Ex-Chelsea star Hernan Crespo looks unrecognisable from his playing days after being appointed manager of United Arab Emirates club Al Ain. The 48-year-old began his coaching career after hanging up his boots in 2012 and has now landed his fifth managerial job in four years.
Crespo was one of Roman Abramovich’s first signings at Chelsea following the Russian’s takeover in 2003. The west London giants shelled out £16.8million to prise the ace away from Inter Milan following a series of impressive displays in Serie A.
The former Argentina international bagged 25 goals and six assists in 73 appearances during a five-year spell with the Blues as the team won two Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho.
But Crespo didn’t even feature during Chelsea’s first title victory in 2005 as he had been shipped off on loan to AC Milan after underwhelming during his maiden campaign in England. And he even popped up with a brace in the 2005 Champions League final as the San Siro giants were defeated by Liverpool after a stunning comeback from the English side.
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Crespo spent the 2005/06 season back at Chelsea but then returned to Inter on loan in 2006. And he never played another game for the Blues, with Inter signing him permanently in 2008. After finishing his career with Parma, Crespo coached the club’s under-19s side. He went on to manage Modena in 2015 before being appointed vice-president of Parma two years later.
Crespo returned to management in early 2019 when he took charge of Argentinian minnows Banfield. He lasted eight months before picking up his next managerial job at the start of 2020 with Defensa, leading the side to the Copa Sudamericana.
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The following February, he was appointed boss of Brazilian team Sao Paulo but moved to Qatari club Al-Duhail just over a year later. The Argentine was sacked last month after losing to Iranian side Persepolis in the Asian Champions League. But he has been given another chance to show what he can do at Al Ain, who have recently dispensed with the services of former Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder.
Crespo was once known for his long brown locks but now looks completely different as he has short grey hair. The former player has aged well, however, as he has retained his youthful look. And he will be looking to work his magic from the dugout when his new side take on Shabab Al-Ahli in their next match later this month.
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