Home Sports The Top 10 Football Managers of all time

The Top 10 Football Managers of all time

by Sangam Adhikari

10. Bob Paisley

Paisley was the razor-sharp arrow that followed through and conquered all of Europe with Liverpool.

He adapted Liverpool’s tactics for a new era, and although his management career lasted just nine years, he won the league six times, the European cup three, and averaged 2.2 major trophies per season.

9. Arsene Wenger

The Frenchman learned his managerial trade in France with spells at Strasbourg, Cannes and Nancy before earning a move to Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. He won the French League Championship in 1988 before moving to Arsenal.

Wenger did not take long to adapt to life in English football, he lead the “The Invincibles” who went on as unbeaten throughout the entire league campaign on their way to sealing Premier League crown.

The Frenchman claimed seven FA Cups (the most of any manager) and was voted Manager of the Year in 1998, 2002 and 2004.

8. José Mourinho

Love him or loathe him but Jose Mourinho has proven to be one of the most influential managers in football history.

Capable of masterminding a strategy to subdue even the strongest opponents, Mourinho has made a career out of constructing dominant sides, and there are few managers capable of stopping him.

After taking Europe by storm by winning the 2003/04 Champions League with Porto, Mourinho has picked up a stunning amount of silverware with Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

7. Marcello Lippi

Most important character to the development of Italian football.

He made Juventus one of the strongest teams in world football during the late 1990s and the early 2000s. He became the coach of the Italian national team in 2004 and helped them win their 4th World Cup title in 2006

Lippi remains one of the few managers to have taken a club to 4 Champions League finals in 8 years and to have won both UEFA Champions League and the World Cup titles.

6. Arrigo Sacchi

“Football is born in the brain, not in the body. Michelangelo said he painted with his mind, not with his hands. So, obviously, I need intelligent players. That was our philosophy at Milan. I didn’t want solo artists; I wanted an orchestra. The greatest compliment I received was when people said my football was like music.”

He was appointed to be the coach of Italian giants A.C. Milan in the late ‘80s. He won the Serie A title in his 1987–88 debut season and then dominated European football by winning back to back European Cups in 1989 and 1990. From 1991 to 1996, he was the head coach of the Italy national team and led them to the 1994 FIFA World Cup final, only to lose to Brazil in a penalty shoot-out.

His Milan side (1987–1991) is widely regarded to be one of the greatest club sides to ever play the game, and by some to be the greatest of all-time.

The conductor of the single greatest club team the world has ever seen, Sacchi changed calcio forever by winning with beautiful football.

5. Giovanni Trapattoni

The most successful Italian manager of all time.

Trapattoni is fondly remembered by Juventus fans for winning well, everything in the most golden of eras for La Vecchia Signora.

Trapattoni lead eight clubs – namely Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Cagliari, Fiorentina, Benfica, Stuttgart and Salzburg – and the national teams of Italy, Republic of Ireland and Vatican City in over 40 years of his coaching career.

He has lifted 22 trophies, most notably winning ten league titles in four different countries.

4. Pep Guardiola

La Liga winner, Bundesliga winner, and Premier League winner. There aren’t many managers nowadays who can boast that record, but Pep Guardiola can.

From learning from Johan Cruyff to playing a major role in the development of players like Lionel Messi, David Alaba and Raheem Sterling, Guardiola has proved it’s possible to both realise a club’s lofty ambitions while simultaneously improving a core group of players. His work has changed the managerial landscape in the modern era and his standard is the one to beat.

Guardiola is a treble winning coach. He spent four seasons as the manager for Barcelona, winning 14 trophies across six different competitions. Then he join Bayern Munich where he won three Bundesliga titles on the bounce, with silverware also coming via the DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. And presently the coach of Man City.

3. Rinus Michels

Rinus Michels is considered as inventor of modern football.

He came up with his “Total Football” philosophy that changed the way players and fans used to see the game. He inculcated the philosophy of total football first at Ajax and then in Barcelona. Michels led Ajax to become the best football team of all time during the 1970s, winning three consecutive Champions League before going to manage Barcelona. He made passing football popular at the Catalan club.

He is architect, and he has influenced every other sporting edifice that has come after him.

2. Johan Cruyff

Cruyff is a example of incredible players becoming incredible managers. The Dutch player did absolutely great during his time as a player, winning absolutely everything he could win, except the World Cup.

Cruyff had similar successes, taking all the things he learned from Dutch legend Rinus Michel to help him and his teams to achieve big things. Cruyff, just like he did as a player, managed Ajax and Barcelona, leading both squads to win numerous titles, including a Champions League with the Blaugrana. He laid the foundation of Tiki-taka developing Barça into a world-class club by giving it stability both on and off the pitch. He insisted Barcelona to launch the academy that became La Masia.

He is the person behind success of Barca.

1. Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United simply wouldn’t be Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson. His exemplary record of 28 major trophies in 27 years at Old Trafford speaks for itself, on top of 10 major trophies he had earlier delivered at Aberdeen.

It famously took Fergie a little while to see his work come to life at United, but he was responsible for refocusing a club that had become lost, realigning it with the blueprint laid out by Matt Busby and making it the undisputed giant of English football once more.

More than anything else, Ferguson’s longevity made him the greatest of all time, building team after team and continuing to win and win in a way that will never be repeated.

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