With Dortmund's German tactician moving on and potentially taking time out to groom his beard, Charles Ducksbury weighs up the candidates ready to fill the sizeable void...
After seven years of jumping around the Westfalenstadion touchline, Jurgen Klopp announced on Wednesday that he will be leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of the current campaign. As the German side begin their search for a new coach, so too do football boffins seeking their next pitchside icon...
Sacked by Cambridge United in 2004, the Frenchman decided Africa was the continent for him, spending time as coach of Zambia (twice), Angola and Ivory Coast. As well as winning the Africa Cup of Nations twice in three tournaments, he became synonymous with an untucked white shirt worn during matches. In the 2010 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, his Zambia side lost to Cameroon in the group stage, Renard’s only defeat to date in three tournaments, and the only occasion he ever wore a different coloured top. In a continent of superstition, the blue number was promptly burned.
Currently unemployed after being sacked by Zenit St Petersburg last season, Spalletti has spent his spare time modelling for Italian shoe manufacturer D’Acquasparta, helping out with the family furniture business and posing on tractors for his personal website. Best known in England as the man on the end of a 7-1 thrashing by Manchester United when Roma coach, it was ironic that Spalletti’s invented 4-6-0 tactic was the one Sir Alex Ferguson took inspiration from when the United boss used a 4-2-3-1 setup soon after.
You'd be for forgiven for never having heard of this Spanish coach, though it’s almost certain you'll have seen some of his work via Pep Guardiola. The current Bayern Munich coach names Lillo and Marcelo Bielsa as his biggest inspirations, despite the Spaniard being a relative unknown outside of his homeland. It was Lillo who lured Pep to Mexico in 2005 to finish his career at Dorados, and the two instantly hit it off, with tactical discussions going on long into the night. Lillo left Mexico after accusing opponents of match-fixing and ended up coaching Almeria, though he was sacked after an 8-0 defeat... to Pep's Barcelona.
You can’t get too much hipper than a coach who's also a guitarist in a rock band. The former Everton and West Ham defender played on stage for Rawbau, even recording a song for his Croatia side before Euro 2008 called Fiery Madness. If that isn’t enough points on the hipster scale, the current Besiktas boss also holds a degree in law, speaks five languages and once said that football was more beautiful than any woman.