They are lucky to be in the World Cup as a player and as a coach. In this edition of the World Cup Qatar 2022, nine coaches, who have played once in a World Cup, have qualified. Discover them in this article!
Not everyone can claim to have attended the World Cup. But even fewer can say that they experienced the World Cup first as a player and then as a coach. Of the 32 coaches participating in the tournament in Qatar, only 9 have participated in the tournament during their soccer careers.
Current coaches who have participated in a World Cup as a player
1. Paolo Bento (South Korea)
Appointed shortly after the last World Cup, Paolo Bento has the opportunity to strike back in the competition after a chaotic defeat in 2014 against Portugal (elimination in the first round). To do so, they must do better than the last Asian Cup of Nations, where Qatar eliminated its team in the quarterfinals.
The Korean Coach is the only person who has been a player and coach in two different countries. He also managed to send Portugal to the World Cup held in Brazil from 2010 to 2014.
2. Gregg Berhalter (USA)
With a rich playing history that has already given him a taste of the World Cup, the coach was appointed in late 2018 after the United States failed to qualify for the Russian World Cup. Before this appointment, he had been coaching Columbus Crew in MLS for 5 years. He won the Gold Cup in 2021.
The American coach participated in the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and North Korea.
3. Aliou Cissé (Senegal)
The former Senegalese international, coach since 2015, won the CAN earlier this year, leading Senegal to its first-ever major title. He was already the key to a frustrating elimination from the group stage at the 2018 edition based on fair play rankings that allowed Japan to overtake the Lions.
The Teranga Lions coach played in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
4. Didier Deschamps (France)
The 1998 World Cup winner and 2018 World Cup winner on the Bleus bench as a player have impressed with his longevity. Appointed in 2012, Basque will indeed lead the World Cup hub for the third consecutive year. But the Euro debacle has left its mark, and DD must prove to Qatar that he deserves to extend his contract, which expires shortly after the tournament.
The French coach attended (and won) the 1998 World Cup in France. He belongs to the closed circle of coaches who have won World Cups as players and coaches.
5. Luis Henrique (Spain)
The former Barcelona coach, who was appointed head coach of La Roja after the 2018 World Cup debacle, was content to resign from his post in March 2019 to stay at the bedside of his daughter, who died of an illness in November of that year. He returned in November and capped a promising Euro 2021 with a semifinal berth.
The La Roja coach has participated in three World Cups: the United States in 1994, France in 1998, and South Korea and Japan in 2002.
6. Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
Former Argentina international Scaloni was promoted to coach the Albiceleste in the summer of 2018 after Jorge Sampaoli’s difficult tenure. Initially hired as an interim coach, he quickly proved himself. With his first Copa America title since 1993 and a 35-game unbeaten streak, he heads into the World Cup in a strong position and already has a contract in his pocket for 2026!
The Argentine coach participated in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
7. Rigobert Song (Cameroon)
The former captain of the team Song began his coaching career by winning a championship with the senior team of Cameroon. He then moved on to the U23s after recovering from a stroke. Former teammate Samuel Eto’o, who finished third in the CAN on home soil, decided a few weeks before the World Cup qualifiers against Algeria to sack Toni Conceicao and appoint him in his place. It is a successful choice, even if Song’s skills as a coach are still controversial.
The Cameroon coach has been to four World Cups: the USA in 1994, France in 1998, Korea/Japan in 2002, and South Africa in 2010. He is one of the youngest players to have participated in the World Cup. He was not yet 18 years old when it took place for the first time.
8. Gareth Southgate (England)
The Englishman, in office since 2016, is a good example of stability. After finishing fourth in the 2018 World Cup, reaching the final of the last Euros has largely put the record of the former international back there.
The coach of the Three Lions participated in the 1998 World Cup in France.
9. Dragan Stojkovic (Serbia)
The former Olympique de Marseille player was appointed in March 2021 when the Serbians narrowly failed to qualify for the Euro-Portugal.
He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and the 1998 World Cup in France.