Valerien Ismael played as a defender for Racing Strasbourg, Crystal Palace, RC Lens, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Hannover 96. As a player he won the Coupe de la Ligue twice and the Coupe de France, as well as the German Bundesliga twice and the DFB-Pokal.
On hanging up his boots, Ismael became the assistant general manager of Hannover 96 and later took on the job of manager of the club’s second team, Hannover 96 II.
Appointed as manager of Wolfsburg II in 2013, he won the Regionalliga Nord in his first season. The following season he became head coach of Nurnberg in the second tier of German football but he returned to Wolfsburg II just a year later and won the Regionalliga Nord a second time.
He was promoted to manager of Wolfsburg’s first team in 2016 before having a short spell in Greece in charge of Appollon Smyrnis and in Austria as manager of LASK.
He currently manages Barnsley in the EFL Championship.