Managing the Champions League – Europe’s best managers then and now


There are several different criteria that can be used to judge a good manager, the importance of each will differ depending on opinion. A good one, however, is to see who has had the most success in the world’s most prestigious and hardest-to-win club competition – the Champions League. With this season’s competition warming up nicely, and some bookmaker offers are still availablenow is a good time to see which coach is most likely to weave his UCL magic.

The best of all time

To rightfully include the tournament under its old name European Cup in the statistics, there are three managers who have won the trophy a total of three times. They are Carlo Ancelotti, Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane.

Ancelotti won it twice with AC Milan, also finishing second at the Italian giants, and once at Real Madrid. Bob Paisley won the European Cup three times with Liverpool in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Zidane won the UCL at Real Madrid in consecutive years from 2016 to 2018. A total of 17 other managers have won the competition once .

The best current managers

Of the three listed above, one is still managing at the highest level and will be desperate to add to his tally, namely Ancelotti, whom Real Madrid have their work cut out to progress against PSG.

Hot on his heels is Pep Guardiola. The current Manchester City manager has two Champions League wins to his name – both at Barcelona – and was a runner-up at City.

There’s no denying that the former Barca midfielder is one of the best managers currently working in the game, but his tactics have been increasingly criticised, especially in crucial UCL games.

Although he was successful at Manchester City, many won’t deem his tenure at the Etihad a complete success until they have the Champions League tucked away safely in their trophy cabinet.

Jose Mourinho also landed two successful UCL campaigns. His Porto side won it against all odds in 2004 and he won it with Inter Milan six years later.

The eponymous ‘Special One’ is the only man who currently manages to win it at more than one club. The problem for Mourinho is that his current move to Roma isn’t going well. At the time of writing, they sit in 8and position, adrift of Champions League positions, and it’s hard to think he’ll have too many chances, if any, to lead a club with real Champions League ambitions.

The new comers

One of the hardest parts of being a successful European Cup manager is getting into a position – that is, a managerial position – at a club capable of winning the competition.

Winning it is far from easy, but getting to the point of being there to win it could be even harder. There are currently three managers who, as well as having youngsters by their side, are not only already at clubs with the potential to win it, but look set for a career when they are at clubs capable of winning it. for years, even decades. , to come.

Jurgen Klopp has achieved at Liverpool what many have tried and failed before him. Winning the Premier League trophy for the first time in 30 years was every fan’s dream, and domestic success is still at the heart of their ambition.

The UCL, however, are more than the icing on the cake and with one success and two medals in the competition, Klopp has the credentials and the squad to add to his tally – possibly even this season.

Thomas Tuchel had a dream start to his career at Chelsea, winning the Champions League and also entered this season as a league favourite. It didn’t go as he would have liked, but they are very committed to the fight for UCL success.

Last but not least is Diego Simeone. For years he was the manager who was appointed whenever a job was vacant at one of Europe’s giants, but instead of moving he stayed and made Atlético Madrid a footballing superpower. .

He’s the only man mentioned who has yet to taste UCL success (collecting two runners-up medals instead) but it won’t be long before he fixes that.


worldfootballindex

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