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Top 20 best football managers

Top 20 best football managers in the world

These are the best football managers of all time

Successful players on the field are often given all the credits, but the role of the coach should not be underestimated. A number of trainers have left their mark in the history of football. They all have a place in this list of the 20 best football managers ever.

Last modified; 10-08-2012

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Football Cups
sir matt busby

20. Sir Matt Busby

Rebuilt Manchester United after the Munich air disaster
As manager of Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby rebuilt the club after the Munich air disaster that killed eight players. In 25 years at Old Trafford, he made United the first English club to win the European Cup I and added five league titles and two FA Cups.

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sir matt busby

19. Valeri Lobanovskic

One of the first managers to focus on the team rather than the individual player.
Valeri Lobanovski may not be the first person to come to mind, but he can’t be missing from the list of the best football coaches in the world. The Ukrainian manager was one of the first to focus on the team rather than the individual player. This approach brought him great success with Dynamo Kiev (26 trophies) and the Soviet Union national team, with whom he lost the 1988 European Championship final against the Netherlands.

VALERI LOBANOVSKIC
Zinedine-Zidane

18. Zinédine Zidane

Won the Champions League three times in a row
After a wonderful career as a player, Zinédine Zidane was immediately successful as a manager at Real Madrid. During his first job as a head coach, he won the Champions League three times in a row and the league title twice. He left Real in May 2021, but given his great success in a short time, other clubs will probably knock on his door.

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Zinedine-Zidane

17. Jürgen Klopp

Broke the domination of Bayern Munich
Jürgen Klopp made Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool cheer again after many years. In Germany he broke the domination of Bayern Munich with two league titles for Dortmund. In England, he brought Liverpool back to the top with the Premier League title and Champions League win. Without a doubt one of the best coaches still active in football today.

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jurgen klopp
Guus Hiddink

16. Guus Hiddink

Celebrated ten national titles
As a trainer of clubs like PSV, Valencia, Real Madrid and Chelsea Guus Hiddink had many cheerful moments. He celebrated ten national titles and the European Cup I (with PSV). His achievements as coach of South Korea, Australia and Russia were not prize winning, but just as impressive.

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Guus Hiddink

15. Ottmar Hitzfeld

Winner of 5 Bundesliga titles
Ottmar Hitzfeld revived Borussia Dortmund with league titles in 1995 and 1996 and the Champions League win in 1997. He later won the Bundesliga five times with Bayern Munich and again the Champions League. Hitzfeld was twice voted the best football manager in the world and has 25 awards to his name.

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otmar hitzfeld
Louis van Gaal

14. Louis van Gaal

Achieved great hights in his career
After the Champions League win with Ajax in 1996, Louis van Gaal’s coaching career reached great hights. He coached FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United and won trophies with all three. The third place with the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup also contributes to his status as an absolute top coach.

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Louis van Gaal

13. Fabio Capello

Captured the first league title in 18 years for AS Roma
Fabio Capello started his coaching career with AC Milan and led the Italian club to success (four league titles and the Champions League in 1994). In two seasons with Real Madrid, Capello was twice the best of La Liga and as AS Roma manager he captured the first league title in 18 years. Enough prizes to his name for a thirteenth place in this list of the best managers of all time.

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Fabio Capello
carlo ancelotti

12. Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti guarantee succes
Hiring Carlo Ancelotti as manager has proved to be a guarantee of success. The Italian impressed on the bench at AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He conquered four national titles in the five top competitions in Europe. His greatest achievement however is winning the Champions League three times.

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carlo ancelotti

11. Miguel Muñoz

Considered the best coach in Real Madrid history
Miguel Muñoz is considered the best coach in Real Madrid history. The former player of ‘The Whites’ was coaching the club for sixteen years, longer than any other trainer. He led his team to eight national titles and two European Cups.

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Munoz
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Bob Paisley

10. Bob Paisley

Voted six times for English Manager of the Year 
Bob Paisley was responsible for Liverpool’s success in the 1970s and 1980s. The English manager brought ‘The Reds’ six national titles, three times the European Cup I and one the UEFA Cup. Paisley was voted English Manager of the Year six times from 1974 to 1983 and is Liverpool’s most successful coach ever.

Bob Paisley

9. Giovanni Trapattoni

The most successful Italian coach ever
Giovanni Trapattoni can call himself the most successful Italian coach ever. He was in charge of Juventus for thirteen years and won six league titles, the European Cup I, the European Cup II and two UEFA Cups. Furthermore, Trapattoni became national champion with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg.

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Giovanni Trappotini
Helenio Herrera

8. Helenio Herrera

Won 7 league titles in total
Helenio Herrera is seen as one of the developers of ‘catenaccio’. With a well-organized defense, the Argentine coach led Inter Milan to three league titles and two victories in the European Cup I. Previously, Herrera won a total of four Spanish league titles with Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona.

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Helenio Herrera

7. Ernst Happel

Ernst Happel deserves a place in the list of the best football coaches of all time because of his undeniable succes and revolutionary vision. The Austrian was one of the first coaches to put three players in midfield. With his visionary tactics he won the national title and the cup in four countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria) and the European Cup I with Feyenoord and HSV.

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ernst happel
José Mourinho

6. José Mourinho

You love him or you hate him
José Mourinho had his breakthrough as FC Porto coach, with whom he won the Champions League in 2004. It was the start of a triumphal march, which passed through Chelsea, Internazionale, Real Madrid and Manchester United. The Portuguese is being loved by some and hated by others, but no one can say anything about his achievements.

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José Mourinho

5. Pep Guardiola

Most successful coach in the history of FC Barcelona
Successful in La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League. Pep Guardiola has got quite a resume as a manager. With fourteen prizes (including two Champions League titles), he is the most successful coach in the history of FC Barcelona, the club where he before shined as a player. He continued to fill the trophy cabinet at Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

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Pep Guardiola
Johan Cruyff

4. Johan Cruyff

Great visionary wrote history
Brilliant as a footballer and a visionary as a coach. Johan Cruijff won the Dutch Cup and the European Cup II with Ajax as a beginning coach. He achieved his greatest successes with his ‘dream team’ of FC Barcelona. Under his leadership, the Catalans dominated Spanish football and won the European Cup I for the first time in 1992. Cruijff surely wrote history as one of the best football managers of all time.

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Johan Cruyff

3. Rinus Michels

Gave the Netherlands the reputation of a revolutionary football country
Rinus Michels was the man who invented total football and thereby revolutionized global football. The attacking style he developed brought Ajax many successes such as the European Cup I and four national titles. As national coach of Holland, he won the European title in 1988. It was Michels who gave the Netherlands the reputation of a revolutionary football country.

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Rinus Michels
ARRIGO SACCHI

2. Arrigo Sacchi

Mastermind behind the successful AC Milan
Arrigo Sacchi was the mastermind behind the successful AC Milan of the 80s and 90s. With attacking play he conquered Italian football where defending was the norm. His name is forever established by the won league title and two European Cups, but above all by the unforgettable football of his team, remembered as one of the best.

ARRIGO SACCHI

1. Sir Alex Ferguson

An icon with a roll of honor
28 trophies in 27 years at Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson’s numbers speak for themselves. The Scottish manager brought the English club back to the top, winning the Premier League 13 times and the Champions League twice (1999 and 2008). An icon on the bench at Manchester United with a roll of honor that makes him the best football coach ever.

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Sir Alex Ferguson
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Honorable mentions of best football trainers of all time

These coaches didn’t make it to the top 20
The following managers just did not fit the selection of twenty, but they do deserve an honorable mention:

Arsene Wenger: was Arsenal manager for 22 years and won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup seven times.
Vicente Del Bosque: made Spain World Champion in 2010 and European Champion in 2012.
Marcello Lippi: celebrated the world title with Italy in 2006 and won four league titles with Juventus
Bill Shankly: took Liverpool to the highest level, winning the national league three times and the UEFA Cup once.
Brian Clough: became champion of England with Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
Bela Guttmann: brought success to Benfica by winning the European Cup I twice in the 1960s.
Jupp Heynckes: won several prizes with Bayern Munich, including the ‘treble’.
Antonio Conte: five times national champion with Juventus and once with Chelsea and Internazionale.

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