Saudi club Al-Nassr finally signs Ronaldo on a free transfer

After much speculation, Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has finally confirmed his next destination. The former Manchester United star has been signed by Saudi club Al- Nassr on a two-year deal worth over €200 million. The contract will see CR7 play in the Saudi Pro League till 2025.

Al-Nassr announced the signing via Twitter. The club tweeted, ” History in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome @Cristiano to your new home @AlNassrFC.”

After the announcement was made public, Cristiano was quoted as saying, “I can’t wait to discover a new football league in a different country.” He further added, “The vision with which Al Nassr operates is very inspiring, and I am delighted to join my teammates so that together we can help the team achieve greater success.”

Ronaldo heads to the Gulf after a year that saw him relegated to the bench for Portugal and cut adrift by Manchester United. The club parted ways with the Portuguese star after the veteran forward gave an explosive TV interview in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for coach Erik ten Hag.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s move is being criticised by a lot of his fans. In a time when his long-time competitor Lionel Messi is scaling new heights, Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr is seen as an end to his numero uno status.

Interesting Facts about FIFA World Cup

Qatar World Cup voted as the best of the 21st Century

The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup has been voted the best FIFA World Cup of the 21st Century. With a humongous 78% vote share, the Qatar World Cup has carved an unforgettable experience among sports fans.

As per a BBC Sports Poll, the 2002 World Cup (Japan/South Korea) came in second place with only 6% of the vote, followed by 2014 (Brazil) with 5%, 2006 (Germany) and 2018 (Russia), which tied for fourth place with 4% each and 2010 (South Africa), which received 3%.

BBC Sport Poll

BBC Poll results on the best world cup of 21st century

The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup saw a lot of memorable moments on the ground. From Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup for the first time to Olivier Giroud surpassing Michel Platini to become France’s all-time greatest scorer to Germany and Belgium’s shock exit in the World Cup group stages.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino was very happy with the successful conduct of the tournament. At the start of the tournament, there was a lot of negative talk surrounding the World Cup. But with this “people’s award,” Mr. Infantino must be very proud.

The historic tournament- the first to be held in the Middle East- was marked with goals galore and comeback chaos, with Morocco and Japan among the teams that stood out. With this award, the future will definitely see a lot of big tournaments being held in the Asian region.

When football fans wreaked havoc in stadiums

5 times football fans wreaked havoc in the stadium

Football is nothing without its fans. It is safe to say that footballing enthusiasts are one of the most passionate devotees in the world. They support their respective clubs and countries with every inch of their soul. A loyal fan will never leave his side, even during its worst. A football fan will religiously enjoy a 0-0 draw while watching the match wholeheartedly. That’s what makes this beautiful game more special. 

Having said that, the same passion turns out to be dangerous once in a while. The love for the team makes the fans go wild and violent. We have seen the fans storming the field when their team goes a goal down. There have been many incidents where the match had to be stopped due to such behaviour. The fights between two rival clubs have accounted for countless injuries and hundreds of deaths on many occasions. Let’s have a look at some of the worst scenarios caused by the fans in football. 

5 times football fans wreaked havoc in the stadium 

1) Arema FC vs Persebaya Surabaya: 126 dead, 300 hospitalized 

Arema FC fans went berserk when their side lost their first home game in 23 years. Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya, and the loss was too much for the home supporters to take. Arema FC fans stormed into the Kanjuruhan Stadium, intending to injure the match officials and the players. Arema FC fans started throwing bottles and other objects at the referees and the players. The riot caused by the fans spread out of the stadium, with Arema FC fans setting more than 5 police vehicles on fire. 

When fans wreaked havoc in stadiums

Image Courtesy: Outlook India

The police were forced to use firing tear gas, which is banned by FIFA, to get the crowd under control. However, it only got worse as it led to a stampede as the fans were trying to exit the stadium. Some fans got injured due to the suffocation, and others were found dead in the stampede. Many people were reported dead in the panic caused, including two police officers and many children. The Indonesian police reported a total of 125 deaths, and more than 300 people were admitted to the hospital, many of whom died before reaching the hospital and also during the treatment. It is undoubtedly one of the worst moments in the history of any sport. 

2) Nice vs Cologne: 1 fan was heavily injured 

A dispute between the Nice and Cologne fans resulted in the delay in the kick-off time during their Europa Conference League match at the Allianz Riviera on September 2022. The UEFA Governing body released an official statement stating that the reason behind the delay was crowd disturbance. The footage on social media showed the Ultras throwing flares into the ground while fighting with other fans. French media publication RMC Sport later reported that one fan was heavily injured after falling from the stands. 

Cologne released an official statement quoting: ‘Unfortunately, the start of the game is delayed due to violent clashes between fans in the stadium and the stands. We are looking into the background,’ the German club quoted. Cologne captain Jonas Hector even had to come out and address the away fans through the PA system. ‘We want to play the game with you. We also want that game to take place. But we have to say that we do not like to see this,’ he said. ‘We worked damn hard last year and in the playoff. And we would very much like to do this with you and ask you to keep calm and support us as much as possible.’ 

3) Argentina fans vs Brazil Fans 

Now, this incident sums up the football fans for you. It is one of those incidents that will make you angry and surprised simultaneously. Now we have heard fans of Arsenal and Liverpool fighting with each other in India, but here we got fans of Brazil and Argentina getting into a tussle with each other. The FIFA World Cup fever got high in India, especially in the states like Kerala and Kolkata. While team India is yet to qualify for the World Cup, the footballing fans of India have already picked their favourite countries to support apart India. 

When football fans wreaked havoc in stadiums

DOHA, QATAR – DECEMBER 03: Players shake hands prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Argentina and Australia at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are highly influential, and they have their fans everywhere. Similarly, they have got Indian fans rooting for Portugal, Argentina, and Brazil in the absence of India in the FIFA World Cup. In the recent video, which was taken in Kollam, Kerala, we can witness Argentina and Brazil fans getting into a fight with each other during a rally passing through the Sakthikulangara area. A case was registered at the Sakthikulangara PS in Kollam for the same matter. 

4) Cruzeiro vs Atletico Mineiro: 1 shot to dead, 1 injured 

Brazilians love their football, and sometimes this passion for the game gets the better of them. A fan was killed before the match between Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro in March of 2022. The report adds that the 25-year-old man got shot in the stomach and was later announced dead in the hospital in Belo Horizonte. Another fan was shot in the shoulder during the incident. However, he survived the shot as he was declared stable. Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro, the defending Brazilian champions, were set to face each in a regional championship game. 

5) Gillingham FC vs Rotherham United 

Fans of Gillingham FC and Rotherham United invaded the pitch during their match in April 2022. The fan invasion later turned out to be a huge fight between the supporters of the two teams at Priestfield Stadium. The police arrested 20 or more people, and they were sentenced to unpaid work and jail time. Some of the fans were also banned from entering the stadium for at least 10 years. 

Superintendent Ray Quiller of Kent Police said: “There is no place in football or elsewhere in society for the type of violence and behaviour that occurred following this match. In the presence of genuine football supporters, including children, the actions of these individuals were unacceptable. Football Banning Orders were introduced in the late 1980s to help improve safety at matches. They remain an essential power at our disposal despite there being far fewer incidents today than there were back then. I am pleased to see them given in the circumstances of this case, and we will continue to seek these against offenders who act in this manner at football matches.”

Gillingham’s co-chairman, and chief executive, Paul Fisher, said: “The football club is pleased to see that the police have dealt with the unsavoury incident which occurred following the final whistle against Rotherham United. “Such behaviour will not be tolerated at a family club such as Gillingham.” 

Court prosecutor Pietro Matarazzo said: “It was the league one season’s last day, and Gills would go down if they lost, and Rotherham would go up if they won, and there was a large-scale pitch invasion.”

The best XI of 2022 FIFA World Cup

The best XI of the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Four weeks, 64 games, and in the end, it came down to a set of penalties to cement the new World Champions. Yes, the dreams of millions have turned into a reality. Lionel Messi, the greatest of all time, won his first World Cup with his set of Argentine soldiers. And what a game of football it was, as English commentator Peter Drury quoted, “In the end, all I can say is thank you”. It was a night of two no.10s dominating from both ends. However, the world celebrated Messi lifting the only trophy missing from his cabinet in his last World Cup match.

While the world celebrated Messi completing the football, some lovers of the game felt bad for the 23-year-old Mbappe. The PSG starlet left his soul on the pitch as he grabbed a hat trick to keep France in the game till the end. The winner was decided via a penalty shootout in which Emi Martinez emerged as a hero. Argentina added their 3rd World Cup to their trophy cabinet while paying all their respect to the late Maradonna during celebrations.
World Cup 2022, which was surrounded by controversies before it began, turned out to be one of the best footballing tournaments ever. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Luka Modric, and Robert Lewandowski, alongside Lionel Messi, featured in their last World Cup.

World Cup 2022 was dominated by the underdogs who made the tournament better. Teams like Morocco, Japan, and even Saudi Arabia gave us one of the tournament’s best matches. Players like Yassine Bounou and Josko Gvardiol made a name for themselves with back-to-back world-class performances. Let’s have a look at the best XI of FIFA World Cup 2022.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Best XI

Goalkeeper – Yassine Bounou (Morocco)

Sevilla’s goalkeeper was the leader from the back for Morocco. Yassine Bounou, also known as ‘Bono’ dominated his area as he emerged as one of the favourites in World Cup 2022. Besides his exceptional performance, Bono was also a motivating factor for his team. Bono carried his side to the quarter-finals as he came big against Spain in the penalty shoot-out and later denied every opportunity created by Portugal in the quarter-final to reach the semi-finals against France. Morocco didn’t conceive a single goal from the opponent in World Cup 2022 till they faced France in the semi-finals.

Right-back – Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

Achraf Hakimi penned one of the best stories in this year’s World Cup. Born and bought up in Spain, Hakimi rejected the opportunity to represent the 2010 World Cup winners and opted to play for Morocco. The former Real Madrid full-back then eliminated Spain and Portugal with a series of brilliant performances for his side in the world’s biggest sporting event. Remember the winning penalty in the Round of 16 penalty shoot-out against Spain and the celebration after that.

Centre-back – John Stones (England)

England looked like a solid team in the World Cup until they came across France in the competition’s quarter-finals. However, Gareth Southgate’s side put on a tough fight in which John Stones played a huge part. Stones is one of the top defenders in the business, and he displayed his quality at the back for the Three Lions in World Cup 2022 as well. Stones has a knack for playing progressive passes during attacks as well, which makes him more crucial for his teams.

Centre-back – Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

The Croatia national football team has already gained everyone’s respect with their historic runs in the back-to-back FIFA World Cups. The 2018 finalists made it to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup after getting the better of Brazil in the quarter-final stage. Josko Gvardiol was their main man in the back. The masked centre-back stood tall for the Croatians and made it to the best XI of World Cup 2022. Gvardiol also scored a goal against Morocco to seal the 3rd place for Morocco.

Left-back – Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

Ivan Perisic continued to shine in any given position for Croatia as he does it so well for Tottenham. Perisic can prosper anywhere on the pitch; he is as brilliant of an all-rounder as it gets. Perisic had a total of three assists and a goal in the 2022 World Cup. Adding to that, Perisic has directly been involved in a total of 11 FIFA World Cup goals in the last three tournaments, which include six goals and five assists.

Right midfield – Antoine Griezmann (France)

Antoine Griezmann was arguably the second-best player for France in the 2022 World Cup, only behind Kylian Mbappe. Griezmann took the new role handed to him by Didier Deschamps with both hands and fulfilled it perfectly. The Atletico Madrid star, who has spent most of his career as a striker, adapted to the mid-field role quite easily. Griezmann surely had a good campaign.

Central midfield – Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

Sofyan Amrabat is one of the most talked about midfielders after the World Cup 2022. His performance against Spain, in which he was all over the Barcelona midfield trio Gavi, Pedri, and Busquets, gave him the limelight of his life. Amrabat is now being linked with Liverpool as he has a very good possibility of joining the Merseyside club in the winter transfer window.

Left midfield – Luka Modric (Croatia)

37 years old and still the best midfielder of World Cup 2022. Luka Modric can never get old, and this year’s World Cup was an example of it. The Croatian skipper wore his heart on his sleeves as he carried his side to the 3rd spot in his last and final World Cup. Football will miss the magician from Madrid at the highest level of the game.

Right-wing – Lionel Messi (Argentina)

One of the best stories ever written in the history of any sport is Lionel Messi winning the World Cup. The little master scored in each of the knock-out games, including two goals in the finals against France to lift the auspicious World Cup trophy. Lionel Messi won the golden ball award as he scored a total of 7 goals and had 3 assists under his belt in this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Centre-forward – Richarlison (Brazil)

Brazil was the favourite to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup before their shocking exit against Croatia in the quarter-finals. Tottenham’s Richarlison was selected and played ahead of the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, and it turned out to be the right decision by Brazil’s manager Tite. Richarlison displayed some outstanding skills during the entire campaign, as he scored a total of 3 goals.

Left wing – Kylian Mbappe (France)

Kylian Mbappe is the highest goal-scorer of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with a total of 8 goals under his belt, which included a hat trick in the finals. Even most of his doubters have turned into a fan after seeing Mbappe’s class in the 2022 World Cup. Mbappe won the Golden Boot of the 2022 World Cup and was arguably the tournament’s best player alongside Lionel Messi.

Manchester United

Man United advance to quarterfinals of EFL Cup after thrashing Burnley

Club football is back!! After a satisfying end to the World Cup, club football in England is back. Man United and Burnley locked horns in EFL Cup yesterday, with the English club thrashing Burnley to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The match began with Eriksen getting on the scoresheet in the 27th minute before Rashford doubled the advantage in the second half of United’s first game since the World Cup. Manchester United could have doubled the lead when Burnley goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell saved Anthony Martial’s shot. Burnley got a chance to equalise, but Marcus Rashford stepped in and made it 2-0 with his individual effort.

Man United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, praised Marcus Rashford for his incredible performance. He said, “I think he’s on a very good level. His performances are improving a lot, I would say, from game to game. He’s a continued threat today but also many other games in this season, he’s scored already a lot of goals. Also, there’s a lot of defending work, don’t forget that. So I’m really happy with his performances and I hope but I expect him to keep going in this attitude and in this performance level.”

In other news, Nottingham Forest also reached the quarterfinals after a 4-1 win over second-division Blackburn. Elsewhere, third-tier Charlton caused an upset as they defeated Premier League club, Brighton.

Lionel Messi In blue and white verticle line jersey

90min Football ranks Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer of all time

Lionel Messi, who recently won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, has been voted the greatest footballer of all time by 90min football. As per the report, Messi occupies the first spot, followed by fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona and Brazil’s once-in-a-generation player Pele.

Lionel Messi has a lot of extraordinary achievements to his name. But the World Cup trophy eluded him. Now with the World Cup win, the forward has cemented his G.O.A.T. status. The greatest goal-scorer in Barcelona’s history has been voted UEFA Men’s Player of the Year in 2011 & 2015 and won the 2014 & 2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball. He was also voted the 2005 Young European Footballer of the Year, among many other achievements.

The year 2012 saw Messi in his prime. At his peak, he scored 91 goals in a calendar year, won six Ballon d’Or, and a boatload of club honours; in his relative decline, he won another Ballon d’Or and guided Argentina to their third World Cup triumph by putting in one of the greatest individual tournament performances we’ve ever seen.

As per the report, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cryuff are ranked 4 and 5, respectively. The other footballers who are ranked in the top 10 comprise Ronaldo Nazario, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michel Platini and Roberto Baggio.

With Messi being ranked as the greatest footballer of all time, the debate about Ronaldo vs Messi should be put to an end. Do you think Messi is truly the greatest footballer? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Lionel Messi In blue and white verticle line jersey

Argentina reach record 6th World Cup final; beat Croatia 3-0

In what seems to be his last World Cup, Argentina’s talismanic skipper Lionel Messi has led his team to yet another World Cup final. The runners-up of the 2014 World Cup beat Croatia 3-0 in the first semifinal that happened at Qatar’s Lusail Iconic Stadium.

The game started with both teams evenly poised. But soon after the 30-minute mark, Argentina started to make a move. And their tactics worked when the Croatians crumbled under pressure and gave away a penalty due to Croatia’s goalkeeper’s fault. Lionel Messi didn’t disappoint his nation and converted the penalty into a comfortable goal.

With the Argentines leading, Croatia tried to make the game even. However, they didn’t succeed. Julian Alvarez, the latest acquisition of Manchester City, capitalized with a stunning solo goal. The Croatians didn’t have an answer to the Argentine offence. The Argentines went into the half-time break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Messi’s Argentina didn’t stop their counter-attacking gameplay as the second half started. The No. 3 ranked team in FIFA scored another wonderful goal, thanks to Julian Alvarez. The strike crushed the game and spirit of the Croatians.

This is Argentina’s sixth World Cup appearance. They have won in 1978 and 1986 and been runners-up thrice: in 1930, 1990 and 2014.

Argentina will now face the winner of the second semifinal happening between France and Morocco. Will the South American champs be able to win the trophy for their skipper Lionel Messi? Only time will tell.

Football managers who were once a player

7 football managers who were once a player

Footballers turning into a coach is not a rare sight in the footballing world. There are many players who have been exceptional players and later on transitioned into a manager.

Frank Lampard is one of the latest examples that comes to my mind. He is one of the greatest midfielders in the history of England and Chelsea and is now a full-time manager at Everton. The midfield maverick has successfully transitioned from being a player to a manager.

Another example can be Liverpool’s great Steven Gerrard. Gerrard is an all-time Liverpool great who played for Liverpool from 1998 to 2015, winning nine trophies, including the UEFA Champions League, two FA Cups, and three League Cups. After retirement, the central midfielder became a manager. He started his managerial career with Scottish side Rangers FC and then Aston Villa, a club in English Premier League. 

So, in this article, we take a look at the top 7 football players who transitioned into successful managers.

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane was a star player for clubs like Juventus and Real Madrid before becoming a manager and leading Real Madrid to multiple Champions League titles.

Zidane was super successful as a player, with many accolades under his name, including  FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d’Or. Capped 108 times by France, Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the final, and was named to the All-Star team. This triumph made him a national hero in France, and he received the Legion of Honour in 1998. He won UEFA Euro 2000 and was named Player of the Tournament. He also received the Golden Ball as Player of the Tournament at the 2006 World Cup, despite his infamous sending-off in the final against Italy for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest. He retired as the fourth-most capped player in French history.

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane gesures during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF against Villarreal CF at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid, on May 22, 2021. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

After retiring as a player, Zidane began his coaching career at Real Madrid Castilla. He remained in the position for two years before taking the helm of the first team in 2016. In his initial two and a half seasons, Zidane became the first coach to win the Champions League three times in a row, won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice each, and a La Liga title and a Supercopa de España.

He resigned in 2018 but returned to the club in 2019 and won another La Liga and a Supercopa de España title before leaving again in 2021.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola, who played as a midfielder for Barcelona and other teams before becoming a highly successful manager, is known for his attacking, possession-based style of play.

As a player, Guardiola was a defensive midfielder who usually played a deep-lying playmaker’s role. He spent most of his career with Barcelona, forming a part of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team, winning the club’s first European Cup in 1992 and four successive Spanish league titles from 1991 to 1994. He captained the team from 1997 until he departed from the club in 2001. Guardiola then had stints with Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for the Spanish national team and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 03: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on during a press conference at Manchester City Football Academy on May 03, 2022 in Manchester, England. Manchester City will play their UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match against Real Madrid on May 04, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

He began his tenure as a manager with Barcelona B, with whom he won a Tercera División title. He took charge of the first team in 2008. In his first season, he led Barcelona to the treble of La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey, becoming the youngest manager to win the aforementioned European competition. In 2011, after leading the club to another La Liga and Champions League double, Guardiola was awarded the Catalan Parliament’s Gold Medal, their highest honour. He was also named the FIFA World Coach of the Year the same year. He ended his four-year Barcelona stint in 2012 with 14 honours, a club record.

After Barcelona, Guardiola shifted his base to Bayern Munich. Guardiola won the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons as Bayern manager, including two domestic doubles. He left the Bavarians for Manchester City in 2016 and guided them to a Premier League title in his second campaign in charge, breaking numerous domestic records as the team became the first to attain 100 league points. To date, he has won four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, and the FA Cup, including a domestic treble in the 2018–19 season. He also led the club to its maiden UEFA Champions League Final in 2021.

Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone was a defender for teams like Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid before becoming the manager of Atletico and leading the team to multiple domestic and international titles.

In his club career that started in 1987, Simeone played in Argentina, Italy, and Spain for Vélez Sarsfield, Pisa, Sevilla, Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan, Lazio, and Racing Club. He won a domestic double with Atlético Madrid in 1996, the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998, another domestic double with Lazio in 2000, the 1999 UEFA Super Cup and the 2000 Supercoppa Italiana. Simeone was capped over 100 times for the Argentina national team and represented the country at 1994, 1998, and 2002 FIFA World Cups and in four editions of the Copa América, winning the tournament in 1991 and 1993.

Atletico Madrid’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone addresses a press conference in Madrid on February 22, 2022, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match against Manchester United. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP) (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

After retiring as a player, Simeone coached Argentine sides Racing Club, Estudiantes de La Plata, River Plate, and San Lorenzo and Italian club Catania before joining Spanish club Atlético Madrid in 2011. 

He won the Argentine Primera División both with Estudiantes and River Plate and has had his biggest managerial success with Atlético Madrid, winning La Liga twice, the Copa del Rey, two UEFA Europa Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, as well as being runner-up of the UEFA Champions League twice. Simeone is the longest-serving manager in La Liga, having stayed over a decade at Atlético.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho played as a midfielder for various Portuguese clubs before becoming a manager and winning league titles with teams like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.

As a player, Jose Mourinho was a part of a lot of Portuguese teams, including Rio Ave B, Belenenses B, Sesimbra and Comércio e Indústria. Mourinho didn’t quite have a great playing career. However, his managerial career flourished better than expected.

RAZGRAD, BULGARIA – SEPTEMBER 08: AS Roma team coach Jose Mourinho reacts ahead the UEFA Europa League group C match between PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and AS Roma at Ludogorets Arena on September 08, 2022 in Razgrad, Bulgaria. (Photo by Vasile Mihai-Antonio/Getty Images)

Mourinho started his managerial career with Benfica and later had a term with the Portuguese club União de Leiria. After impressing with brief stints at Benfica and União de Leiria, Mourinho returned to Porto as a manager in 2002, winning the Primeira Liga twice, a Taça de Portugal, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, Porto’s first European Cup title since 1987. 

The success made him a big name in the coaching world. After winning the Champions League with Porto, Mourinho was approached by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to manage the club in 2004. With the club, he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups in his three seasons at the club, before he departed in 2007 amid reports of disagreements with club owner Roman Abramovich.

In 2008, Mourinho joined the Italian club Inter Milan, where he won Serie A twice, including a European treble of Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League in 2010, a first for an Italian club. This made him one of five coaches to have won the European Cup with two clubs, and later that year, earned him the first FIFA World Coach of the Year. Mourinho then moved to Real Madrid, where he won La Liga in 2011–12 with a record points tally, becoming the fifth coach to have won league titles in four countries. He also won a Copa del Rey and a Supercopa de España.

Mourinho left Real Madrid in 2013 and rejoined Chelsea, where he won another league title and League Cup, but was dismissed in 2015 after a poor run of results. Remaining in England, he was appointed at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively, but his tenure at both clubs was relatively short-lived and ended acrimoniously. Despite this, he won the UEFA Europa League, League Cup and FA Community Shield in his first season with Manchester United and led Tottenham to the final of the League Cup. He was soon hired by Roma, leading them to win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League — this made him the first manager to both reach and win the final of a major European competition with four different clubs, the third manager to have won all three major European club competitions and the first to achieve the UEFA treble by winning the Champions League, UEFA Cup/Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Once dubbed “The Special One” by the British media, Mourinho is one of the most decorated managers and is widely considered among the greatest managers of all time.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp was a professional player in Germany before becoming a manager and leading Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool to numerous titles.

As a player, Klopp spent most of his playing career at Mainz 05. He was initially deployed as a striker but was later moved to defence. He was part of clubs like 1. FC Pforzheim, Eintracht Frankfurt II, Viktoria Sindlingen, Rot-Weiss Frankfurt and Mainz 05.

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 20, 2021. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. 

After retiring, Klopp started assisting Mainz 05 and secured their promotion in 2004. After suffering relegation in the 2006–07 season and being unable to achieve promotion, Klopp resigned in 2008 as the club’s longest-serving manager. He then became manager of Borussia Dortmund, guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2010–11 before winning Dortmund’s first-ever domestic double during a record-breaking season. Klopp also guided Dortmund to a runner-up finish in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League before leaving in 2015 as their longest-serving manager.

After managing a couple of German clubs, Klopp decided to try his luck in Britain. Klopp was appointed manager of Liverpool in 2015. He guided the club to successive UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter to secure his first – and Liverpool’s sixth – title in the competition. Klopp’s side finished second in the 2018–19 Premier League, registering 97 points, the then third-highest total in the history of the English top division and the most by a team without winning the title. The following season, Klopp won the UEFA Super Cup and Liverpool’s first FIFA Club World Cup before delivering Liverpool’s first Premier League title, amassing a club record of 99 points and breaking a number of top-flight records. These achievements won him back-to-back FIFA Coach of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is considered one of the greatest footballers of all-time and matched that success as a manager. He is one of only three men to win the World Cup as a player and manager.

Beckenbauer had a terrific playing career. He is widely regarded to be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. A versatile player who started out as a midfielder, Beckenbauer made his name as a central defender. He is often credited with having invented the role of the modern sweeper.

Twice named European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups and two European Championships. He is one of three men, along with Brazil’s Mário Zagallo and France’s Didier Deschamps, to have won the World Cup as a player and as a manager; he lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974 and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte is an Italian professional football manager who currently manages the English Premier Club Tottenham Hotspur.

Playing as a midfielder, Conte began his career at local club Lecce and later became one of the most decorated and influential players in the history of Juventus, having won, among others, five Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, one UEFA Champions League and one UEFA Cup, also becoming the team’s captain from 1996 until 2001. He also played for the Italy national team and participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, where Italy finished runners-up on both occasions.

2JNYEM3 London, England, 14th August 2022. Antonio Conte, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage

His managerial career started in 2006, leading Bari to a Serie B title, and Siena to promotion from the same division two years later. He took over at Juventus in 2011 and won three consecutive Serie A titles before taking charge of the Italian national team in 2014 until UEFA Euro 2016, where he led them to the quarter-finals. He then became Chelsea manager and led them to the Premier League title in his first season in charge, then winning the FA Cup in his second season but being dismissed as they finished fifth in the league. 

Conte joined Inter Milan a year later, leading the team to the UEFA Europa League final in his first season, then winning the 2020-2021 Serie A title in his second season before stepping down in mutual consent. He is currently managing the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

So who among the managers who were once a player is your favourite?

Footballers who were once a part of AS Monaco

AS Monaco is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight league titles, five Coupe de France trophies and one Coupe de la Ligue. The club is among the best in European football and was runners-up in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992 and the UEFA Champions League in 2004. 

The French club has seen numerous star players among their ranks. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thierry Henry and Bernardo Silva have all passed through the club’s doors. Starting their journey at AS Monaco, these players have gone on to become some of the finest players the game has ever seen.

Here are the incredible players who were once a part of the French club AS Monaco.


Fábio Henrique Tavares, known as Fabinho, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and the Brazil national team. A versatile player who mainly plays as a defensive midfielder, Fabinho can also be deployed as a right-back or centre-back.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – MARCH 10: Fabinho of Liverpool poses for a photo with his Player of the match award after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Liverpool FC and RB Leipzig at the Puskas Arena on March 10, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

He spent five years at Monaco, playing 233 games, scoring 31 goals, and winning Ligue 1 in 2016–17. After that, he went to Liverpool and won the Champions League during his debut season. He also won the UEFA Super Cup in 2019 and also played a key role in guiding Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2020, the club’s first league title in 30 years.

Youri Tielemans 

Youri Tielemans spent just 18 months in Monaco but showed everyone why he is considered one of the best. Tielemans has been tipped for greatness since his days at RSC Anderlecht, where he became the club’s fourth-youngest player ever when he made his debut at just 16 in 2013.

CARDIFF, WALES – JUNE 11: Youri Tielemans of Belgium during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 4 match between Wales and Belgium at Cardiff City Stadium on June 11, 2022 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

The Belgian footballer scored 5 goals in 47 appearances for AS Monaco. The footballer is currently playing for Leicester City.

Bernardo Silva 

The Portugal midfielder, who was once a part of AS Monaco, has enthralled the audience with his stunning dribbles and free-kicks at his current club Manchester City. 

Bernardo Silva was a part of AS Monaco’s “Class of 2017”, who won the Ligue 1 and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year. 

Monaco’s Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva celebrates after his team scored a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between Monaco and Manchester City at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on March 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

His time at Monaco saw him play a more expansive role, but an equally crucial one on the right wing, progressing the ball in wide areas before supplying the lethal frontmen. He has also established himself as a key player in the national set-up for Portugal, lifting the UEFA Nations League trophy in 2019.

Silva scored 24 goals in 101 appearances during his time at Monaco.

Kylian Mbappe 

Kylian Mbappe is one of the most popular footballers who was sold by the French club. The French attacker joined Monaco Youth in 2013 and later played with the Under 19, UEFA Under-19, reserve, and senior teams. During his time at AS Monaco, Kylian Mbappe scored 16 goals in a total of 41 appearances. 

Monaco’s French forward Kylian Mbappe smiles after the French L1 football match between Monaco (ASM) and Marseille (OM) on August 27, 2017, at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco. / AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Mbappe is now plying his trade for his hometown club, Paris Saint-Germain, after joining from AS Monaco in a deal which saw him become the second-most expensive player ever.


Thierry Henry 

Very few people knew about this. Thierry Henry, France’s talismanic striker, was once a part of AS Monaco. 

Henry started his career by playing for the youth side of AS Monaco. Then he played for Monaco B. The all-time great made his debut for the senior squad in 1994 and played until the summer of 1999.

23 Apr 2000: Thierry Henry of Arsenal celebrates during the FA Carling Premiership game between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road in Watford, England. The game finished 2-3 to Arsenal. Mandatory Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport

During his time at the club, he appeared in 124 football matches scoring 26 goals with 2 assists.

Radamel Falcao

Widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, Radamel Falcao controversially signed for newly promoted Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in 2013 for a club record €60 million, despite interest from top European clubs. In the second half of his debut season, an ACL injury ruled him out for six months, and he spent the next two seasons on loan at Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.

Rejoining AS Monaco in the summer of 2016, he regained his best form and led them to their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years.

The striker has scored 65 goals in 108 appearances for the club.

James Rodriguez

Did you know the Colombian wonderkid who lit up the 2010 FIFA World Cup with his amazing goals was a part of AS Monaco? 

The attacking midfielder was a part of AS Monaco during the 2013-14 season, where he played 38 games and scored 10 goals and 14 assists. 

HALEWOOD, ENGLAND – April 21: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) James Rodriguez during the Everton Training Session at USM Finch Farm on April 21 2021 in Halewood, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

In 2014, James moved from AS Monaco to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £63 million, which beat the record set by Radamel Falcao and made him the most expensive Colombian football player and one of the most expensive players at the time.

Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra is a French football coach and former professional player. Originally a forward, he primarily played as a left-back. 

SWANSEA, WALES – MARCH 03: Patrice Evra of West Ham United arrives prior to the Premier League match between Swansea City and West Ham United at Liberty Stadium on March 3, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Vieira, who began his career at Marsala, was once a part of AS Monaco. The former Manchester United captain played for the French team from 2002 to 2006 for a total of 120 games. With his solid defensive skills, the footballer managed to get his team to the 2004 Champions League final.

Dimitar Berbatov

Another former Manchester United player makes the list. Dimitar Berbatov, the Bulgarian footballer, was also a part of AS Monaco once upon a time. 


The athletic attacker played for Monaco during the 2014-15 season, scoring 13 goals in a total of 38 appearances. 

Yaya Toure

Gnégnéri Yaya Touré is an Ivorian professional football coach and former player who played as a midfielder. He is an academy coach for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

A dejected Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast is comforted by Yaya Toure after missing his penalty during the 2012 African Cup of Nations Final between Zambia and Ivory Coast at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, Gabon. Photo: Ben Radford/Visionhaus (Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast midfielder was a part of AS Monaco during the 2006-07 season, playing a total of 27 matches and scoring 5 goals. 

Notable Mentions

Some of the notable mentions who were a part of AS Monaco include Emanuel Adebayor, Lilian Thuram, Takumi Minamino, Abdou Diallo, Benjamin Mendy and Ludovic Giuly.

Which player do you think was the most successful? Comment down your replies.

Team of Manchester United

Amid World Cup, ten Hag’s United lose a friendly to Cadiz

Did you think yesterday was an off-day for all the football fans? Well, your guess is half right. There was friendly football action happening at Cadiz, Spain, miles away from Qatar, where the entire world’s eyes are at the moment.

Manchester United were in action against Spanish football club Cadiz yesterday. And the La Liga club managed to beat the English Premier League giants 4-2 in the first match for the club since axing Cristiano Ronaldo.

The game saw Cadiz take a lead of 2 goals within the first 15 minutes, thanks to Carlos Garcia and Anthony Lozano’s wonderful strikes. However, the English side managed to get one back, with Anthony Martial converting a penalty. The hosts, Cadiz, went into the break with a comfortable 2-1 lead.

As the second half began, Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo scored the equaliser to make the scoreline 2-2. However, the club’s defence faltered since. They made a lot of defensive errors that cost them two goals; one from Ruben Sobrino and another from Tomás Alarcon.

Erik ten Hag, the coach of Manchester United, was disappointed with the team’s efforts. Speaking with MUTV after the game, the Manchester United manager spoke about the game in general. ‘More negatives than positives’ was the real takeaway point from the interview.

Manchester United will next face Spanish club Real Betis on 10th December. The club will try to make the most out of this game.

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