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A player- coach is a person who trains a sports team and is also entitled to use himself as a player. This option is available in almost all sports.


Player-coaches have become rare in professional football , whereas before the Second World War they were not uncommon in many European countries. In the amateur field, on the other hand, experienced players are occasionally used as player-coaches for a while. If the player- coach is in play, he can usually be replaced by the assistant coach on the bench. A player-coach is usually an older, very experienced player who switches to coaching at the end of his career as an active footballer, but continues to play himself for some time.

In the lower leagues, the coach is the one who enters himself as the coach on the score sheet, it can also be a player. In the higher leagues, however, there are provisions for game operations that the coach must be present and have a license level. If he does not have this, another coach can be entered and the player-coach acts as the team manager .

In the German Bundesliga there is no longer this possibility of the player-coach.

As a player-coach, u. a. the footballers Karl Rappan , Hennes Weisweiler , Helmut Benthaus , Wolfgang Frank , Uwe Reinders , Helmut Schön , Joachim Löw , Albert Batteux , Ruud Gullit , Kenny Dalglish , Gianluca Vialli , Hans-Peter Briegel , Marco Kurz , Romário , Karl-Heinz Riedle , Trevor Francis , Dorinel Munteanu and today's actor Vinnie Jones . The Argentinian star striker Adolfo Pedernera was particularly successful . At the beginning of the 1950s he was among the world's best with the Colombian club CD Los Millonarios and won the national championship three times in a row. His compatriot José Manuel Moreno , who also belongs to the world's top players , won the Colombian championship as player-coach in 1955 with Independiente Medellín .

Erwin Helmchen wrote a special chapter as player-coach of VfB Lübeck from the spring of 1950. The league opponents Göttingen 05 and later Phoenix Lübeck protested against his participation in championship games for different formal reasons. The so feared player-coach was 43 years old at the time.

Recent examples of senior player-coaches include Ryan Giggs at Manchester United and Edgar Davids at Barnet FC . Fanny Vágó has been a player-coach at the Austrian women's soccer championship SKN St. Pölten since 2016 .

Individual evidence

  1. Ongoing reporting by Lübecker Nachrichten and Sport-Megaphon (s) , both from 1950