Report | 17 JUL 2015

From the pitch to the touchline

Ten LaLiga coaches currently manage the teams where they made their mark as players.

Pepe Mel (Real Betis)
A true Betis legend, both on the pitch and in the dugout. He arrived at Heliópolis in 1989 and fought for the shirt for four seasons, achieving promotion to la Liga BBVA as the top goalscorer in his first season.

As a manager, the coach from Madrid took charge of Betis in the 2010/11 season in order to once again gain promotion to la Liga BBVA, something which he repeated last season after a spell at West Bromwich Albion FC.

Paco Jémez (Rayo Vallecano)
He had two spells as a player at the 'franjirrojo' side. The first was in the 1992/93 season, where he became a fixture at the back; the second, after having enjoyed a brilliant career at RC Deportivo and Real Zaragoza, gave him the chance to end his time as player in 2004.
In 2012 he arrived back in Vallecas to make his mark on the team, based on an attractive, adventurous style of football which has allowed Rayo to establish themselves in la Liga BBVA.

Luis Enrique Martínez (FC Barcelona)
As a player, the Asturian arrived at Barcelona in 1996 and stayed at the club for eight seasons. Not only did he become a fan favourite, he won two Ligas BBVA, two Copas del Rey, one Spanish Supercopa, a UEFA Super Cup and a Cup Winners' Cup.

His career in the dugout also began at the 'azulgrana' club, managing FC Barcelona B. After stints at AS Roma and RC Celta, Luis Enrique returned home to take charge of the first team and achieve a historic treble in his first campaign.

Ernesto Valverde (Athletic Club)
Although he played at other clubs such as RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona, Athletic were the team at which Valverde stayed most seasons (1990-1996). His first steps as a coach were in the youth ranks of the Basque club, until he took over the first team in 2003.

After leaving the Athletic dugout in 2005, he returned in 2013 to begin a new spell in which his team has achieved qualification for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

Diego Simeone (Atlético Madrid)
'Cholo', the nickname by which he is known, is an emblematic figure for the 'rojiblanco' side. He was one of the standard bearers for the unforgettable team which won the double in the 1995/96 season, and one of the fan favourites at the Vicente Calderón during the five campaigns in which he fought for the Atlético shirt (1994-1997 and 2003-2005).

Since his return as manager in 2011, the Argentinian has added 1 Liga BBVA, 1 UEFA Europa League, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 1 Spanish Supercopa to the club trophy cabinet.

Sergio González (RCD Espanyol)
He started in the 'blanquiazul' reserves and ended up making room for himself in the first team squad from 1998 until 2001. He was part of the team that won the 1999/00 Copa del Rey, in which Espanyol beat Atlético 2-1 in the final with a goal from Raúl Tamudo and another from Sergio himself. After managing the reserves, he took charge of the Espanyol first team last season and finished in tenth place.

Eduardo Berizzo (RC Celta)
The Argentinian was a 'celeste' player for six campaigns (2000-2005), in which he managed to win an Intertoto Cup and promotion to the Liga BBVA. Last year he arrived at the Vigo dugout and ended the season in eighth position.

Abelardo Fernández (R. Sporting)
At the tender age of 19 he was already a fixture in the Asturian side. He shone for five seasons at El Molinón, until FC Barcelona signed him in 1994 to become part of the historic 'Dream Team'.

After taking charge of the Sporting reserves, in May 2014 the opportunity arrived for him to fulfil his dream of managing the club he loves. One year later, he was celebrating promotion to la Liga BBVA after a brilliant campaign in which the Asturians only lost two games.

Víctor Sánchez del Amo (RC Deportivo)
Even though he was nurtured at Real Madrid CF and took his first steps as a professional player at the 'blanco' club, it was at Deportivo where Víctor enjoyed the best years of his career. In fact, in his seven years as a Deportivo player he won one Liga BBVA, a Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups.

Last year he was chosen by the Galician club to take over the team with eight fixtures left, managing to save Deportivo from relegation with a draw against Barcelona in the last game of the season.

Enrique Martín (At. Osasuna)
As a player he never wore any other shirt but that of Osasuna. In total, he fought for the shirt for nine seasons and tasted promotion to la Liga BBVA in 1980. As a coach, he managed the Osasuna reserves and took charge of the first team between 1997 and 1999.

From 2006 to 2008, and also in 2012, he managed the Osasuna reserves once again. In May 2015, he took the reins of the first team squad again, achieving the objective of staying up, a mission which he managed with a last gasp draw against CE Sabadell in the last game of la Liga Adelante season.

© LaLiga - Year 2015

Speaking about: LaLiga, Liga BBVA, Liga Adelante, Season 2015/16, Diego Simeone, Luis Enrique, Pepe Mel, Paco Jémez, Berizzo, Enrique Martín , Sergio González, Abelardo, Víctor Sánchez, Valverde, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, RC Celta, Real Betis Balompie, Real Sporting, Athletic Club, RCD Espanyol, At Osasuna, RC Deportivo, Rayo Vallecano, Coaches, LaLiga 2