Frank Lampard’s appointment as the successor to Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea did not come as a surprise, despite the former midfielder’s lack of experience.
Lampard always seemed set for management and he will have former team-mate Petr Cech in an upstairs role as Chelsea try to get the band back together.
Their glory days under Jose Mourinho may be starting to feel like a long time ago, with the Portuguese’s former defensive midfielder Claude Makelele having also been tipped for a return.
But which other Mourinho pupils are making their way as managers, and how are they faring?
Conceicao played under Mourinho for a brief time at Porto, helping them win the 2003-04 Primeira Liga, although he was not eligible to feature in their Champions League final defeat of Monaco and was injured anyway.
After retirement the former Portugal midfielder managed an array of clubs in his homeland without much success but a spell in Ligue 1 with Nantes boosted his reputation to the extent he was linked with a Premier League move.
Conceicao returned to Porto in 2017, replacing Nuno Espirito Santo, and they ended a five-year wait for the league title in his first season at the club before finishing second to Benfica last term.
Among Conceicao’s Porto team-mates in their incredible 2003-04 campaign was South Africa striker McCarthy, who hit 20 top-flight goals and four in the Champions League that season.
Like Mourinho, McCarthy headed to the Premier League with spells at Blackburn Rovers and West Ham before he retired from in 2013.
He took charge of Premier Soccer League side Cape Town City in 2017, leading them to glory in cup competition the MTN 8 the following year. City finished fourth in the league last term.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is having the honor of working with someone of your caliber and getting the opportunity to witness your growth ,path which is inspiring. To more success, growth & friendship @bennimccarthy17 Cred : @capetowncityfc pic.twitter.com/4kH9IAwg5A
— IIKHUNE3216 (@IIKHUNE_32_16) April 7, 2019
Valente followed Mourinho from Leiria to Porto, where they won the UEFA Cup and Champions League together. Injuries blighted Valente during a subsequent spell in the Premier League with Everton and he retired in 2009.
After working as a scout for Everton and later joining Sporting CP’s coaching staff, Valente got a chance to strike out on his own at third-tier side Trofense. He lasted only six matches, however, losing five of them, so the Mourinho magic clearly did not rub off.
Cameroon great Eto’o was one of Inter’s stars in their treble-winning campaign under Mourinho and he is still playing, lining up for Qatar SC at the age of 38. But the striker, who also played for Mourinho at Chelsea, has already had a stab at management.
When Super Lig side Antalyaspor sacked their coach Yusuf Simsek in December 2015, Eto’o was installed as a player-coach on a temporary basis. He took charge of five games, winning two.
Our #TBT today is with Samuel Eto’o!
Which of his goals do you remember most? pic.twitter.com/t4nL9GBMy1
— Inter (@Inter_en) July 5, 2018
Mourinho’s compatriot Villas-Boas – who also had no professional playing career – worked with the manager at Chelsea, Porto and Inter before getting a chance to take a Primeira Liga job with Academica.
He impressed to such a degree he followed in Mourinho’s footsteps by being appointed Porto’s new head coach in 2010 and he was similarly successful, going unbeaten for a whole league season and winning four trophies in a season including the Europa League.
The parallels with Mourinho continued as Villas-Boas took over at Chelsea in 2011, with the Blues reportedly paying a world record €15million fee to release him from the Portuguese giants. However, he struggled at Stamford Bridge and was sacked before the end of his first season.
Villas-Boas fared better with Tottenham but left in December 2013 following heavy defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool, with Russian outfit Zenit his next stop from 2014 to 2016.
A stint at Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG followed before Villas-Boas – who is still only 41 – was appointed as the new head coach of Ligue 1 side Marseille ahead of the 2019-20 season.
BEST OF THE REST
Others are beginning to make their first steps into a coaching career. Thiago Motta, a treble winner at Inter, is the Under-19 coach at Paris Saint-Germain. He made headlines when he spoke of a revolutionary 2-7-2 formation he wants to bring to the game.
Mourinho once described Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien as a “son” and the Ghanaian is a player-coach with Sabail in the Azerbaijan Premier League, while former Blues striker Eidur Gudjohnsen works in Iceland’s international set-up.
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