Some of Liverpool’s most famous players decided they wanted to try out management, and some have been more successful than others.
What to do after hanging up your boots?
It’s a topic a lot of players never like to broach, preferring to extend their playing careers on for as long as possible.
Some, though, are keen to try out coaching and management, and some players go on to become better managers than they ever were players, something Jurgen Klopp has never been afraid of admitting!
We’ve picked out 21 ex-Liverpool players who are currently in management, as well as a host of others who have been managers and assistants in the past.
Steven Gerrard – Aston Villa
Previously: Liverpool U18s, Rangers
Having spent an incredible 17 years at Liverpool as a player, Gerrard signalled his intent to move into management after hanging up his boots in 2016, following a spell at LA Galaxy.
His first step into coaching came as he took up a role as Liverpool under-18s manager in 2017, before Rangers swooped in to make him their first-team coach one year later.
Nuri Sahin – Antalyaspor
This is one that may make you feel a little old! Sahin, who spent the first half of the 2012/13 season on loan at Liverpool, moved into management in October 2021, at the age of 33.
He signed a two-year-deal with Antalyaspor in August 2020, but became their coach just over one year later and now wants to concentrate on a career in coaching.
Sahin ended his first season in management by guiding his team to a seventh-placed finish in the Turkish Super Lig.
Daniel Agger – HB Koge
Former Reds defender Agger announced his retirement after ending his career where it started, with Brondby, in 2016.
He only moved into management five years later, with Danish 1st Division side HB Koge, leading them to a seventh-placed finish in his first season.
Dirk Kuyt – ADO Den Haag
Previously: Quick Boys (assistant manager)
Kuyt called time on his career as a player in May 2017, scoring a hat-trick in the last game of the season to secure Feyenoord their first title since 1999.
Less than a year later, the former Liverpool forward came out of retirement with amateur Dutch team Quick Boys, where he was already assistant manager, to fix their shortage on strikers for the remainder of the season.
In the summer of 2022, he landed his first job as a manager, with second-tier ADO Den Haag handing him a one-year contract in his homeland.
Andrea Dossena – Renate
Previously: Crema, Ravenna
Ex-Liverpool left-back Dossena was appointed manager of Serie C club Renate on a one-year deal in June 2022, after guiding previous club Ravenna to a second-placed finish in Serie D in 2021/22.
The 40-year-old hung up his boots after his contract with Italian side Piacenza expired in 2017, before first moving into management with Crema two years later.
John Arne Riise – Avaldsnes IL
Previously: Birkirkara (sporting director), Flint Tonsberg
Riise enjoyed seven brilliant years with the Reds between 2001 and 2008, ending his career with SK Rollon in 2017.
In 2019, he joined Maltese club Birkirkara as a sporting director, but resigned after less than three months due to personal reasons.
Later that year he became manager of Norwegian third division club Flint Tonsberg, leaving after their relegation at the end of the 2021 season.
He then moved into women’s football, signing a two-year contract as manager of top-flight Norwegian club Avaldsnes in December 2021.
Paul Ince – Reading
Previously: Swindon Town (player-coach) Macclesfield Town, MK Dons, Blackburn Rovers, Notts County, Blackpool
Ince has taken up a number of coaching and management roles since hanging up his boots in 2007 and now finds himself in charge of Championship side Reading.
His son and ex-Liverpool youth player Tom Ince is also currently plying his trade at the Madejski Stadium.
Christian Ziege – FC Pinzgau
Previously: Borussia Monchengladbach (various roles), Arminia Bielefeld, Germany under-19s, Germany under-18s, SpVgg Unterhaching, Atletico Baleares, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
Ziege only spent one season with the Reds after arriving in the summer of 2000, before joining Tottenham one year later.
He finished his playing career with Borussia Monchengladbach, where he’d go on to take roles as under-17s head coach, director of football, interim coach and assistant coach between 2006 and 2008.
Since then, Ziege has had a number of jobs in management across the planet and is currently with FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in the third tier of Austrian football, where he’s been since 2019.
Jan Kromkamp – CSV Apeldoorn
Dutchman Kromkamp, one of Liverpool’s stranger signings in recent history, was forced to retire in 2013 at the age of just 33, due to chronic knee problems.
In 2020 he took a job in management in the sixth-tier of Dutch football with CSV Apeldoorn and guided them to promotion in 2022.
Nigel Clough – Mansfield Town
Previously: Burton Albion, Derby County, Sheffield United
Clough’s first taste of coaching came in a player-manager role with Burton Albion, one he remained in for 10 years, before moving onto Derby County in 2009.
He would return to Burton in 2015 and is currently in charge of League Two Mansfield Town, where he’s been since 2020.
Albert Riera – Olimpija Ljubljana
Previously: Galatasaray (assistant manager)
Riera, who made 56 appearances for the Reds under Rafa Benitez, left his role as Galatasaray assistant to take up his first position as a manager with Slovenian outfit Olimpija Ljubljana in 2022.
Remarkably, the Spaniard was forced out of his first press conference as manager by the club’s ‘ultras’ who did not agree with appointment, but remains in charge.
Paul Konchesky – West Ham Women
Previously: West Ham (academy coach), Billericay Town (assistant manager)
In 2017, Konchesky returned to former club West Ham in a coaching capacity at the academy, before joining Billericay as assistant manager to Jamie O’Hara in 2020, where he was also registered as a player.
In May 2021, the former Liverpool left-back became the assistant manager of West Ham Women and succeeded Olli Harder as manager one year later.
Rigobert Song – Cameroon
Previously: Cameroon U23s
Ex-Reds defender Song ended his playing career with Trabzonspor in 2010 and didn’t move into management for another six years.
He started as manager of Cameroon A, before his work was interrupted by his hospitalisation for a brain aneurysm and subsequent recovery.
In 2018, Song took charge of the Cameroon under-23 team for the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations campaign and was handed the senior gig after AFCON 2022, replacing Toni Conceicao.
Youth team managers
Fernando Torres – Atletico Madrid U19s
Torres’ move to the dugout was not an immediate one, having initially founded a chain of gyms after calling time on his playing career in 2019.
He made the decision to try out coaching in early 2021, helping out at youth and B-team level at Atletico Madrid.
The ex-Liverpool striker is now coach of the Atletico Madrid Juvenil A side (under-19s). His team came up against Liverpool in 2021/22 UEFA Youth League and eventually went on to reach the semi-finals.
Alvaro Arbeloa – Real Madrid U19s
Previously: Real Madrid under-17s
That’s right, two ex-Liverpool stars are in charge of the under-19s teams of both Madrid clubs!
Arbeloa is working his way up the ranks having initially moved into coaching with Real’s under-17 team.
The former Liverpool full-back has been promoted to take charge of the Juvenil A (under-19s) team ahead of 2022/23.
Javier Mascherano – Argentina U20s
Former Liverpool midfielder Mascherano took his first coaching job towards the end of 2021, becoming Argentina under-20’s head coach.
A report in AS claimed the Argentine had issued a series of rules to his players, including daily homework, English lessons and cleaning.
No-nonense midfielder, no-nonsense manager!
Alberto Aquilani – Fiorentina U19s
Previously: Fiorentina under-18s, Fiorentina (assistant manager)
Italian midfielder Aquilani hung up his boots after a spell with Las Palmas in 2018.
Fiorentina, the club who signed Aquilani from Liverpool in 2012, made him their under-18’s coach in 2019, before he became assistant to first-team boss Giuseppe Iachini in December of the same year.
In July 2020 he became of the Primavera (under-19s) squad, where he remains to this day.
Igor Biscan – Croatia U21s
Previously: Rudes, Olimpija Ljubljana, Rijeka
Biscan made his first steps into coaching with Rudes in 2016, starting out as assistant coach, before becoming head coach and guiding his team to the Croatian second division in 2016-17.
His good work there led to an approach from Olimpija Ljubljana, where Riera is now manager. There, he won the Slovenian PrvaLiga title and the Slovenian Cup.
In October 2018 he made the move to Rijeka, a controversial appointment given his links to rivals Dynamo Zagreb, before he was made Croatia under-21 boss in September 2019.
Gregory Vignal – Dundee U18s
Previously: Rangers (academy coach), Rangers Women, Marseille (academy coach)
Frenchman Vignal, who had a five-year spell with Liverpool between 2000 and 2005, is still working on his coaching qualifications alongside his role at the Dundee academy.
In July 2019, having worked as an academy coach at Rangers, Vignal was appointed head coach of the club’s senior women’s team. He spent a year there before a brief spell as a coach at Marseille’s academy and a return to Scotland with Dundee.
Currently out of a job
Xabi Alonso is one of a number of former Liverpool players to have tried their luck in management recently.
Legendary midfielder Alonso was most recently manager of Real Sociedad B, having started his coaching journey with Real Madrid under-14s in 2018. He is widely expected to carry on pursuing a career in management.
Sami Hyypia and Markus Babbel have both managed in the Bundesliga.
Iconic Liverpool defender Hyypia had spells in charge of Bayer Leverkusen and Brighton between 2012 and 2014, while Babbel took charge of Stuttgart, Hertha BSC and Hoffenheim between 2008 and 2012.
Babbel was most recently manager at Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League.
Mauricio Pellegrino is another ex-Liverpool star to have excelled on the sidelines. The Argentine was at Southampton in 2017/18 and was most recently in charge at Velez Sarsfield in his homeland.
Robbie Fowler, one of the club’s best marksmen, has had various roles in management in Asia and Australia, most recently with East Bengal, while Stephane Henchoz last managed Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax in 2020.
Other ex-Liverpool strikers, Fernando Morientes and Nicolas Anelka, have also both toyed with the idea of managerial careers.
Morientes’ last position in management was with lower tier Spanish side Fuenlabrada in 2015/16, while Anelka’s positions since hanging up his boots have included player-coach roles with Shanghai Shenhua and Mumbai City.
Abel Xavier was briefly in charge of the Mozambique national team and Brad Friedel dipped his toes in management with the United States’ under-19s team and New England Revolution.
Craig Bellamy is one of a number of ex-Reds who are either working their way through the coaching ranks as assistants or have settled into roles as No. 2s.
Welshman Bellamy is now working alongside Vincent Kompany at Burnley, having previously been in charge of Anderlecht under-21s.
Steven Gerrard’s right-hand man at Aston Villa is Gary McAllister, who also worked alongside him at Rangers.
Harry Kewell is currently first-team coach at Celtic, previously manager of Watford under-23s, Crawley, Notts County, Oldham and Barnet.
Denmark’s assistant manager is Christian Poulsen, one of Roy Hodgson’s famous Liverpool additions in 2010.
Robbie Keane (Middlesbrough), Bolo Zenden (Jong PSV), Djimi Traore (Seattle Sounders), Nick Barmby (Scunthorpe United) and Andriy Voronin (Dynamo Moscow) are among the other ex-Liverpool players to take up roles as assistants in recent years.