Football has had numerous great managers who have left an incredible mark on the game. From the tactical genius of Rinus Michels to the larger-than-life personality of Sir Alex Ferguson, here are 10 of the greatest football managers in history.
1. Rinus Michels
Dubbed the “father of total football,” Rinus Michels revolutionized football in the 70s and 80s with his innovative tactics. His teams played a fluid passing game, with players constantly moving positions and attacking as a unit. Michels led Ajax and the Netherlands national team to great success, including the 1971 European Cup and the 1988 European Championship.
2. Sir Alex Ferguson
After a rocky start, Sir Alex Ferguson went on to become one of the greatest football managers in history. During his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles. Ferguson’s ability to build teams and develop young players is legendary, and he was known for his fiery temper and motivational skills.
3. Pep Guardiola
Widely regarded as one of the best football managers of his generation, Pep Guardiola has had a huge impact on the game. He led Barcelona to an unprecedented six trophies in 2009, including the Champions League, and has since won league titles in Spain, Germany, and England with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, respectively. Guardiola is known for his emphasis on possession-based football and tactical flexibility.
4. Brian Clough
Brian Clough was a charismatic and controversial figure who left an indelible mark on English football. He led Nottingham Forest to back-to-back European Cup victories in 1979 and 1980, and won two League Cups and the First Division title with both Forest and Derby County. Clough was known for his outspokenness and his ability to motivate players.
5. Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti has won trophies in four different countries – Italy, England, France, and Germany – and is hailed as one of the most successful managers of all time. He has won the Champions League three times with two different teams – AC Milan and Real Madrid – and has also won league titles in Italy, England, France, and Germany. Ancelotti is known for his calm demeanor and ability to manage big egos.
6. Bill Shankly
Bill Shankly transformed Liverpool from a struggling Second Division club into a dominant force in English football. He won three league titles and the UEFA Cup with Liverpool, and his emphasis on discipline, hard work, and team spirit laid the foundations for the club’s success in the 70s and 80s.
7. Helenio Herrera
Helenio Herrera is credited with inventing the “catenaccio” system of defending, which was used by Inter Milan to great effect in the 60s. He won two European Cups and three Serie A titles with Inter, and also had success with Barcelona and Roma. Herrera was known for his disciplinarian approach and his ability to motivate players.
8. José Mourinho
José Mourinho is known for his success in winning trophies with multiple clubs, including Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid. He won the Champions League twice with Porto and Inter, and has also won league titles in Portugal, England, Italy, and Spain. Mourinho is known for his tactical acumen and his ability to create a siege mentality among his players.
9. Jock Stein
Jock Stein was the first manager to lead a British club – Celtic – to win the European Cup in 1967. He also won 10 Scottish league titles, eight Scottish Cups, and six League Cups with Celtic, and led the Scottish national team to the World Cup in 1982. Stein was known for his tactical innovations and his ability to inspire players with his speeches.
10. Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink is known for his ability to turn struggling teams into winners. He won the European Cup with PSV Eindhoven in 1988, and has also won league titles with clubs in the Netherlands, Turkey, South Korea, and Russia. Hiddink has led multiple national teams, including the Netherlands, South Korea, Australia, Russia, and Chelsea, and is known for his tactical flexibility and ability to motivate players.
In conclusion, these 10 managers have left their mark on football and have shaped the game in different ways. From tactical innovators like Rinus Michels and Helenio Herrera to motivational masters like Sir Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho, these managers have shown that there are many different paths to success in football.