Roy Hodgson recently signed a new contract with Crystal Palace. But at the beginning of August he will be 76 years old! In addition to Hodgson, there are six more well-known trainers in the business now in their 70s. And several specialists have approached this brand.
Mircea Lucescu, 77 years old (Dynamo kyiv)
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The former coach of “Zenith” is still in the cage. In the summer of 2020, Lucescu led Dynamo Kyiv, where he has been working ever since. True, the last season was unsuccessful for the club from the capital – only fourth place in the Ukrainian championship. So the team will play in the Champions League no earlier than next year. Under the Romanian’s leadership, Dynamo earns 1.89 points per game on average. This is Lucescu’s worst result at club level in the 21st century. For example, in Galatasaray and Besiktas he scored 2.01 points per game, in Zenit-2.07, in Shakhtar-2.23.
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Roy Hodgson, 75 (Crystal Palace)
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In March 2023, Hodgson took charge of Crystal Palace for the second time in his career. An experienced manager replaced Patrick Vieira in this position and kept the team in the Premier League. Under Hodgson, Crystal Palace won five out of 10 matches and suffered only two defeats. The team finished the season in 11th place in the table and ahead of Chelsea and West Ham, among others. The Crystal Palace management appreciated the coach’s merits and offered him a contract for one more season. In August of this year, Hodgson will celebrate his 76th birthday.
Luis Felipe Scolari, 74 years old (Atletico Mineiro)
Luis Felipe Scolari
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Since 2018, Scolari has been working exclusively at home. Palmeiras, Cruzeiro, Gremio, Atlético Paranaense are the list of teams he led after his trip to China. At the end of 2022, Scolari announced his retirement as coach and took over as technical director of Atlético Paranaense. But already in June 2023, he directed Atlético Mineiro, in which Hulk plays. It’s still not going very well. In four games under the guidance of an old coach, the team did not win a single victory (three draws, one loss).
Hulk and Scolari met again in the city, where their team was defeated 7-1:
Scolari and the Hulk got back together after the embarrassment in 2014! His home is the stadium where Brazil was defeated 7:1
Senol Gunesh, 71 (Besiktas)
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In autumn 2022, Gunesh took charge of Besiktas for the second time in his career. Previously, he worked in this club from 2015 to 2019 and became the champion of Turkey twice. The second coming of an experienced manager has not yet brought trophies to the club, but shows decent results. Besiktas is earning 2.27 points per game; there have never been such indicators in Gunesh’s career. The team finished the championship in the third line of the Turkish league, but in the new season they will surely try to improve this result.
Claudio Ranieri, 71 years old (Cagliari)
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In the 2021/2022 season, the Italian coach worked with Watford and it is unlikely that he will have fond memories of this period. In 14 games under his management, the team suffered 11 defeats. Not surprisingly, against the background of such results, Ranieri was sacked. The Italian enjoyed a break for a year and then returned to work in his homeland: he signed a contract with Cagliari. And I must say that this invitation has already justified itself. The Sardinians suffered just two defeats in 24 matches and returned to Serie A via the playoffs. Now Ranieri awaits another season in the elite division.
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Wanderlei Lushenburg, 71 (Corinthians)
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In the 21st century, Lushenburg works mainly with Brazilian clubs. In the 2000s, he went to Real Madrid for a year, and in the 2010s, he managed the Chinese team Tianjin. True, in Asia, Lushenburg was only 14 matches behind. In May, the coach took charge of Corinthians, but this season has been difficult for the team. It has already been eliminated from the Copa Libertadores, and in the championship it occupies only 16th place out of 20 clubs. If Corinthians continues at the same pace, then the coach risks being out of a job before the end of the year.
Bruce Sand, 71 (New England Revolution)
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Arena is one of the most famous American coaches, but he has never practiced abroad. In 2002, the US team under his leadership reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup and did not go that far thereafter. However, there was a dismal failure in the Arena race. The US team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, after which the coach took the blame and resigned. Since 2019, Bruce has been the coach and athletic director at the New England Revolution. Last year, the team flew through the playoffs, so far it ranks third in the Eastern Conference.
Laszlo Boloni, 70 (Metz)
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The Romanian coach hasn’t worked in France for 11 years. In 2011, he stayed briefly at Lance, after which he traveled to other countries. Boloni has worked in Greece (two clubs), Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Belgium (two clubs). In the summer of 2022, the coach signed a contract with the Metz club, which was in the French second division. Boloni showed himself well, and the team received a ticket to the elite division. Now the experienced manager faces an even more difficult task: maintaining a place in Liga 1.
Manuel Pellegrini, 69 years old (Betis)
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After leaving Manchester City in the summer of 2016, Pellegrini went to China for a couple of years and then worked with West Ham. Since 2020 he is the head coach of Betis. Stability is what characterizes Pellegrini’s work in Spain. With him, the team reached European competition three times in a row. Betis have finished sixth in La Liga twice and fifth once. In the Sevillian club, the Chilean adds 1.72 points per game. He was only better in the most prestigious Real Madrid (2.35) and Manchester City (1.99).
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Fernando Santos, 68 years old (Poland national team)
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Since 2010, Santos works exclusively with national teams. First, he coached the Greek national team for four years and then led the Portuguese national team for eight years. With the latter he became European champion. At the beginning of 2023, Santos was appointed to the post of head coach of the Polish national team. And while he has big problems. In three official matches (selection for Euro 2024), the Poles suffered two defeats. In the game with Moldova they turned 2:0 into 2:3. You had to be smart!
Marcelo Bielsa, 67 (Uruguay national team)
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Another experienced trainer on our list received a new assignment just a month and a half ago. For the first time in 12 years, the Argentine has led the national team. In 2011 he left the Chilean national team and in 2023 he leads the Uruguayan national team. In between, he worked with Athletic, Marseille, Lille and Leeds. Under the guidance of a new manager, Uruguay played two test matches and earned two wins. It is true that the modest teams of Nicaragua and Cuba were rivals, so it is too early to draw conclusions.