Casillas raises the debate: How long can a top coach last?

Jose Mourinho‘s dismissal from his role at Manchester United has raised questions about whether or not he still has the same ability he once did to take teams to the very top of the game.

Iker Casillas subsequently raised a question that doesn’t have a clear answer, which was “when and at what point do you see that coaches can no longer do what they once did in leading and coaching a team?”

Beyond the interesting question, Casillas was sending a message to Mourinho, who told the goalkeeper that his career was over at Real Madrid.

Champions close to 70

There are some cases that suggest age doesn’t matter, Jupp Heynckes being a primary example as he won the treble with Bayern Munich in 2013 at the age of 68 with more than 30 years’ experience.

Belgian Raymond Goethals was 71 when he lifted the Champions League with Marseille, Alex Ferguson was 66 when he did it with Manchester United while Joe Fagan and Bela Guttmann were 63 at Liverpool and Benfica respectively.

Claudio Ranieri is a more recent example, guiding Leicester City to the Premier League title at 64.

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In Spain, Luis Aragones was a European champion as he turned 70, Vicente Del Bosque was a world champion turning 60, while Otto Rehhagel won the European Championship with Greece when he was 65.

Greats who retired too soon

There are also tales of coaches who achieved success young and ended heir careers early, perhaps due to lack of energy or motivation.

Johan Cruyff, for example, ended at 49 and Jorge Valdano stepped away at just 42.

One of the all-time greats, Arrigo Sacchi, led his last team, Parma, before the age of 55.

Brian Clough lasted a little longer, but still stopped coaching before he turned 60.

Last stop: National team

National teams are a habitual stop for many in their later days, stepping away from the day-to-day responsibilities.

This is true of Luis Aragones, though he later took charge at Fenerbahce and of Del Bosque, who hasn’t coached since leaving the national team.

Oscar Washington Tabarez remains in charge of Uruguay at 71 having spent 12 years in the job and Marcello Lippi started training Italy at 56 and, since then, has been in China.

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Another Italian to do similarly is Fabio Capello, signing as England coach at 61 and Russia‘s boss at 66 before appearing in China at almost 72 before retiring.

Giovanni Trapattoni, meanwhile, took charge of the Republic of Ireland at almost 69 and left at 75.

Coaches who worked in the top leagues

LaLiga Santander: Helenio Herrera, 71 years old

Premier League: Bobby Robson, Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson, 71 years old

Bundesliga: Alfred Schulz, 74 years old

Serie A: Nils Liedholm, 74years old

Ligue 1: Guy Roux and Tomislav Ivic, 68 years old

Portuguese Liga NOS: Jesualdo Ferreira, 67 years old

Eredivisie: Foppe Geert de Haan, 72 years old

This story was originally published by Marca

via: USAHint Sports

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