Football is a complex and constantly evolving sport that requires a skilled leader to guide a team to success.
The role of a manager in football is crucial as they are responsible for creating strategies, making tactical adjustments, and nurturing talent on the team.
Managers are the backbone of any successful team and without their guidance, teams will struggle to perform on the field. They are similar to chess players, who are always thinking ahead and making decisions that will give them an advantage in the game.
Great managers are not only known for their tactical knowledge but also for their ability to rebuild teams and develop young players. In this article, we will take a look at five of the greatest managers in the history of football.
#5 Ottmar Hitzfeld – 28 trophies
Ottmar Hitzfeld stands out on this list as a unique individual, being both a trained mathematician and sports teacher. He is one of only five managers to have won the European Cup or UEFA Champions League with two different clubs, a remarkable achievement.
As a player, Hitzfeld had a successful career as a striker for teams such as Basel, VfB Stuttgart, Lugano, and Luzern. He also represented West Germany at the Olympics.
However, it was as a coach where Hitzfeld truly made his mark on the world of football. Throughout his managerial career, he coached seven teams, including Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, and the Switzerland national team. He accumulated an impressive 28 trophies as a manager.
#4 Valeriy Lobanovskyi – 30 trophies
Valeriy Lobanovskyi was a highly respected manager known for his tenure with FC Dynamo Kyiv and the Soviet Union national team. After his passing, he was honored with the title of ‘Hero of Ukraine,’ the highest award in his country.
Throughout his managerial career, Lobanovskyi accumulated a total of 30 trophies and is considered one of the most successful coaches of the 20th century.
His most successful period was at Dynamo Kyiv, where he led the team to win 8 Soviet Top League titles, 6 Soviet Cups, 3 USSR Super Cups, 5 Ukrainian National League titles, 3 Ukrainian Cups, 2 European Cup Winners’ Cups, and 1 European Super Cup.
#3 Josep Guardiola – 32 trophies
Josep Guardiola, commonly known as ‘Pep’, is considered one of the greatest coaches in history. He began his coaching career at Barcelona, where he had previously played and won multiple titles as a player.
He quickly made an impact, leading the team to win the treble in his first season. He went on to win the domestic double, including the La Liga and Champions League titles in 2011, before leaving to coach Bayern Munich.
He continued his winning streak by winning the Bundesliga title in all three seasons he was in charge, and also adding two domestic doubles to his resume. He then moved to Manchester City, where he has continued to lead them to numerous titles, including four Premier League titles, four League Cups, and one FA Cup.
#2 Mircea Lucescu – 35 trophies
Mirea Lucescu, at 77 years of age, continues to make a mark in the football coaching world. He currently leads Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv, and is widely considered one of the most accomplished managers in the sport.
Throughout his career, Lucescu has received Romania’s Coach of the Year award five times. His tenure as head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk was particularly successful, where he led the team to win eight Ukrainian Premier League titles, six Ukrainian Cups, seven Ukrainian Super Cups and one UEFA Cup.
In 2020-21, his first season with Dynamo Kyiv, Lucescu achieved a domestic double, by winning the Ukrainian Premier League and Ukrainian Cup.
#1 Sir Alex Ferguson – 49 trophies
Sir Alex Ferguson is widely considered one of the greatest managers in the history of football, renowned for his tactical acumen and excellent man-management skills.
He led Manchester United through their most successful period, winning an impressive 49 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles, five FA Cups, and four League Cups.
Prior to his tenure at United, he also had a successful stint at Aberdeen, where he won three Scottish Premier Division titles, four Scottish Cups, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one European Super Cup. His ability to rebuild teams while maintaining a winning mentality is widely considered an underrated aspect of his legacy.