alonso rose through the ranks at Real Sociedad before moving to England in his early 20s. After ending his playing career with Bayern Munich in 2017, he returned to La Real to take charge of the youth team before joining the ‘B’ team and retiring in the summer.
“It’s been an incredible three years at Real Sociedad,” Alonso wrote on Instagram (translated by Football Espana) after announcing his intention to quit his job. “Thanks to Jokin, Roberto, the staff and all the players who have helped us so much to improve and enjoy this intense adventure. Aupa Sanse and Aupa Real!
Alonso was heavily linked with Borussia Mönchengladbach when Marco Rose left the club, opting instead to extend his tenure in charge of Real Sociedad B. More recently he has been mentioned in connection with the top job at Club Brugge and his first high level. the opportunity is surely not too far away.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Another player with Real Madrid on his CV, Van Nistelrooy partnered with Raul up front for Los Blancos and briefly spent time in the same team as Alonso. Now 45, the Dutchman took his first senior job after years in assistant and youth team or reserve roles.
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The former Manchester United player spent time on the books at PSV Eindhoven before moving to Old Trafford and taking charge of the ‘Jong PSV’ team last season. Now, after the departure of Roger Schmidt, the ex-striker has been promoted to first-team head coach.
“It has always been my dream to be PSV head coach,” he told the club’s Eredivisie website. “I have worked intensively with Toon Gerbrands, the current general manager of PSV, in recent seasons.
“I was convinced I could pursue a career as a professional coach and originally thought I needed another year to gain experience. But sometimes things go as planned and you find out that life isn’t completely manageable. It’s a good time to take the next step. walk.”
Van Nistelrooy isn’t the only former Manchester United and Netherlands striker who could have a long career in management. Robin van Persie, who retired in 2019, came through the ranks at former club Feyenoord and declined to join Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff at Old Trafford.
A former Manchester team-mate of Van Nistelrooy and Van Persie, former England striker Rooney has made an impressive start to managerial life. The 36-year-old was thrown deep into Derby County, starting in a player-manager role before stepping back from playing duties to focus full-time on his job in the dugout.
Rooney kept Derby in the Championship in his first season, overcoming off-field distractions to survive by a single point. However, after a heavy points deduction last season, he was unable to repeat the trick in 2021-22.
The former Everton and DC United player has announced his departure from Pride Park this summer and has been linked with a Premier League job as soon as possible. He has previously spoken of his desire to manage one of his former top clubs, although that might have to wait.
“The co-trustees are very disappointed that Wayne has made the difficult decision to leave the club and we spent some time today trying to persuade him to stay but understand his reasons for wanting to leave,” a doorman said. word of Derby’s co-trustees. . “We are extremely grateful to him for his excellent work in dealing with the difficult circumstances on the pitch during the 2021/22 season and admire the way he has led the team, the club and the local community through various off-pitch issues.
Kompany is a few months younger than Rooney, but is already in his second managerial role since retiring from the game in 2020. He started and ended his career at Anderlecht in his native Belgium, and was handed the managerial reins after putting end of his playing career with the club.
In two seasons under the former defender, Anderlecht have finished fourth and third and will have a chance of reaching the Europa League group stages next season. That won’t happen under Kompany, however, with the former Manchester City captain opting to take the vacant managerial job at Burnley.
Upon taking office, Kompany pledged not to put the spotlight on City boss Pep Guardiola. “He’s such a fantastic coach – but I’m only 36 and I already have three years of valuable managerial experience,” he said.
“That’s why I’m coming into this project at the right time. I’m extremely respectful and some things are in your blood and will never go away. But I don’t need anyone to tell me how good I was at as a player because I really don’t care.”
Kompany may well be followed in management by other members of Belgium’s so-called “Golden Generation”. As Reuters reported in May, Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen are among 18 current and former internationals to receive their coaching badges after two years of training with their countries’ FA.