The path of a manager is one that is wrought with countless adversities, challenges and hardships. Several managers have made a name for themselves in the world of football for instance, Claudio Raneiri and his Premier League winning campaign with Leicester, Rafael Benitez and his run with Chelsea in the Europa League and more. None of them find their names on this list, this list is for the best of the best.
The ones who are adored with a passion and hated with a stronger passion by the rivals.
One of the most successful, humble and determined gaffers in world football, Josep Guardiola Sala is a footballing pundit who deserves the top spot on this list undisputedly. Even though the Santpedor born head coach seems to be in a temporary slump, his contributions to world football have been some of the most significant ones. Undeniably, Guardiola’s Barcelona were the most formidable and dreadful outfit in the world. The drastic changes that were made to the Catalan side by the Spaniard were key in the team winning the treble in his debut season of 2008. The Spaniard in his run with the Blaugranes won an astonishing 14 pieces of silverware including three La Liga titles, two domestic cups, three Super Cups, two Champions Leagues, two European super cups, and two World club cups, claiming a total of 14 trophies in four seasons. From a youth coach at Barcelona’s La Masia Youth Academy to a world class manager, it has been one hell of a ride, truly making him The Exceptional One.
José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho is not necessarily a very likable individual, but his achievements speak volumes. His successes with each team that he has gaffed throughout his career are quite undeniable. Whatever self-proclaimed title the world addresses him with, one word that is the most synonymous with Jose is ‘successful’. He kicked off the decade with bagging a treble with the Italian giants, Inter Milan. After which he charted a course to Madrid to lead Los Blancos to the coveted Spanish LaLiga title, reclaiming it from FC Barcelona. Often criticised for his defensive tactics, it is imperative to keep in mind that his Real Madrid side netted an astonishing tally of 121 goals, eventually becoming one of the most feared sides with a highly effective counter-attacking play. Rightly known as the ‘Special One’, Mou has a habit of surprising fans by winning games against giants, where the scales are tipped in the favour of his opponents. Despite his demeanor on and off the pitch, the flair he has for the art of leading a team is indisputable and he has proved his mettle time and time again.
Flamboyance is often a desirable quality in a manager but Jurgen Norbert Klopp takes it a step further. One of the most passionate individuals in the international footballing scene, Kloppo with his mesmerizing smile and never back down attitude is what makes his fans love him with a burning passion. One of the only managers who was able to end the Bavarians undisputed reign over the Bundesliga and what’s more, winning the German league twice consecutively. The next challenge for the German international came in the form of Liverpool, a team with a massive history and glory, at the European level. The Reds’ inability to win their domestic league even once has been the biggest problem that they have faced and as things go the charismatic Jurgen Klopp seems to be on a mission to win it for the scousers.
An individual revered by all the Madristas, Zinedine Yazid Zidane made his way back to Real Madrid but this time on the touchlines. He was tasked with bringing stability and composure to the Blancos’ squad after Rafa Benitez’s year long stint at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the team seemed to have lost its touch. Breaking all barriers, Zizou managed to lead his outfit to glory at the European stage and won them the UEFA Champions League, something no Madrid fan must have expected in their wildest of dreams. His final season with Los Merengues was another one filled with successes as they brought the FIFA Club World cup, UEFA Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup to the Bernabeu. Claiming a need for change in management Zizou left the club in 2018 only to return as head coach in 2019 after Santiago Solari.
A true hardened veteran in the game, the Italian is one of the few gaffers who has managed one top team across Europe’s biggest leagues. Having led countless elite teams, the 60 year old’s trophy cabinet may shine too bright for some other managers too handle. Ancelotti’s name will forever be etched in history as the one who led Real Madrid to glory at the European stage and gratify Madristas and their obsession for La Decima. Sacked in 2017 in spite of his successes, the Reggiolo born gaffer went on to lead Napoli. After his spell at the San Paolo Stadium he took a trip to Merseyside to take over as the chief at Everton FC where he is now trying to work his magic and make a name for the historic club other than the neighbours of the indomitable Liverpool.