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Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.
– Bill Shankly

Football is a beautiful game. Described as the ballet of the masses, it is the greatest gift Britain presented to the world (perhaps excluding Audrey Hepburn). The game continues to touch lives across generations and its ability to unite and divide in equal measure is unmatchable. It is symbolic of an unimaginably strong emotional attachment that is translated into a lust that cannot be mollified.

The association with football simply never ends.

But is it the same for those who satiate our lust?

Football players rarely enjoy careers spanning over more than a decade. Longevity is subject to a number of factors and their love for the game is tested in ways fans cannot imagine. The mental stress on professional footballers is immense. Towards the twilight of their careers, most footballers are mentally burnt out and lose all inclination to elongate their association. Those who are made of sterner stuff attempt to renew their relationship in different forms. Some become pundits, some promoters. The strongest, however, become managers.

To succeed in management after years of playing the game is a feat that deserves the greatest of plaudits. Essentially Sports has attempted to rank these stalwarts on the basis of their accomplishments on the field and then in the dug-out.

We present to you our list of legends who enjoyed illustrious careers and later continued to coach and inspire new generations of winners. These are the best player-managers of today’s generation.

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