With the competitive nature of football reaching new heights with clubs competing both on and off the pitch, there is little room for sentiment in the games current climate. 


However, despite the cut-throat nature of the sport, a number of clubs have found it in their hearts to appoint former players to take the reins at some of the biggest sides in Europe. 


Here, 90min takes a look at 15 clubs who are managed by their former players.


Zinedine Zidane - Real Madrid 

Zinedine Zidane

Years Playing: 2001-2006

Years Managing: 2016-18, 2019-Present


Probably the most successful player on this list, Zinedine Zidane had a stellar playing career at ​Los Blancos, winning the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League and the 2002/03 La Liga.


As a manager, Zidane has continued this unrelenting success, which includes winning the UEFA Champions League three times in two and a half seasons with Real Madrid, as well as the 2016/17 La Liga.


Diego Simeone - Atlético Madrid

Diego Simeone

Years Playing: 1994-1997

Years Managing: 2011-Present


Sticking in the Spanish capital, Diego Simeone is the heart and soul of this ​Atlético side. The combative Argentine completed the league and cup double in the 1995/96 season with Los Rojiblancos before sealing a move to ​Inter


As a manager, Simeone has continued to demand the very best from his players, which culminated in the 2013/14 La Liga title, pipping Barcelona to the crown. The former midfielder has also won the UEFA Europa League on two occasions (2011/12, 2017/18).


Frank Lampard - Chelsea

Frank Lampard

Years Playing: 2001-2014

Years Managing: 2019-Present


​Chelsea's finest ever player, Frank Lampard won it all with the west London club, including the Premier League (2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10), FA Cup (2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2001/12) and UEFA Champions League in 2011/12.


His career as a manager has just begun, however the former ​West Ham academy graduate did guide ​Derby County to the playoffs last season before taking over at Chelsea. Perhaps his greatest achievement, to date, is winning the Premier League Manager of the Month Award for October 2019. 


Mikel Arteta - Arsenal

Mikel Arteta

Years Playing: 2011-2016

Years Managing: 2019-Present


Another young manager who has taken charge of his former club is Mikel Arteta. The Basque midfielder won the 2013/14 and 2014/15 FA Cup with ​Arsenal as well as the 2014 and 2015 Community Shield. 


Having only just being given the managerial reins, Arteta is yet to win any silverware, however his improvements of Arsenal's style of play can be seen already, with the Gunners churning out impressive performances since his takeover. 


Ole Gunnar Solskjær - Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Years Playing: 1996-2007

Years Managing: 2018-Present


Perhaps one of the most decorated players on this list, Ole Gunnar Solskjær enjoyed a hugely successful career at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League on six occasions, the FA Cup twice and the 1999 UEFA Champions League.


As a manager, things haven't gone so smoothly for the Norwegian as ​Manchester United have endured a poor first-half of the season by their own high standards. 


Chris Wilder - Sheffield United

FBL-ENG-FA CUP-SHEFFIELD UTD-FYLDE

Years Playing: 1986-1992, 1998-1999

Years Managing: 2016-Present


The man, the myth, the legend. Chris Wilder had a nomadic career in which he played for no less than 11 clubs.


As a manager, however, Wilder has achieved a lot as manager of ​Sheffield United, guiding the Blades to promotion from League One as champions in the 2016/17 season, and then from the ​Championship into the Premier League as runners up in the 2018/19 campaign. 


Eddie Howe - Bournemouth

West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth  - Premier League

Years Playing: 1994-2002, 2004-2007

Years Managing: 2008-2011, 2012-Present


The only other manager in this list to rival the achievements of the aforementioned Chris Wilder is Eddie Howe. Forced to retire due to ongoing knee injuries, perhaps Howe didn't enjoy his playing career as much as he'd hoped to.


Howe has certainly made up for it as a manager, though, guiding the ​Cherries to the Premier League in 2015 via League Two (2009/10), League One (2012/13) and the Championship (2014/15). 


Simone Inzaghi - Lazio

Brescia Calcio FC v SS Lazio - Serie A

Years Playing: 1999-2010

Years Managing: 2016-Present


Not quite as good as his older brother Filippo, Simone Inzaghi still enjoyed relative success as a player with Lazio, winning the 1999/00 Serie A title. The Italian would add three Coppa Italia, two Supercoppa Italiana and one UEFA Supercup to his trophy cabinet in the following years.


Inzaghi's love for the Coppa Italia continued as a manager as he won the 2018/19 edition of the competition as a manager, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana in 2017 and 2019. 


Hans-Dieter Flick - Bayern Münich

Hansi Flick

Years Playing: 1985-1990

Years Managing: 2019-Present


Moving onto the Bundesliga now, and onto former ​Bayern Münich midfielder, who won the Bundesliga title on four occasions (1985/86, 1986/87, 1988/89, 1989/90) and the DFB-Pokal in the 1985/86 season, Hans-Dieter Flick. 


With his tenure at the Allianz Arena still in its early stages, Flick has yet to win a trophy with Die Roten, however, don't rule out a debut Bundesliga title in the very, very near future. 


Michel Der Zakarian - Montpellier

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MONTPELLIER-NIMES

Years Playing: 1988-1998

Years Managing: 2017-Present


One of the more obscure inclusions, Michel Der Zakarian enjoyed a long tenure at Montpellier as a player, winning the Coupe de France in 1990 and the Coupe de la Ligue in 1992. 


Due to Montpellier's recent fall from grace, Zakarian is yet to win a title with La Paillade, and with the dominance of PSG, his first triumph is unlikely to come any time soon. 


Neil Lennon - Celtic

CFR Cluj v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Europa League

Years Playing: 2000-2007

Years Managing: 2010-2014, 2019-Present


One of the most decorated midfielders of his generation in the SPFL, Neil Lennon won it all with Celtic, both as a player and as a manager. 


Lennon won the Scottish Premier League five times, the Scottish Cup four times and the Scottish League Cup twice. As a manager, Lennon has won the Scottish Premier League four times, the Scottish Cup three times and the Scottish League Cup once. 


Sérgio Conceição - FC Porto

Sergio Conceicao

Years Playing: 1996-1998, 2004

Years Managing: 2017-Present


Heading to Portugal and Liga NOS, Sérgio Conceição won the Primeira Liga on three occasions with FC Porto (1996/97, 1997/98, 2003/04), the Taça de Portugal in 1997/98 and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 1996.


As a manager, Conceição has won the Primeira Liga in 2017/18 and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 2018.


Marcelo Gallardo - River Plate

Marcelo Gallardo

Years Playing: 1993-1999, 2003-2006, 2009-2010

Years Managing: 2014-Present


Arguably River Plate's finest ever manager, Marcelo Gallardo has engraved himself in Argentinian folklore. The former playmaker won the Argentine Primera División on six occasions, the 1996 Copa Libertadores and the 1997 Supercopa Sudamericana. 


As manager of River Plate, Gallardo has won it all. The Copa Sudamericana in 2014, the Recopa Sudamericana in 2015, 2016 and 2019, the Copa Libertadores in 2015 and 2018, the Suruga Bank Championship in 2015, the Copa Argentina in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2018/19 as well as the Supercopa Argentina in 2017.


Aaaand breathe. 


Dejan Stanković - Red Star Belgrade

Crvena Zvezda Unveil New Head Coach Dejan Stankovic

Years Playing: 1995-1998

Years Managing: 2019-Present


One of the most talented players on this list, Dejan Stanković had an incredible work ethic and possessed one of the finest long-range shots in Serie A. 


As a player, the Serbian won the Yugoslav First League in the 1994/95 season, as well as the Yugoslav Cup on three occasions (1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97), before enjoying a decorated career in Italy. 


As Stanković was only just appointed as Red Star Belgrade's new manager in December 2019, he is yet to win his first title as a manager. However, with Crveno-Beli are currently 11 points clear at the top of the Serbian SuperLiga with 17 games left, he may not have to wait long.


Xavi Hernández - Al Sadd

Xavier Hernandez

Years Playing: 2015-2019

Years Managing: 2019-Present


As everyone and their mother know by now, Xavi is one of the greatest midfielders to ever step foot on a football pitch. His achievements with Barcelona are legendary and yet, he finds himself managing in the Qatari Stars League with Al Sadd. 


With the Doha-based club, Xavi won the 2018/19 Qatari Stars League, the Emir of Qatar Cup in 2017, the Qatar Cup in 2017 and the Qatari Super Cup in 2017. 


Despite only becoming manager of Al Sadd in 2019, Xavi has already won the 2019 edition of the Qatari Super Cup and, with Al Sadd residing in third place in the league, he may well add his first domestic league trophy as a manager to his extremely full cabinet.