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How do club legends fare when they return as manager?

With Thierry Henry heading 'home' to Monaco, we look at six other club heroes who came back to manage.

So in the end, Thierry Henry opted for the Monaco hot-seat over Aston Villa.

He chose Radamel Falcao over Jonathan Kodjia, what on earth was he thinking?


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Va Va Voom- A young Henry in Monaco

EPA
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Va Va Voom- A young Henry in Monaco

It must have something to do with the fact that Henry used to play for them. That and maybe the weather.

The new appointment had us thinking of others who returned to their old clubs. How often is there a fairy tale return? How many times does it end in tears?

Here’s six that instantly spring to mind..

1-Kenny Dalglish

It actually was their year

Getty - Contributor
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It actually was their year

…Or King Kenny, as he is known over on Merseyside.

Dalglish scored 172 goals for Liverpool as a player and is regarded as a bit of a hero by the Anfield faithful.

And his managerial return in the 90s mirrored his playing career, with three league titles and a win percent ratio of over 60%. He went from a hero to a God.

Loving the jacket Kenny

Getty - Contributor
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Loving the jacket Kenny

But he just couldn’t stay away could he?

Fast forward 20 years and he was back again, taking the reigns in 2011 after Roy Hodgson was given the boot.

This time his record was a bit more pedestrian, winning 49% of his games during his season-and-a-half at the helm.

He did manage to win the League Cup in 2012, to this day Liverpool’s latest trophy.

His second spell certainly didn’t spoil his reputation, and he remains an Anfield hero; both as a player and a manager.

2-Antonio Conte

A club legend

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A club legend

As a player at Juventus, Antonio Conte was a perpetual figure in the side between 1991 and 2004, making 512 appearances in central midfield.

However, his return as manager in 2012 came as a surprise to a lot of people in Italy.

Goals…

Getty Images - Getty
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Goals…

Juve had suffered ten years with no league title, but the eccentric Italian transformed the team, guiding them to three titles in a row before taking his dream job as Italy’s manager.

So the return to the Old Lady proved very fruitful for the man who has gone from strength to strength since.

3-Diego Simeone

I think there was previous here…

AP:Associated Press
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I think there was previous here…

Simeone made 173 appearances for Atletico Madrid over two spells as a player.

The midfield man was tough, pragmatic and successful as a player – three traits he continues to show as a manager.

A familiar sight in the Spanish capital

Getty - Contributor
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A familiar sight in the Spanish capital

For the seven years Simeone has been in the hot-seat at Atleti, his greatest achievement has undoubtedly been his La Liga title win in 2014.

Not since Valencia in 2004 had a team managed to get the better of powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain’s top flight.

He’s taken Atletico to two Champions League finals, but he is yet to win the one with the big ears.

4-Johan Cryuff

Iconic

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Iconic

It’s fair to say Cryuff is a legend at both Ajax and Barcelona.

The former Dutch international won eight league titles with Ajax, as well as two KNVB cups (the Dutch equivalent of the FA Cup.)

And at Barca, Cryuff won La Liga and the Copa del Rey as a player.

He was a hero in Spain and Holland

Getty - Contributor
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He was a hero in Spain and Holland

He then risked his reputation in Amsterdam and Barcelona by returning to each club as a manager – but he enjoyed plenty of success in the dugout.
With Ajax he won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup as well as two KNVP cups, but it was at Barcelona where he really shone – winning four La Liga titles as well as the Champions League.

Barca’s tribute to the late man shows how loved he was

Corbis
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Barca’s tribute to the late man shows how loved he was

It’s no surprise then, that Barca named their new ground for the B team in his honour. He’s even getting a statue erected of him in Amsterdam.

5-Alan Shearer

A true geordie

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A true geordie

Here is an example of where a former player shouldn’t have risked his reputation.

Shearer scored 204 goals for Newcastle and the man became a legend in the North East, even managing to score over 20 league goals in four seasons at St James’ Park.

It wasn’t to be for Shearer as manager

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It wasn’t to be for Shearer as manager

In 2009, Newcastle were facing down the barrel of relegation and they needed a hero to steady the ship and keep them up.

With eight games to go, Shearer took the reigns.

However, the former captain managed just one win in their final eight games of the season, which saw the Geordies go down.

Luckily for big Al, the blame was shifted to owner Mike Ashley and his God-like status remains.

6-Ryan Giggs

Looking sharp

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Looking sharp

Yes, Giggsy was still technically a player for his short stint as Man United’s boss.

Although, he didn’t bring himself on during his interim stage, so he just about qualifies for this list.

With nearly 900 competitive games for United, right through the Sir Alex Ferguson golden years, Giggs is undoubtedly a club legend.

Give it Giggsy til the end of the season

Getty Images - Getty
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Give it Giggsy til the end of the season

Yet in 2014, Giggs was put in caretaker charge after the sacking of David Moyes – leaving United well out of the top four.

Giggs looked like the right man for the job after his United side won their first game 4-0 against Norwich.

Yet a draw to Southampton and a loss against Sunderland in the last few remaining games suggest Giggs should have thought twice before taking over.

Yet, the damage was done by Moyes and the Scotsman still takes the heat, Giggs is in no way held accountable by Man United.


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