We live in an age where football is played as much with the mind as it is with the feet. The architects of how modern football is played, high press, one-touch passing is dictated by managers striving to be the best in the World. We take a look at the Top 10 managers of all time.
10. Zinedine Zidane
It’s stunning that someone with less than 10 years of managerial experience can make this list. But in a World where trophies mean everything, France great Zinedine Zidane deserves his place. Having taken over Real Madrid in a crisis situation, Zidane delivered 3 consecutive Champions Leagues and a La Liga in his first tenure as Los Blancos head coach.
He stepped out after the end of 2017-18 only to be reappointed following the dismal performances of Julien Lopetigui and Santiago Solari who came after him.
9. Rafael Benitez
When it comes to European success, few can beat Rafael Benitez’s record. The Spaniard is the only one to have won all the European trophies – UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He has coached the best teams over the years, namely Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and now is coaching Chinese side Dalian Yinfang after a successful stint at Newcastle United.
8. Antonio Conte
Maybe not the best manager when it comes to securing European trophies, but Antonio Conte is a beast for leagues. He has won the Scudetto multiple number of times for Italian giants Juventus and then secured the Premier League in his first season at Chelsea.
The former Italian coach had a decorated playing career as well and is currently in-charge of Juve rivals Inter Milan after being sacked by Chelsea in 2017.
7. Carlo Ancelotti
Another great Italian manager, probably the greatest Italian of them all. Carlo Ancelotti has won leagues wherever he has gone, with league titles with AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris St. Germain. He has three Champions Leagues also to his name.
His tenure with Madrid was cut short and he is now coaching the Napoli team, transforming them into a true force in the Serie A.
6. Rinus Michels
Dutch Michels managed a team sprinkled with stars at Ajax, the biggest of them all being Johan Cryuff. He later moved to Barcelona and brought Cryuff to Camp Nou.
He won the Eredivisie 4 times, the La Liga once, the Champions League once and the European Cup during his time in charge of the Netherlands national team.
5. Johan Cryuff
Truly one of the best footballing talents of the World, the inventor of Total Football, Johan Cryuff had a distinguished coaching career as well after ruling the pitch for more than two decades. The Barcelona ace has the La Liga, the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup to his name as a coach.
He inspired the next generation of coaches, particularly Pep Guardiola, who modeled his tiki-taka on his Total Football style.
4. Jurgen Klopp
With his recent Champions League success, Jurgen Klopp becomes one of the elite members of the Hall of Fame. The current Liverpool manager was made in the Bundesliga, guiding Borussia Dortmund to the title and then to the Final of the Champions League.
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He was clinical in Liverpool’s resurgence back to power as they missed out on the Premier League by a whisker and pocketed the Champions League this season.
3. Pep Guardiola
A La Masia prodigy, Pep Guardiola shone at Barcelona with a treble (La Liga, King’s Cup and the UEFA Champions League) before moving on to Bayern Munich in Germany where he won the Bundesliga. He has now settled in Manchester City in England where he delivered successive league trophies including a domestic treble in the 2018-19 season.
He is famous for implementing the tiki-taka during his time at Barcelona.
2. Jose Mourinho
When Jose Mourinho was at his peak, the World was at his feet. He won the Champions League with Porto, the treble with Inter Milan, the Premier League and Champions League with Chelsea, the La Liga with Real Madrid and the UEFA Europa League with Manchester United.
The Portuguese has won literally everything on offer with a brand of football that few can emulate.
1. Alex Ferguson
The greatest of them all, Sir Alex Ferguson was given the United job with the intent of ‘knocking Liverpool right off their f******* perch’ and when he retired in 2013, he had not only eclipsed Liverpool but made United into a global superpower. The Scot won the treble in 1999 and thereafter multiple Champions Leagues and Premier Leagues.
His retirement brought in new managers one after another at Manchester United, who have crumbled under the expectations that Alex Ferguson had set for this team.