Where are they now? The Euro 96 stars who ended up being top managers

The tournament certainly turned out some successful managers.


Gareth Southgate (ENG)

Famous at Euro 96 for missing the only penalty of the shootout in the semi-final against Germany, Gareth Southgate broke the hearts of a nation. It is fair to say he has since fixed them.

Now manager of England, Southgate guided the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the semi-finals of the Nations League, with the brand of football being played earning plenty of plaudits.

Southgate has led his young lions to the next Euro’s in comfortable fashion and has improved as a coach since guiding Middlesbrough to relegation from the Premier League in 2019.

Phil Neville (ENG)

Another England player from the 96 crop to become an England manager, the manager of the England Women’s team.

Phil Neville’s first taste as a first-team manager was with the national team, and although he has come in for criticism of late, he did guide the Lionesses to a World Cup semi-final in 2019.

Phillip Cocu (NED)

Phillip Cocu was in the Netherlands starting XI for their quarter-final defeat to France, a game that went to the wire, with the French winning on penalties.

After spells coaching in the Netherlands and Turkey, Cocu is now in charge of Championship side Derby, with his side 12th in the league table. Cocu’s Rams have an outside chance of making the play-off, should the season resume, being only five points adrift.

Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Arguably the most successful manager on this list, certainly the one to win the biggest prize – the World Cup.

Didier Deschamps was France captain at Euro 96, and he now leads his nation as manager, and led them to success in Russia in 2018, lifting the World Cup.

His 96 campaign ended in frustrating fashion as he was suspended for the semi-final against the Czech Republic in which they were beaten on penalties. He made up for it in 1998 and 2000, captaining France to World Cup and Euro success.


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Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

A close second to Deschamps for most successful manager, Zinedine Zidane has broken records at Real Madrid, winning a hat-trick of Champions Leagues on the bounce.

Zidane was also part of that France core who were so successful around the turn of the millennium, and he has won an awful lot as a manager too, including a La Liga title and two Club World Cups.

After three-quarters of a season away from Madrid, Zidane was re-appointed in 2019, and has Los Blancos in the title race, and has them playing well, ranking as the best team in La Liga according to expected goals.

Sabri Lamouchi (FRA)

Sabri Lamouchi started in only one game for France in 1996, and that was the semi-final, after being brought in to replace the suspended Deschamps.

Now manager at Nottingham Forest, Lamouchi has had a good first season in charge, with Forest looking set for a play-off place should the season resume, though according to expected goals, Forest are flattered to be so high.

Luis Enrique (ESP)

Another player from Euro 96 who now manages their nation, and another who has been very successful as a manager, winning two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and a Champions League as manager of Barcelona.

At Euro 96, Enrique started in the first two group games before losing his place, but now leads his nation as the manager, and will be leading them at Euro 2020… in 2021.

Slaven Bilic (CRO)

Slaven Bilic helped his Croatia team get out of the group stage at Euro 96, but were beaten by eventual winners Germany in the quarter-finals.

Bilic is another ex-player to have played in the tournament and managed his nation, leading Croatia for six years before managing Besiktas and West Ham.

He now manages West Brom, and has them on course to secure promotion to the Premier League, having a six-point cushion to third-place Fulham at the summit of the Championship.

Paulo Sousa (POR)

Paulo Sousa was a starter for Portugal at Euro 96, helping his nation get out of the group stage only for them to lose to the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.

He has managed at QPR, Swansea and Leicester in England, and also Basel and Fiorentina, but now he coaches in France, at Bordeaux. The French season has been concluded early, with Bordeaux sitting in mid-table mediocrity.


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