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List of the best soccer managers of all time

In the world of soccer, the role of a manager is pivotal. The best soccer managers are more than just tacticians; they are leaders, motivators, and architects of success. With strategic prowess and unwavering determination, they navigate the complexities of the game, inspiring their teams to achieve greatness. Their impact transcends the pitch, leaving an indelible mark on the sport they love. So let’s learn about best soccer managers with bestsoccertips.

Best football managers of all time

10. Manuel Pellegrini

The full name of Manuel Luís Pellegrini Ripamonti is a Chilean national, born on September 16, 1953. Manuel Pellegrini made headlines when he was sacked by Real Madrid in 2010 to make way for José Mourinho. He accumulated 96 points in that season’s competition. However, Pellegrini’s biggest achievements came at Villarreal and Malaga. He guided Villarreal to a third-place finish in La Liga in 2005 and led them to the semifinals of the Champions League the following season. Later, he guided Villarreal to a second-place finish in La Liga in 2008, displacing Barcelona from the top 2.

Best soccer Managers: Manuel Pellegrini
Best soccer Managers: Manuel Pellegrini

After his stint at Real Madrid, Pellegrini took over Malaga and led them to a fourth-place position in the league standings in his first season. In 2013, he guided them to the quarterfinals of the Champions League before being appointed as the manager of Manchester City. At City, he won the Premier League title and two domestic cups.

After leaving Man City in 2016, Pellegrini had a brief spell in China and a disappointing year with West Ham before returning to his best working environment (Spain). Pellegrini took over Real Betis in 2020 and secured their first trophy in 17 years: the Copa del Rey (domestic cup) in 2022.

9. Mircea Lucescu

Mircea Lucescu is a Romanian citizen, born on July 29, 1945. He speaks seven languages and managed Shakhtar Donetsk from 2004 to 2016, leading the Ukrainian team to domestic glory and the 2009 Europa League title. Under his tenure, Shakhtar became a formidable force in European football, reaching the Champions League quarterfinals in 2011.

Best football Managers of all time: Mircea Lucescu
Best soccer Managers: Mircea Lucescu

Lucescu has won 13 national championships and 10 domestic cups during his time coaching in Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. In 2016, he left Shakhtar to manage the Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. He continued to coach the Turkish national team and was appointed as the head coach of Dynamo Kyiv in 2020.

8. Luciano Spalletti

Luciano Spalletti, an Italian citizen, was born on March 7, 1959. It was a long journey to the top for Luciano Spalletti, who most recently managed the soaring Napoli. He began his managerial career in 1993 with Empoli in the Italian third division. Within 5 years, he led them to the top flight (Serie A). Spalletti then took the long-standing mid-table club Udinese to fourth place and a Champions League berth.

Spalletti was recruited by Roma in 2005, where he soon introduced the 4-2-3-1 formation and pioneered the “false-9” formation (later used by Pep Guardiola), a system he used to improve their performances and win two Coppa Italia (domestic cup) titles. He then won two league titles and a domestic cup in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg.

Best football Managers ever: Luciano Spalletti
Best football Managers ever: Luciano Spalletti

Spalletti returned to Roma in 2016 and led them from mid-table to second place. He was then recruited by Inter Milan and led them back to the Champions League after a six-year absence. Most recently, Spalletti coached Napoli, and in 2023, they secured their first league title in 33 years (with 5 games remaining), playing an attacking style of football praised across Europe.

7. Louis Van Gaal

The full name of Aloysius Paulus Maria Van Gaal is a Dutch citizen, born on August 8, 1951. Renowned for his direct style of play, Louis Van Gaal is also known for his strict discipline. Described as proud and arrogant, he uses a blend of artistry and authority to achieve remarkable success in managerial roles. With Ajax, he won the Champions League in 1995, the UEFA Cup in 1992, 3 national championships, and 1 domestic cup. At Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he added 3 more national championships and 1 domestic cup.

Best Manager soccer: Louis Van Gaal
Best Manager soccer: Louis Van Gaal

Remarkably, he also led AZ to the Dutch Eredivisie title in 2009. Van Gaal then guided the Netherlands, a team considered underdogs, to third place at the 2014 World Cup before taking over as the manager of Manchester United. However, his disappointing tenure at United included winning the FA Cup in 2016.

After a brief “retirement,” Van Gaal returned to manage the Netherlands in 2021. At the 2022 World Cup, they were defeated by eventual champions Argentina in the quarterfinals. He will step down as head coach after the tournament.

6. Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte, an Italian citizen, was born on July 31, 1969. He is a former Italian footballer who spent much of his career at Juventus and represented his country 20 times. His work ethic as a player reflects the effort he expects from the players he manages. Conte played with wing-backs in a 5-3-2 formation and selected flexible players to fit his system.

In the 2011–12 season, he led Juventus to the Serie A title without losing a single match. Conte stayed at Juventus for three seasons (winning Serie A each season) before leading Italy’s Euro 2016 campaign. His team eliminated Spain from the tournament but narrowly lost to Germany on penalties.

Best Managers in the world football: Antonio Conte
Best Managers in the world football: Antonio Conte

Conte joined Chelsea in 2016 and won the Premier League title in his first season, setting a record (at the time) of 30 wins in the competition. He also won the FA Cup in 2018 before taking over Inter Milan in 2019. At Inter, Conte won the Serie A title in 2021, ending the dominance of a Juventus led by Ronaldo, a team that had won the competition 9 times. This was followed by a two-year spell at Tottenham, ending in 2023 after Conte expressed dissatisfaction with the players and the club’s management.

5. José Mourinho

The full name of José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix is a Portuguese citizen, born on January 26, 1963. Portuguese coach José Mourinho is famous for his well-organized defense and the physical strength of his teams. He was a physical education teacher before gaining invaluable coaching experience under legends Bobby Robson and Louis Van Gaal.

Mourinho boasts an impressive resume, winning 8 national championships and 4 domestic cups with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, and Real Madrid. He also won the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2004 with Porto, the Champions League in 2010 with Inter, and the Europa League in 2017 with Manchester United.

Best Managers in soccer: José Mourinho
Best soccer Managers: José Mourinho

After a second turbulent spell at Chelsea, Mourinho became the manager of Manchester United in 2016 and won the Europa League in 2017. However, he was sacked in 2018 due to poor performance in the league. Mourinho took over Tottenham in 2019 but after similar underwhelming results in the league, he returned to Italy in 2021 to manage Roma. In 2022, he won the inaugural Europa Conference League with Roma.

4. Diego Simeone

The full name of Diego Pablo Simeone González is an Argentine citizen, born on April 28, 1970. Diego Simeone is arguably the most sought-after rising star in the football management world. Before gaining fame as the coach of Atletico Madrid, he won two championships in his native Argentina. Upon arrival in Spain, he revitalized an underperforming Atletico side, guiding them to a fifth-place finish in the league. He also led them to win the Europa League in 2012.

Best soccer Managers: Diego Simeone
Best soccer Managers: Diego Simeone

In his first season as a coach, his team defeated Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup before winning the Spanish domestic cup in 2013. Simeone’s greatest achievement as Atletico Madrid’s coach followed: winning the La Liga title in 2014, ahead of both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Simeone’s continuous success in Europe was only limited by narrow losses to Real Madrid in the Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016. However, his Atletico team secured both the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2018. Simeone repeated his greatest triumph by winning the La Liga title again in 2021.

3. Jürgen Klopp

The full name of Jürgen Norbert Klopp is a German citizen, born on June 16, 1967. Liverpool’s coach, Jürgen Klopp, changed the fate of Borussia Dortmund from the outset of his career, bringing them national championships in 2011 and 2012, as well as the German Cup in 2012. Klopp’s era ended the undeniable dominance of Bayern Munich and reestablished Dortmund as a strong force in European football. Klopp’s fast-paced counter-attacking style helped Dortmund to a 28-game unbeaten streak in 2012 and a place in the 2013 Champions League final.

Best football Managers of all time: Jürgen Klopp
Best football Managers of all time: Jürgen Klopp

After taking over Liverpool, Klopp led the club to 3 domestic cup finals, including the Champions League in 2018, but they were defeated in both. Klopp then won the Champions League final in 2019, beginning his trophy-laden spell. He went on to win the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and the Premier League in 2020, ending Liverpool’s 30-year wait for another league title. In 2022, his Liverpool side won both domestic cups in England.

2. Pep Guardiola

The full name of Josep Guardiola Sala is a Spanish citizen, born on January 18, 1971. After a distinguished playing career as a defensive midfielder for Barcelona, Josep Guardiola was appointed coach of the club’s B team in 2007. A year later, he was promoted to the first-team coach. Implementing significant and daring changes in football strategy, the club achieved a treble in his first season. Pep went on to win 3 La Liga titles, 2 domestic cups, 3 Super Cups, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 UEFA Super Cups, and 2 FIFA Club World Cups (14 titles in 4 seasons).

Guardiola became the coach of Bayern Munich in 2013. He won the domestic double in his first season and again in 2016 but never reached the Champions League final in his three years at the club. In total, he won an additional 7 titles with Bayern.

Best football Managers ever: Pep Guardiola
Best football Managers ever: Pep Guardiola

In 2016, Guardiola took over Manchester City. After a trophy-less season, they impressively won the league, accumulating the most points, wins, and goals in Premier League history. In the following season, he became the first coach to win a domestic treble.

City has dominated English football under Guardiola, winning 5 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, and 2 Community Shields. In 2023, Pep finally won his third Champions League title, defeating Inter Milan in the final. Overall, Guardiola’s teams are renowned for their possession-based, relentlessly pressing, and creatively brilliant style of play.

1. Carlo Ancelotti

The full name of Carlo Ancelotti is an Italian citizen, born on June 10, 1959. Carlo Ancelotti honed his talents as an assistant to the legendary Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi, which marked the beginning of a successful career. When Ancelotti won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014, he became the only current coach to have won this tournament three times. In 2022, he won it for the fourth time (again with Real Madrid). Previously, he won it twice with Milan in 2003 and 2007.

Best Manager soccer: Carlo Ancelotti
Best Manager soccer: Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti’s illustrious career includes championship titles in Italy, England, France, Germany, and Spain, with Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid, making him the only coach to win all five major European leagues. He has also won domestic cups with Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. Ancelotti surprisingly took over Everton in 2020 and improved their performance, but he soon returned to Real Madrid, where he won the league and Champions League in his first season back.

Ancelotti’s management style is flexible and adaptable. He constructs formations that suit the characteristics of his players. With 26 titles bearing his name, he is one of the most decorated coaches on this list.


In conclusion, the world of soccer owes much of its excitement, drama, and success to the brilliance of its managers. These visionary leaders, with their tactical acumen and unwavering determination, have elevated the game to new heights. Their ability to inspire, strategize, and lead has not only shaped the fortunes of their teams but also enriched the lives of millions of fans around the globe. As we continue to witness their remarkable achievements on and off the pitch, it is clear that the influence of the best soccer managers will endure for generations to come, leaving an everlasting legacy on the beautiful game.