Last week, we went through who we believe are the 10 best strikers in Europe. Now, we take a peek at the best football managers on the continent. These 10 gentlemen are at different stages in their illustrious careers but at the end of them, all 10 will have produced a glittering array of trophies to add to their impressive CVs.
Without further delay, let’s get this show on the road:-
1. Jurgen Klopp
There is no doubt the charismatic German should appear on this list. He has turned Liverpool from faint title challengers into an almost unstoppable force of nature. One more win will secure a first league title in 30 years and although recently knocked out of the Champions League, they are still the current holders. Klopp really made his name at Borussia Dortmund and he won the Bundesliga title in 2010/11 before guiding them to a historic double. Will win many more trophies before he calls it a day. A passionate and born winner!
2. Pep Guardiola
Guardiola’s figures as a football manager are truly astonishing. His win rate is a jawdropping 72% and his success at Barcelona is unmatched. He then went on to dominate in Germany with Bayern Munich and if he stays at Manchester City, could have a rivalry with Klopp that could turn into the stuff of legends. The football his teams play are beautiful on the eye and his success in management is remarkable. He may not win the Premier League this season but City are still in the hunt for a Champions League title. Could they do it? Don’t bet against Pep!
3. Erik Ten Hag
Ten Hag may ply his trade in a lesser division than some of his counterparts on this list but his achievements are nothing to be sneezed at. Although the Eredivisie may lack a competitive edge compared to Europe’s top leagues, his inspired effort to get Ajax to within a whisker of the Champions League final last season was a wonderful highlight. His teams play football like the Ajax of old. Sadly, products of that famed youth system are sold on for large sums of money to some of the continent’s big clubs but while Ten Hag is at Ajax, they always have a chance.
4. Diego Simeone
Simeone has been in charge at Atletico Madrid since December 2011 and his time in the Spanish capital has been absolutely captivating. He gets the absolute maximum out of his team and they have been Champions League runners-up twice under his reign. After sensationally beating Liverpool in the last round, this could be his best chance of claiming Europe’s ultimate prize. Pundits do occasionally criticise Atletico’s rugged style of play but that does not take away the incredible job the Argentine has done.
5. Mauricio Pochettino
Even though he is “unemployed” at the moment, I think it is fair to include Simeone’s former Argentina team-mate on this list. After leaving Tottenham earlier this season, he hasn’t yet secured a new job but the top clubs will come knocking soon. He did a brilliant football manager job at Spurs, getting them to their first Champions League final last term before losing to Liverpool. Every season, Pochettino got Spurs to challenge for the coveted top four in the Premier League. No doubt, a club will secure his services before long and he will enjoy unbridled success on the continent.
6. Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel has followed in the footsteps of Klopp, beginning his managerial career at Mainz before getting a host of admirers for his sterling work done at Dortmund. PSG then decided to entice Tuchel to the French capital and the stats are there for all to see. Averaging a fantastic 80% win rate, Tuchel has already mopped up on the domestic scene. However, the owners at PSG will want to see their side succeed where they have so often failed – so that is the next step for Tuchel and his team.
7. Carlo Ancelotti
The godfather of football management, Ancelotti is easily the most experienced of our 10. The Italian has seen success all over Europe and it was a real coup by Everton to get him to Goodison Park following his departure at Napoli. He has won the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 as a football manager, narrowly missing out on the La Liga title in his time at Real Madrid. His new job, arguably, is his toughest yet but if anyone can get Everton to compete for the top four, he is your man!
8. Antonio Conte
Conte is another European football manager he has succeeded outside of his home country. Similar to Ancelotti, the fiery Italian won the Premier League with Chelsea and dominated Serie A with Juventus before that. His ability to conjure a superb squad spirit has helped immensely at every club he has been at. Conte is now at Inter Milan and he has his work cut out to stop Juventus. However, Conte knows what it takes to win league titles and Inter have the right man in charge.
9. Jose Mourinho
What else is there to be said about Mourinho? He has won everything there is to win in European football and, after a break from the game, he is back at Tottenham to try and emulate, or better, what Pochettino did. There is no one with a better pedigree but are his best days behind him? It is believed that he is divisive but Spurs’ players have taken to social media to explain how much they are enjoying life under Mourinho. Next season is pivotal for Spurs. Can they progress under Mourinho or will they the decline? Time will tell.
10. Julian Nagelsmann
Nagelsmann is still young enough to playing! The 32-year-old went into management at a very tender age but looks to have what it takes to have a memorable career in charge. He impressed at Hoffenheim before taking the reins at RB Leipzig, where he has built a very impressive squad. That showed in this season’s Champions League where his side walloped Spurs 4-0. That result ensured he is the youngest ever manager to win a Champions League knockout tie. The amazing thing about Nagelsmann – he could be a football manager for another 40 years!