Former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Liverpool stars are among the ex-footballers you might not have known were now international assistant managers.

It is common for ex-professionals to pursue a career in coaching after hanging up their boots, and many have gone on to find jobs in international football.

Along with the Euros and the Copa America, we’ve got six former players now working as international assistant managers.

Ricardo Carvalho

When Roberto Martinez landed the Portugal job, he appointed the former Chelsea and Real Madrid defender as his assistant manager.

Having made 89 appearances for Portugal between 2003 and 2016, Carvalho certainly has plenty of international experience to fall back on.

The 46-year-old previously worked as assistant to Andre Villas-Boas at Marseille and is now making a name for himself in the international set-up. There is no doubt that he will be eyeing a full managerial job in the future.

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Walter Samuel

Now working as Lionel Scaloni’s assistant in Argentina, Samuel still looks like one of the most feared men in football. You definitely don’t want to get on the wrong side of the former Inter Milan star.

During his playing days, Samuel never won a trophy with Argentina, but since joining as coach in 2018 he has seen his nation win the Copa America and the World Cup.

Vedran Korloka

It’s mind boggling to think that Luka Modric is now coaching Koraluka, despite being five months older than his former teammate.

After playing his final year in Russia, Korluka hung up his boots in 2021 and immediately moved into coaching. He spent a brief period working as an assistant at Lokomotiv Moscow and now serves as Croatia’s assistant manager.


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Selkouk Sahin

The former Fenerbahce star is now working as Turkey’s assistant manager. He was appointed in October last year and is second-in-command to Vincenzo Montella, along with Daniel Rosso.

Renee Melenstein

Perhaps better known for his coaching credentials than his playing career, the former Manchester United coach has been Australia’s assistant manager since 2018.

“I’m really enjoying my time working with Australia because it’s a new challenge for me,” Meulensteen told WFI last year.

“Since we started operations in 2018, the growth has been nothing short of incredible.

“In addition to coaching the senior national team, we also coached the Australian Olympic football team at the Olympic Games in Japan where they defeated Argentina on the way although it was a tough loss to Spain.”

Christian Paulson

Poulsen hasn’t exactly pulled up many trees during his tenure in the Premier League as he struggled to win over the Liverpool faithful upon his arrival from Juventus in 2010.

His start to life at Anfield was summed up when Roy Hodgson tried to defend him: “He’s not that bad on the ball, but let’s not beat about the bush and try to hide the fact. – It had a bad start.”

Since hanging up his boots in 2015, Poulson has embarked on a coaching career. He started as a coach at Ajax and has been Kasper Hjulmand’s assistant in Denmark since 2021.



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