They say never return to an old love, and the same can be said about football management.
Often, there is a reason for a manager to leave a club but stay in the game, whether it’s due to poor results, a falling out with the board or looking to take a step up.
This should see managers steer clear of returning to former clubs but, for one reason or another, some do.
Real Madrid is a key example of this. As arguably the biggest club in the world, many managers will look to take as many opportunities as they can to coach at the top level.
Jose Mourinho is the latest manager to be linked with a return to the Santiago Bernabeu after a three-year spell between 2010 and 2013, with reports tipping him to replace Santiago Solari.
But what happened to those previous Real Madrid managers who returned to Los Blancos? Read on to find out.
First spell: 1945-1946
Return spell: 1947-1948
The first time a manager returned to Real Madrid came just after the Second World War with Spaniard Jacinto Quincoces. In his first spell, Quincoces oversaw 18 wins from 35 games and led the team to a Copa del Rey title in 1946, beating Valencia 3-1 in the final.
But his return a year later was less successful. Quincoces lasted just 17 games the second time around, winning just five – a win percentage of 29.41% – before being replaced by Englishman Michael Keeping.
First spell: 1946-1947
Return spell: 1950-1951
In between Quincoces two spells at Real Madrid, Baltasar Albeniz had his first stint in charge of Los Blancos. The Spaniard followed in his predecessor’s footsteps in leading Madrid to the Copa del Rey, this time beating Espanyol 2-0 in the final.
But, like Quincoces, Albeniz’s second spell was one to forget. Coming in three years later, the Spaniard lasted just 16 games with seven wins.
First spell: 1959
Return spell: 1960-1974
Miguel Munoz’s first spell with Real Madrid came over a two-month period in 1959 where he filled in for Luis Carniglia, who had to take a short break due to illness. In that time, Munoz won five of his nine games before Carnigilia’s return – though he would be remembered for his second spell.
Returning a season later, Munoz spent 14 years in charge of Los Blancos and led the club to nine La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, two European Cups and one Intercontinental Cup. His spell sees Munoz remain as the most-decorated manager in the club’s history as well as the longest-serving.
First spell: 1974
Return spells: 1977-1979,1982, 1985-86
Luis Molowny had the unenviable task of following on from Munoz and lasted just 23 games between January and May 1974, though he did manage to win a Copa del Rey trophy.
The Spaniard would return to replace Miljan Miljanic, Vujadin Boskov and Amancio Amario winning La Liga three times, three Copa del Reys and two Uefa Cups.
Alfredo Di Stefano
First spell: 1982-1984
Return spell: 1990-91
A Real Madrid legend, Alfredo Di Stefano had his first spell in charge of Los Blancos between 1982 and 1984, winning 63 of his 108 games though he did oversee several cup final defeats and a third-placed finish in La Liga during the 1982/83 campaign.
Di Stefano would return to Real Madrid towards the end of 1990, for a brief spell finally winning a trophy in the Supercopa de Espana, beating Barcelona over two legs before leaving in March 1991.
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First spell: 1986-1989
Return spell: 1992
After Molowny’s final spell in charge of Real Madrid came Dutch manager Leo Beenhakker, who spent three good years with the club. Between 1986 and 1989, Beenhakker oversaw three league titles, one Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups.
He would return three years later, replacing Radomir Antic in January 1992 for the remainder of the season. In that time, the Dutch manager won 50% of his 28 games leading Los Blancos to second in La Liga, just one point behind Barcelona. Real Madrid also lost the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid and reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup.
Vicente del Bosque
First spell: 1994
Return spell: 1996, 1999-2003
Vicente del Bosque’s first two spells at Real Madrid came on interim bases, first in 1994 and then in 1996, after a long career as a player.
The Spaniard would finally get a full-term role in his third stint between 1999 and 2003, coming in to replace John Toshack. In that time, Del Bosque found success with two league titles, one Spanish Super Cup, two Champions Leagues, one Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup – as part of the famous Galacticos side.
First spell: 1989-90
Return spell: 1999
Following four years in charge of Real Sociedad, John Toshack took charge of Real Madrid who were entering the 1989/90 season off the back of four consecutive La Liga titles. In his first spell at Los Blancos, Toshack added a fifth league title in a row but a poor start to his second campaign brought his time to an end.
However, the Welshman would return to Madrid in 1999 following the sacking of Guus Hiddink, leaving Besiktas. But things didn’t work out for Toshack the second time around, as he lasted less than a year being sacked for public criticism of his players and a falling out with the Real Madrid board.
Jose Antonio Camacho
First spell: 1998
Return spell: 2004
Jose Antonio Camacho will probably go down as one to forget in the history books of Real Madrid, ending his first spell after less than a month due to disagreements with the club’s management – without taking charge of a game.
And he did not fare much better on his return in 2004. Replacing Carlos Queiroz in the summer, Camacho oversaw just six games in charge, resigning after a poor start to the 2004/05 season.
First spell: 1996-1997
Return spell: 2006-2007
The most recent man to return to Real Madrid, Fabio Capello, had his first spell with Los Blancos in 1996. The Italian managed to win La Liga in his sole season in charge but ultimately left due to a falling out with then-chairman Lorenzo Sanz as well as the fans for his use of Raul.
Capello returned to Madrid a decade later, hoping to take the club out of a long trophy-less period. The Italian overcame a slow start and rumours over a mid-season departure to win another La Liga trophy. However, once again, he was sacked after just one year due to disagreements with the board – though this time they were unhappy with his defensive style of play.