Ex-Barcelona, Spurs and Everton star makes Aston Villa manager revelation

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From one television personality to another? Aston Villa could have had a different future if the former Barcelona striker said yes.

English football legend Gary Lineker has revealed he once rejected the opportunity to manage Aston Villa.

The 62-year-old had an impressive playing career, and is one of the most prolific strikers in Three Lions history. He got 48 goals in 80 games for his country and won the Golden Boot at the 1986 World Cup.

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He retired in 1994 after a stint in Japan with Nagoya Grampus, and it has now emerged that he was offered the chance to manage at Villa Park. He received a phone call from Doug Ellis, who was chairman at the time.

He said whilst hoting The Rest is Football podcast: “I got a couple of job offers, I think Villa, Doug Ellis asked me to be Villa manager, and Leicester did at one point.

"I got a phone call from Doug Ellis, it was shortly after, I can’t remember the era apart from the fact that it was relatively soon after I’d finished playing, and he said, ‘Would you be interested in the Aston Villa job’. And I just said, ‘Management is not for me, sorry Doug’."

It is likely that Lineker would have been offered the job following Ron Atkinson’s departure in November 1994. The job ended up going to Brian Little who spent four-years in the hot seat, with the 1995/96 League Cup win the highlight of his reign.

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As for Lineker, he became the presenter of Match of the Day in 1999, and has held the role since. He featured for the likes of hometown club Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur but a career in management was something he never entertained after hanging up the boots.

Explaining why he never went in to management, he said: "It never appealed, for a variety of reasons.

“I don’t think I’d have been very good at it. I don’t think I could have coped with leaving someone out of the team.

“I never really loved training, I found it quite boring most of the time. So if I didn’t like training, I’m not going to really like watching training. It just never, ever, ever crossed my mind."

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