Brendan Rodgers Profile
|Born||Jan 26, 1973|
|Birthplace||Carnlough, Northern Ireland|
After a knee injury forced Brendan Rodgers to retire from playing at 20, he learned his managerial craft under Jose Mourinho and is now one of the most respected names in the Premier League.
When Steven Gerrard talks, the majority of the soccer world listens, and when he singles out one coach for the praise of having "the best one-on-one man management [he had] ever seen," it can hardly be a surprise when that coach blossoms into one of the Premier League's best.
Rodgers managed Gerrard during his spell at Liverpool, during which the club came agonisingly close to a first league title in 24 years. His journey to the Anfield hotseat had started with a youth coaching job at Chelsea, before taking him through managerial roles with Watford, Reading and Swansea City.
His achievement of masterminding promotion to the top flight of English soccer for only the second time in the Swans' history handed him his shot at the Anfield job. After three-and-a-half years with the Reds, he relocated north to take the reins at Celtic, before joining the Foxes in 2019.
The Swans fly high
After his spells at Vicarage Road and the Madejski Stadium, Rodgers was appointed manager of Swansea in advance of the 2010/11 season. He started strongly, guiding the Swans into the play-off positions by October, and in February he was crowned Championship Manager of the Month as they won four out of five games.
Three successive victories to conclude the campaign saw Swansea finish third, ahead of rivals Cardiff on goal difference. After defeating Nottingham Forest 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final, Rodgers faced his former club Reading in the play-off final, vanquishing them 4-2 thanks to a Scott Sinclair hat-trick.
Rodgers subsequently guided them to an 11th-place finish, taking points off Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham along the way. Having defied the bookies, who had offered shorter odds on Elvis Presley being discovered alive than on Swansea avoiding relegation, Rodgers quickly found himself to be hot property. He departed the Liberty Stadium in June 2012 to take the Anfield manager's role.
So near, yet so far on Merseyside
The Reds finished seventh in Rodgers' first season, before igniting in his second as they entered a full-blooded title race with Manchester City. A run of 16 games unbeaten between January and April put Liverpool top with three games to play and in pole position for a first league title in more than two decades.
However, a first defeat since December saw them fall at the final hurdle, as they ended up second, two points behind eventual champions City. It was still a memorable season, however, as Liverpool netted 101 goals, the most ever by a Premier League runner-up, cementing Rodgers' status as an in-demand coach who played attacking soccer.
A sixth-placed finish followed in the next season, as Liverpool also went out of the Champions League in the group stage. He was dismissed by Liverpool in October 2015, on the back of a run which had seen them win just once in nine games, with his legacy found in the signings of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho.
Double Treble north of the border
Seven months after leaving Liverpool, Rodgers was appointed manager of Celtic, the club he supported as a young boy. He instantly weaved his magic at Parkhead, overseeing an unbeaten Scottish Premiership campaign as the Bhoys finished 30 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen.
He also brought the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup to Celtic Park, as his side hit a combined 134 domestic goals, conceding just 27, and boasted a domestic win percentage of 91.48%. Their treble was just the fourth in Celtic's 128-year-history, but they achieved an improbable repeat the following year.
The double treble, as it came to be christened, was sealed with victory in the Scottish Cup final in May 2018, marking only the third time any European men's club had achieved such a feat. The Bhoys also reached the last 32 of the Europa League.
Foxes' FA Cup triumph
If Rodgers' reputation had been damaged by his sacking from Liverpool, the crushing weight of the silverware he won in Scotland built it back up. In February 2019, with Celtic again on course for yet another treble, Rodgers was hired by Leicester to replace the recently sacked Claude Puel.
He opened his Leicester account with four wins in his opening five games, as the Foxes rose to seventh, before eventually finishing ninth. The uptick in form was plain; having lost five of their eight games between New Year's Day and Rodgers' first game, Leicester were defeated just three more times in their remaining nine fixtures.
Rodgers has since led Leicester to successive fifth-placed league finishes, and the team will again participate in the Europa League next season after reaching the final 32 last time out. However, his most notable achievement came in May this year, when he guided the Foxes to FA Cup glory for the first time ever with a win over Chelsea at Wembley.
Rodgers' son Anton also makes his living from the game, having started in Brighton's academy before going on to represent, among others, Oldham Athletic and Swindon Town. He currently plays for Marlow in the Isthmian League South Central Division.
Rodgers also has a daughter named Mischa, and he is married to Charlotte Searle. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and in 2011 climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care to honour his parents.