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Great Coaches create great players by transforming them into……. great coaches!


I have stated many times that Rinus Michel is my favorite coach. He not only was a great coach, but more importantly, he invented a new way to play soccer: Total Soccer (or Global Soccer). Here, the players mark in a zone and not man-to-man. Players have to be able to play in any position, because of the interchangeability among positions on the field. Also keep the shape, do the off-side trap, pressing and so on.

Among all the coaches that have learned from him, in my opinion Arrigo Sacchi is the best. Applying Michel’s principles, Sacchi won everything that a coach, and consequently his team, could win. A.C. Milan guided by him, won Italian championships, Champions Leagues, World Cup for Clubs, and dozens of international tournaments. Even with the Italian National team he was successful and lost the World Cup when Italy missed a penalty kick in the shoot out, after having tied the World Cup Final.

His basic principles:

-work hard
-be part of the group
-repetition, repetition and……do it again
-a maniacal care for particulars
-discipline
-be professional
-tactic
-pressing
-off-side trap
-play elegant and spectacular. People pay big money to see the games

The greatness of Arrigo Sacchi could be summarized this way: He was able to teach his players to be their own coach.

The A.C. Milan players assimilated his teaching so perfectly, that at this time many of them, after having played on the same team, are the greatest coaches in the world and guide top Clubs or National teams.

A few examples:

Marco Van Basten.
He is the coach of Holland National Team, the Oranges, which performed great recently and for sure will be one of the favorites at the World Cup in 2010. He uses discipline, great tactics and the players in better shape will play regardless of their name. Recently he left Van Nistelroy on the bench.

Carlo Ancelotti.
The coach of A.C.Milan. What an honor after having played for it, being the Captain and winning everything that could be won under Sacchi coaching! On his turn, as a coach, he already has won everything that could be won!

Roberto Donadoni.
The coach of Italy's National team. He is doing great. Not an easy thing to do after Marcello Lippi had won the World Cup! Same strong principles as Sacchi: discipline, order on the field, pressing and so on. He will guide the team this year at the European Cup and through the qualification for the World Cup in 2010.

Franks Rijkaard.
Another jewel of that unforgettable team. He now coaches Barcelona and this team really often is absolutely irresistible no matter if Ronaldinho, Messi, Etoo, Zambrotta, Deco or Hanry will play or not. It is not a single player that wins games…….is the team that acts together as a soccer machine!

Ruud Gullit.
He was a great coach in England. If Chelsea is today one of the top teams it is thanks for his past work. The fact that Zola and Vialli played there, (Vialli also became the coach of Chelsea), without forgetting Claudio Ranieri, another pupil of Sacchi, I think that says something. This year Gullit will coach the Los Angeles Galaxy. A team that wasn’t even in the MLS Play-offs last year… ! A stage in which almost all the teams go in after the regular season! You’ll see the transformation of this team really soon!

Mauro Tassotti.
He is the assistant coach of Carlo Ancelotti. He is apparently silent when on the A.C Milan bench, but he is one of the strong components of the achievements of this year's team; and they went on to become (mathematically!!!) the most awarded in the world history of soccer.

Billy Costacurta, Filippo Galli, Chicco Evani, Franco Baresi and Angelo Colombo, coaching the youth teams and already had great results. Soon you will see them on top teams!

And how not to mention Fabio Capello that often crossed paths with Arrigo Sacchi? He played for A.C. Milan and for the National team. Became A.C. Milan's coach and won everything. Went to Real Madrid, that wasn’t winning La Liga for many years, and he won the first year in which he went there. They fired him. After 4 years of no victories they called him back and he……..did it again! He won La Liga in the first year of his return. Result? Fired again. No comment. Now Fabio Capello is the new Manager of England, and in less that 1 month he has already created a victorious group!

The only one that doesn’t want to even talk about becoming a coach is the ‘legend’ Paolo Maldini, the last one of ’that’ team. But… he still plays, so let's wait the end of the season when he will retire after an entire carrier played for A.C. Milan from when he was 10, and we will see! 30 years wearing the same jersey! WOW! Probably he will change his mind, considering that his father Cesare Maldini, was the Captain of A.C. Milan, the Captain of the National team, the coach of A.C. Milan and the coach of the National team! This last, when his son Paolo, was the Captain of A.C. Milan and the Captain of the National team!

In conclusion, almost all the ‘boys’ of Arrigo Sacchi, from that unforgettable team, have became great soccer coaches and still guiding the top teams in the world at Club or National level. Can we say that is just a coincidence? I don’t thing so!

Great Coaches create great players by transforming them in…… GREAT COACHES !

So, during the games, by perfectly interpreting the teaching and the instructions of the coaches, the one outside and the few inside the field, the team will be…… unbeatable! A perfect soccer machine that works in unison.

Coach Gianni

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Posted on 28 Feb 2008 by coachgianni
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