Top 10 best football managers of all time
The performance and ultimate success of a team is largely dependent on a manager's contribution and not just the effort put in by players. The managers who can get the best out of their players always stand out. Here is a look at the top 10 football managers of all time.
10.) Ottmar Hitzfeld
Years Active: 1983 - 2014
Teams Managed: Aarau, Grasshopper, Zug 94, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich
Ottmar Hitzfeld won seven Bundesliga titles, five titles with Bayern Munich and the other two with Borusia Dortmund. He also led the two Bundesliga giants to UEFA Champions League titles, with Dortmund winning in 1997 and Bayern Munich in 2001. Ottmar also managed to win major titles with Swiss Clubs FC Aarau and Grasshopper.
9.) Jose Mourinho
Years Active: 2000 - Current
Teams Managed: Benfica, Porto, Uniao de Leiria, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers of the current generation, owing to the numerous titles he has won as a manager. He is praised for his tactics and great sense of defense and attack, bringing the best out of skillful players. He won the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto in 2004 and Internazionale in 2010. Mourinho led Chelsea to winning 8 titles, among them consecutive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006.
8.) Matt Busby
Years Active: 1945 - 1971
Teams Managed: Manchester United, Scotland, Great Britain
Matt Busby is well remembered for building great teams at Manchester United after he joined the club in 1945. He set up a successful side that won 3 league titles in the early 50s, nicknamed the "Busby Babes". However, the team suffered a major setback in 1958 after an air crush at the Munich Airport which led to eight players losing their lives.
Busby would go on to rebuild the team and won the Championship in 1967 followed by the European Cup success a year later. Manchester United was back to winning ways. Busby won 5 league titles, two FA Cups, 5 Charity Shields and the European Cup in 1968.
7.) Brian Clough
Years Active: 1965 - 1993
Teams Managed: Hartlepools United, Derby County, Brighton & Hove Albion, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest
Brian Clough played a style which greatly relied on determination to win and physical strength. He is one of the best for having created success, most notably when he managed to build winners with two bottom sides of the second division in England, Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
Clough won the European Championship with the two clubs. At Nottingham, he went on to win successive European Cup titles in 1979 and 1980. In addition, he won 4 League Cups and a Charity Shield.
6.) Helenio Herrera
Years Active: 1944 - 1981
Teams Managed: Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Malaga, Barcelona, Internazionale, Roma, Deportivo de la Coruna
Helenio Herrera is one of the most influential soccer managers of all time, remembered for his style of play which favored quick counter-attacks. His most successful period in his career was as the coach of Inter Milan. He guided the team to win three Serie A titles, two successive European Cups (1964 and 1965) and Coppa Italia.
Helenio also managed Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and AS Roma. He won two La Liga titles with each of the Spanish clubs and went further to winning the Copa del Rey with Barcelona in 1959 and 1981.
5.) Bob Paisley
Years Active: 1958 - 1983
Team managed: Liverpool
Bob Paisley is a legend, for his success as the manager of Liverpool FC. He won 6 Football League First Division titles between 1976 and 1983. The formidable Merseyside club won other major titles under his command, including the UEFA Cup in 1976, three European Cup titles and three League Cups.
Paisley has an impressive record of achievements. Besides winning 19 trophies in 9 years, he was named the Manager of the Year 6 times in that period. He was the first manager to win the European Cup three times, in 1977, 1978 and 1981, an achievement later matched by Carlo Ancelotti after leading Real Madrid in winning the Champions League in 2014.
4.) Ernst Happel
Years Active: 1962 - 1992
Teams Managed: Feyernood, Club Brugge, Sevilla, Hamburger SV, Austria, Netherlands
The Austrian favored an attacking style of play, keeping their opponents under constant pressure. Happel got his team to control the game. He had a great impact in soccer at the European competitions and the International level.
He was the first coach to win the European Cup with different clubs, his first success was with Feyernood in 1970 and later led Hamburger SV of Germany to victory in 1983. Happel also helped Club Brugge of Belgium to the final of the tournament in 1978.
3.) Jock Stein
Years Active: 1960 - 1985
Teams Managed: Duntermline Athletic, Scotland, Hibernian, Celtic, Leeds United
Jock Stein is the man who lifted Celtic to become the top club in Scotland as well as one of the best clubs in Europe. He was among the first managers to adopt total football successfully. His side won 10 Scottish First Division titles, nine of which were a record successive run from 1966 to 1974.
Celtic went on to win 8 Scottish Cup titles under his guidance and the European Cup in 1967, when Celtic beat Inter Milan to become the first British team to win the tournament. Stein stood out also for building a world class team out of no big-money transfers.
2.) Rinus Michels
Years Active: 1960 - 1992
Teams Managed: Ajax, FC Koln, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen
Remembered by many as the father of "Total Football", Rinus Michels ranks as one of the best football managers in the world. His achievements can be linked to the high level of discipline which he upheld in his team. He joined Ajax at a time the club was fighting relegation. He built a formidable side which rose to be among the top clubs in Europe, winning 4 Eredivisie titles and the European Cup in 1971 among other major triumphs. Michels also coached Barcelona and FC Koln, winning titles with these sides. He was named manager of the century by FIFA in 1999.
In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, he led the Dutch national team to the final. The side boasted of world class talent, having the likes of Johan Cruyff, Neeskens and Van Hanagen. He then led Holland 14 years later to its only major title win to date, helping them win the European Championship.
1.) Alex Ferguson
Years Active: 1974 - 2013
Teams Managed: East Stirlingshire, Aberdeen, St. Mirren, Scotland, Manchester United
The former Manchester United coach created legends as he developed a very successful team which managed to win numerous titles. He won a record 13 Premier League titles and was also successful in ensuring his team always finished in the top two over the 21 seasons he was the boss, only coming third on three seasons.
In that time, he led the club to winning the UEFA Champions League twice, in 1983 and 2008. Ferguson won the premier league in three consecutive seaons from 1999 to 2001 and 2007 and 2009, an achievement not matched by another. Before joining United, Ferguson had established himself as a successful manager by leading the Scottish club Aberdeen to a number of title wins including the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1983.