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Greatest Soccer Managers of All Time - The True Masters

Greatest Soccer Managers of All Time
Soccer has seen countless managers modify the malleable game into innumerable forms, and enjoy sustained success. This SportsAspire post lists some of the greatest and most successful soccer managers of all time.
Tanmay Tikekar
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017
The Insurmountable Obstacle
In the 125 years of league football, no manager has won a league title, a domestic cup, a continental club championship, an intercontinental club championship, a continental national championship, and the World Cup.
The job of a manager is virtually limitless. He decides the starting XI, the strategies and tactics to be used in each match, who has to be left out, and who has to be promoted. He has to do all of this while juggling an owner focused on maintaining the budget, and fans intent on seeing their team succeed to no end. Excelling in this multifaceted job is no child's play. When things go wrong, the manager is often the one who has to bear the brunt, even though it may not be his fault. On the other hand, when he succeeds, critics are often ready with arguments such as the owner's financial strength, or the quality of the players themselves being responsible for the success.

Emerging from this maze of obstacles and being counted as one of the game's legends takes an indomitable will, a knack of spotting talent, sound tactical acumen, and most importantly, the ability to motivate the players to perform to the best of their capabilities. The managers who have gone on to become legends in the game are the ones who have been able to balance all of these aspects in one successful, dynamic structure.

The following list is the personal opinion of the writer, and in no particular order.
World's Greatest Soccer Managers of All Time
Sir Alex Ferguson
Alex ferguson
Alex Ferguson
Born: December 31, 1941
Nationality: Scottish
Career: 1974 - 2013
Teams Managed: East Stirlingshire, St. Mirren, Aberdeen, Scotland, Manchester United

Scottish First Division (2nd tier): St. Mirren 1976-77
Scottish Premier Division (1st tier): Aberdeen 1979-80, 1983-84, 1984-85
Scottish Cup: Aberdeen 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84. 1985-86
Scottish League Cup: Aberdeen 1985-86
English Premier League: Manchester United 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13
FA Cup: Manchester United 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04
English League Cup: Manchester United 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10
FA Community Shield: Manchester United 1990 (shared with Liverpool), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 1007, 2008, 2010, 2011
UEFA Champions League: Manchester United 1999, 2008
UEFA Cup Winner's Cup: Aberdeen 1982-83; Manchester United 1990-91
UEFA Super Cup: Aberdeen 1983; Manchester United 1991
Intercontinental Cup: Manchester United 1999
FIFA Club World Cup: Manchester United 2008

We kick off with the towering giant of the modern game, Sir Alex. His name is synonymous with Manchester United's rise in the English league, but he was a household name even before he signed for the English giants in 1986. He famously broke the Celtic-Rangers duopoly over the Scottish league, by winning the premier title with Aberdeen, and even claimed a continental trophy with the Scottish side. He is the only manager to win the League-Cup double in both England and Scotland, and the only manager to win the League-Cup-Champions League treble with an English club. With 49 major trophies, he is the most successful British manager of all time.
Bob Paisley
Born: January 23, 1919
Died: February 14, 1996
Nationality: English
Career: 1974-1983
Teams Managed: Liverpool
English First Division: 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
League Cup: 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83
FA Charity Shield (Community Shield): 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982
European Cup: 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81
UEFA Cup: 1975-76
UEFA Super Cup: 1977

Bob Paisley is one of the most successful managers of all time. In fact, his average of more than 2 trophies per season is even higher than Sir Alex Ferguson. Paisley reigned over the most glorious period in the history of Liverpool. He is, as yet, the only manager to win 3 European Cups/Champions Leagues. The ultimate one-club man, Paisley remained at Liverpool as a player, physiotherapist, assistant manager (to the legendary Bill Shankly), manager, adviser, and director from 1939 to 1992 -- a whopping 53 years!
José Mourinho
Jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho
Born: January 26, 1963
Nationality: Portuguese
Career: 2000-present
Teams Managed: Benfica, União de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid
Portuguese Primeira Liga: Porto 2002-03, 2003-04
Taça de Portugal (Portuguese Cup): Porto 2002-03
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (Portuguese Super Cup): 2003
English Premier league: Chelsea 2004-05, 2005-06
FA Cup: Chelsea 2006-07
English League Cup: Chelsea 2004-05, 2006-07
FA Community Shield: Chelsea 2005
Italian Serie A: Inter Milan 2008-09, 2009-10
Coppa Italia (Italian Cup): Inter Milan 2009-10
Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Supercup): Inter Milan 2008
Spanish La Liga: Real Madrid 2011-12
Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup): Real Madrid 2010-2011
Supercopa de España (Spanish Supercup): Real Madrid 2012-2013
UEFA Champions League Cup: Porto 2003-04; Inter Milan 2009-10
UEFA Cup: Porto 2002-03

Despite a relatively short career, José Mourinho is already being counted among the best managers in soccer history. He has polarized fans and critics due to his direct approach and defensive tactics. His supporters claim the large number of trophies he's managed to win, while his critics point to his disinterest in the long-term fortunes of the club. At the time of writing, he has never stayed at one club for more than 3 seasons. Despite the lack of longevity, Mourinho is already one of the most successful managers ever; He and Earnst Happel are the only two managers in the history of the game to have won league and domestic cup honors in 4 countries. He is also one of only 4 managers to have won the Champions League with two clubs, and is one of only five to have won league titles in 4 countries. Among the latter, Mourinho is the only manager to win league titles in England, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. He is a master of psychological battles, and is known as a master motivator. He is also known as an astute tactician, favoring different formations at his different clubs, to optimize the performance of the players at his disposal.
Arsène Wenger
Arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger
Born: October 22, 1949
Nationality: French
Career: 1984-present
Teams Managed: Nancy-Lorraine, AS Monaco, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Arsenal
French Ligue 1: Monaco 1987-88
Coupe de France: Monaco 1990-91
Emperor's Cup: Nagoya Grampus 1995
J-League Super Cup: Nagoya Grampus 1996
English Premier League: Arsenal 1997-98, 2001-02, 2003-04
FA Cup: Arsenal 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05
Community Shield: Arsenal 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004

Arsène Wenger's Arsenal were the most successful and tenacious threat to Sir Alex Ferguson's monopoly of the English Premier League. Wenger, who espouses entertaining football, is credited with revolutionizing the Premier League. His scintillating teams in the early noughties dazzled fans and opposition defenses alike. In 2004, Wenger's Arsenal made history by becoming the first team to go an entire season unbeaten since Preston North End in the inaugural season of the English League in 1888. Wenger is only the second manager in history (after Sir Alex Ferguson) to guide the same team to 15 consecutive European Cup/Champions League campaigns.
Vicente del Bosque
Born: December 23, 1950
Nationality: Spanish
Career: 1999-present
Teams Managed: Real Madrid Castilla, Real Madrid, Beşiktaş, Spain
FIFA World Cup: Spain 2010
UEFA European Championship: Spain 2012
Spanish La Liga: Real Madrid 2000-01, 2002-03
Supercopa de España: Real Madrid 2001
Copa Iberoamericana: Real Madrid 1994
UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid 1999-2000, 2001-02
UEFA Super Cup: Real Madrid 2002
Intercontinental Cup: Real Madrid 2002

Having won the Spanish league, the Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup, Euro 2012, and the World Cup 2010, del Bosque comes closest to the 'insurmountable obstacle' mentioned above. He is the only manager to have won the Champions League, the UEFA Euro Championship, and the World Cup. The only trophy he has failed to win is a domestic cup. Bosque spent 14 years as a player for Madrid, and started his coaching career with the Madrid 'B' team, Castilla. He was promoted to the senior job in 1999, and led the club to several major trophies, before being sacked in 2003. After an unsuccessful term as the coach of Turkish side Beşiktaş, and a three-year hiatus after that, he replaced the Euro-winning coach Luis Aragonés as the manager of the Spanish national team. Carrying on Aragonés' excellent work, del Bosque led Spain to their first ever World Cup and their second successive Euro in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
Helenio Herrera
Born: April 10, 1910
Died: November 9, 1997
Nationality: Argentine
Career: 1944-1981
Teams Managed: Puteaux, Stade Francais, Real Valladolid, Atlético Madrid, Málaga, Deportivo de La Coruña, Sevilla, Belenenses, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Roma, Rimini
Spanish la Liga: Atlético Madrid 1949-50, 1950-51; Barcelona 1958-59, 1959-60
Copa Eva Duarte (Supercopa de España): Atlético Madrid 1950
Copa Del Rey: Barcelona 1958-59, 1980-81
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1955-58, 1958-60
Italian Serie A: Inter Milan 1962-63, 1964-65, 1965-66
European Cup: Inter Milan 1963-64, 1964-65
Intercontinental Cup: Inter Milan 1963-64, 1964-65
Coppa Italia: Roma 1968-69

Helenio Herrera is notorious as the inventor of the catenaccio system, but his massive trophy haul is often not given due credit. After winning numerous titles with Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, he joined Inter Milan, and heralded the greatest period in the club's history. The Inter team, in this famous period, came to be known as Grande Inter. Herrera is also known as a pioneer of psychological motivation techniques. He put up inspirational quotes in the dressing rooms and around the ground, and had his players recite them as they trained.
Matt Busby
Born: May 26, 1909
Died: January 20, 1994
Nationality: Scottish
Career: 1944-1981
Teams Managed: Manchester United, Great Britain, Scotland
English First Division: 1951-52, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1964-65, 1966-1967
FA Cup: 1947-48, 1962-63
FA Charity Shield: 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967
European Cup: 1968

The second-most successful Manchester United manager in history may not have ended up at Old Trafford at all. Ironically, given his success as the manager of Manchester United, Busby played for United's two greatest rivals: their neighbor Manchester City, and northwest rivals Liverpool. After ending his playing career at the latter, he was offered the post of assistant manager there. He declined and chose to join United instead. Busby is best remembered for his youthful 'Busby Babes' teams, and his rebuilding of United after the tragic 1958 Munich air disaster. After losing 10 players to the airplane crash (8 dead, 2 incapacitated), Busby successfully rebuilt his team around the survivors of the crash, and won England's first European Cup ten years after the crash.
Vittorio Pozzo
Born: March 2, 1886
Died: December 21, 1968
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1912-1948
Teams Managed: Italy, Torino, AC Milan
FIFA World Cup: Italy 1934, 1938
Central European International Cup: Italy 1927-1930, 1930-1935
Olympic Men's Football: Italy 1936

Pozzo is, as yet, the only manager to win the World Cup twice. In a fascism-laden 1930s, the Italian national team emerged as the force to reckon with, winning two of the three World Cups in the decade, as well as an Olympic tournament. Pozzo is known as the inventor and pioneer of the metodo formation, which was the precursor to the modern 4-3-3 formation. The highly successful Barcelona team coached by Pep Guardiola use a version of the metodo.
Udo Lattek
Born: January 16, 1935
Nationality: German
Career: 1970-2000
Teams Managed: Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Köln, Schalke
Bundesliga (German Championship): 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1984-85 1985-86, 1986-87; Borussia Mönchengladbach: 1975-76, 1976-77
DFB-Pokal (German Cup): Bayern Munich 1970-71, 1983-84, 1985-86
Copa Del Rey: Barcelona 1982-83
European Cup: Bayern Munich 1973-74
UEFA Cup: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1979
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: Barcelona 1981-82

Lattek is one of Germany's most successful coaches. His name is most closely associated with Bayern, where he won the 1973-74 European Cup, and laid the foundations of the next two, won in 1974-75 and 1975-76. He won the first hat-trick of league titles in German football, emulating the achievement in the next decade. Lattek was also part of Germany's coaching squad before joining Bayern, and went to the 1966 World Cup with Die Mannschaft.
Marcello Lippi
Born: April 12, 1948
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1985-present
Teams Managed: Pontedera, Siena, Pistoiese, Carrarese, Cesena, Lucchese, Atalanta, Napoli, Juventus, Inter Milan, Italy, Guangzhou Evergrande
FIFA World Cup: Italy 2006
Italian Serie A: Juventus 1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03
Coppa Italia: Juventus 1994-95
Supercoppa Italiana: Juventus 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003
Chinese Super League: Guangzhou Evergrande 2012
Chinese FA Cup: Guangzhou Evergrande 2012
UEFA Champions League: Juventus 1995-96
European Supercup: Juventus 1996
Intercontinental Cup: Juventus 1996

Marcello Lippi is the first manager to win top global honors in club and international football, winning the intercontinental cup with Juventus in 1996, and the World Cup with Italy 10 years later (this record is now shared with Vicente del Bosque). He narrowly lost out on becoming one of the few coaches to have won the Champions League twice, when his Juventus team lost the 2003 final on penalties. Lippi's coaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of team spirit, and he is a firm believer of the philosophy that the sum of 11 players working for the team produces better results than 11 better players working 'for themselves'.
Fabio Capello
Fabio capello
Fabio Capello
Born: June 18, 1946
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1991-present
Teams Managed: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus, England, Russia
Italian Serie A: AC Milan 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96; Roma 2000-01
Spanish La Liga: Real Madrid 1996-97, 2006-07
Supercoppa Italiana: AC Milan 1992, 1993, 1994; Roma 2001
UEFA Champions League: AC Milan 1993-94
European Supercup: AC Milan 1994

Capello holds the remarkable record of having won a league title with each one of his clubs (Capello's 2004-05 and 2005-06 titles with Juventus were later discounted because of Juventus and second placed AC Milan's involvement in the Calciopoli matchfixing scandal). This even includes two one-year spells at Real Madrid, both of which ended in title triumph. Capello is one of the most well-respected coaches in the modern game. However, he has notoriously failed to replicate his league successes in knockout tournaments, with the 1993-94 Champions League being his only knockout victory (Supercoppa Italiana and the European Super Cup are one-match playoffs). On the international stage, he led England to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010, and achieved qualification for Euro 2012, before resigning from the post over differences with the English FA just before the tournament proper.
Bill Shankly
Born: September 2, 1913
Died: September 29, 1981
Nationality: Scottish
Career: 1949-1974
Teams Managed: Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Workington, Huddersfield Town, Liverpool
English First Division: Liverpool 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73
English Second Division: Liverpool 1961-62
FA Cup: Liverpool 1964-65, 1973-74
FA Charity Shield: Liverpool 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974
UEFA Cup: Liverpool 1972-73

Shankly is mainly remembered for his time with Liverpool, when he transformed the club from second division mediocrity to becoming a feared continental powerhouse. Shankly signed with Liverpool in 1959, and revolutionized the way the club was run, to the extent that within a year of his arrival, 24 players had been sold. He paid attention to the development of Liverpool's youth system, a change that would serve the club well in the coming glory years. He led the club to promotion to the First Division in just 3 seasons, and won the premier league title just 2 years after promotion. Shankly started the now-famous tradition of the Boot Room, a storage room where the coaches would discuss tactics and strategies. Shankly's coaching team in the Boot Room included assistant Bob Paisley, who would succeed Shankly as Liverpool manager, and Joe Fagan, who in turn would replace Paisley.
Rinus Michels
Born: February 9, 1928
Died: March 3, 2005
Nationality: Dutch
Career: 1965-1992
Teams Managed: Ajax, Barcelona, Netherlands, Los Angeles Aztecs, Köln, Bayer Leverkusen
Euro 1988: Netherlands
Eredivisie (Dutch league): Ajax 1965-66, 1066-67, 1967-68, 1969-70
KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup): Ajax 1966-67, 1969-70, 1970-71
Spanish La Liga: Barcelona 1973-74
Copa Del Rey: Barcelona 1978
European Cup: Ajax 1970-71
DFB-Pokal: Leverkusen 1983

Rinus Michels is probably the most influential tactician in football history. His revolutionary system of 'Total Football' caught the world by storm in the 1970s, and is still being applied by numerous successful teams. The tactical flexibility afforded by the formation was strikingly effective against the established formations, and carried the Netherlands to successive World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978, though they lost both. The Ajax team of the 1970s was also similarly deadly against continental opposition, and won three successive European Cups, with Michels winning the first. His philosophy is still the underlying principle at both Ajax and Barcelona, later reinforced by Michels' best pupil, Johan Cruyff.
Johan Cruyff
Born: April 25, 1947
Nationality: Dutch
Career: 1985-2013 (inactive between 1996 and 2009)
Teams Managed: Ajax, Barcelona, Catalonia
Spanish La Liga: Barcelona 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94
Copa Del Rey: Barcelona 1989-90
Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994
KNVB Cup: Ajax 1985-86, 1986-87
European Cup: Barcelona 1991-92
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: Ajax 1986-87; Barcelona 1988-89
UEFA Super Cup: Barcelona 1992

Johan Cruyff is one of the best players and managers in soccer history. He made his name as a player for Ajax and Barcelona, and later managed the same clubs to numerous honors. In his playing days, he was a pioneer of 'total football', and used the same system in his managerial career to great effect. The Barcelona team of the early '90s comprising international and Spanish stars such as Romario, Hristo Stoichkov, Michael Laudrup, and Pep Guardiola, won the Spanish league in four successive seasons, and is known as the Dream Team. The administration system put in place by Cruyff at Barcelona is said to be the source of Barcelona's current success. He remains a respected adviser to both Ajax and Barcelona.
Brian Clough
Born: March 21, 1935
Died: September 20, 2004
Nationality: English
Career: 1965-1993
Teams Managed: Hartlepools United, Derby County, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest
English First Division: Derby County 1971-72; Nottingham Forest 1977-78
English Second Division: Derby County 1968-69
English League Cup: Nottingham Forest 1977-78, 1978-79, 1988-89, 1989-90
Anglo-Scottish Cup: Nottingham Forest 1976-77
European Cup: Nottingham Forest 1978-79. 1979-80
European Super Cup: Nottingham Forest 1979

Brian Clough is considered one of the greatest British managers ever. His name is primarily associated with the meteoric rise of Derby County and Nottingham Forest. With his longtime assistant Peter Taylor, Clough took Derby County from the second division to the premier title in 5 years, before resigning from the post. After a mediocre spell at Brighton and a disastrous 44-day tenure as the manager of Leeds United, Clough joined second division strugglers Nottingham Forest. Improving upon his rapid success with Derby County, Clough took Forest to the First Division in his second season, won the First Division in his third, and won the European Cup in the fourth and fifth. Clough is highly respected in the UK for his stunning achievements, and is often considered the greatest manager England never had.
Arrigo Sacchi
Born: April 1, 1946
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1985-2001
Teams Managed: Parma, AC Milan, Italy, Atlético Madrid
Italian Serie A: AC Milan 1987-88
Italian Serie C1: Parma 1986-87
Supercoppa Italiana: AC Milan 1988
European Cup: AC Milan 1988-89, 1989-90
European Supercup: AC Milan 1989, 1990
Intercontinental Cup: AC Milan 1989, 1990

Saachi is one of the very few managerial legends not to have played soccer professionally. This led to criticism when he was appointed at AC Milan (in spite of just having promoted Parma from the Italian third division), which Sacchi silenced by coining the famous phrase - "You don't have to have been a horse to become a jockey". Something of a knockout specialist (in direct contrast to his successor at Milan, Fabio Capello), Sacchi is also one of the very few coaches to have won more European Cups than domestic leagues. Further supporting that theory, Milan also won the Supercup and the Intercontinental Cup after both their European Cups, but lost out on the domestic title. Sacchi espoused attacking football, having grown up watching the Magical Magyars and the di Stéfano-led Real Madrid. His extremely well-drilled, yet swashbuckling Milan teams were based on a preexisting core of Italian players such as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, and Roberto Donadoni, and Dutch imports such as Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, and Frank Rijkaard. Sacchi's Milan remain the last team to retain the European Cup/Champions League.
Guus Hiddink
Guus hiddink
Guus Hiddink
Born: November 8, 1946
Nationality: Dutch
Career: 1987-present
Teams Managed: PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahçe, Valencia, Netherlands, Real Madrid, Real Betis, South Korea, Australia, Russia, Chelsea, Turkey, Anzi Makhachkala
Eredivisie: PSV 1986-87, 187-88, 1988-89, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06
KNVB Cup: PSV 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 2004-05
Dutch Supercup: PSV 1993
FA Cup: Chelsea 2008-2009
Intercontinental Cup: Real Madrid 1998

Hiddink is one of the most diversely successful and respected managers in the world. He is one of only 6 managers in history to lead his team to a League-Domestic Cup-European Cup treble, achieving it with PSV in 1987-88. Hiddink has also succeeded while working as a short-term coach, winning the Intercontinental trophy in a one-year spell with Real Madrid, and winning the FA Cup in a 4-month spell with Chelsea. He consistently managed to exceed expectations on the international stage. He took South Korea and Australia to their first ever knockout rounds in World Cups, incredibly reaching the semifinals with the former in 2002. In 2008, he took Russia to their first Euro semifinal appearance, since finishing second in 1988.
Jupp Heynckes
Born: May 9, 1945
Nationality: German
Career: 1979-2013
Teams Managed: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Athletic Bilbao, Eintracht Frankfurt, Tenerife, Real Madrid, Benfica, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen
German Bundesliga: Bayern Munich 1988-89, 1989-90, 2012-2013
DFL-Supercup (German Supercup): Bayern Munich 1987, 1990, 2012
Supercopa de España: Real Madrid 1997
UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid 1997-98; Bayern Munich 2012-13
UEFA Intertoto Cup: Schalke 2003, 2004

Heynckes is one of only 4 managers to win the Champions League with two different teams. He has played or managed over 1,000 games in the Bundesliga, making him only the second, and as yet last man to achieve this milestone (after Otto Rehhagel).
Giovanni Trappatoni
Born: March 17, 1939
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1972-present
Teams Managed: AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Cagliari, Fiorentina, Benfica, Stuttgart, Red Bull Salzburg, Republic of Ireland
Italian Serie A: Juventus 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1985-86; Inter Milan 1988-89
Coppa Italia: Juventus 1978-79, 1982-83
Supercoppa Italiana: Inter Milan 1989
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich 1996-97
DFB-Pokal: Bayern Munich 1997-98
DFB-Ligapokal (German League Cup): Bayern Munich 1996-97
Portuguese League: Benfica 2004-05
Austrian League: Red Bull Salzburg 2006-07
European Cup: Juventus 1984-85
UEFA Cup: Juventus 1976-77, 1992-93; Inter Milan 1990-91
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: Juventus 1984
UEFA Super Cup: Juventus 1984
Intercontinental Cup: Juventus 1985
Nations Cup: Republic of Ireland 2011

Giovanni Trappatoni is one of the most successful managers to be around. He is best remembered for his two spells with Juventus, the first being one of the most decorated eras of the team. Trappatoni is the only manager who has won the European Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup, European Supercup, and the Intercontinental Cup. He has won the UEFA Cup three times, which is a record. He is also one of only 5 managers who have won league titles in 4 countries. On a lighter note, Trappatoni is notorious for his quirky, and often mistake-filled press conferences in the regional language of his clubs.
Jock Stein
Born: October 5, 1922
Died: September 10, 1985
Nationality: Italian
Career: 1960-1985
Teams Managed: Dumfermline Athletic, Hibernian, Scotland, Celtic, Leeds United
Scottish League Championship: Celtic 1965-66, 1966-67, 1067-68, 1968-69, 1969-70, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1976-77
Scottish Cup: Dumfermline 1961; Celtic 1964-65, 1966-67, 1968-69, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1976-77
Scottish League Cup: Celtic 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70, 1974-75
Summer Cup: Hibernian 1964
Rous Cup Scotland 1985
European Cup: Celtic 1967

Jock Stein is one of the most successful British managers, and is a venerated name in British football. He has been voted as the best Scottish manager in history, beating the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, and the best Celtic manager ever. Stein and Celtic were the first British manager and team, respectively, to win the European Cup, beating Helenio Herrera's famous Grande Inter in the 1967 final. Inter's defensive catenaccio system was so spectacularly overrun by Stein's Celtic, that the Scottish team came to be known as 'Lisbon Lions', after the location of the match. Stein won 10 Scottish league titles, 9 of them consecutive. He tragically died while managing Scotland, just after securing Scotland's place in a playoff for the 1986 World Cup.
Ernst Happel
Born: November 29, 1925
Died: November 14, 1992
Nationality: Austrian
Career: 1962-1992
Teams Managed: ADO Den Haag, Feyenoord, Sevilla, Club Brugge, Netherlands, Harelbeke, Standard Liège, Hamburg, Tirol, Austria
Eredivisie: Feyenoord 1970-71
KNVB Cup: ADO Den Haag 1967-68
Belgian First Division: Brugge 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78
Belgian Cup: Brugge 1976-77; Standard Liège 1980-81
Belgian Supercup: Standard Liège 1981
Bundesliga: Hamburg 1981-82, 1982-83
DFB-Pokal: Hamburg 1986-87
Austrian League: Tirol 1988-89, 1989-90
Austrian Cup: Tirol 1988-89
European Cup: Feyenoord 1969-70; Hamburg 1982-83
Intercontinental Cup: 1970

Happel's career is littered with landmarks. He is the first manager to win the European Cup with two clubs. He is the only manager to reach the European Cup final with three clubs, taking Brugge to the 1978 final, where they were beaten by Liverpool. He is one of only 5 managers to have won league titles in 4 countries, and Happel and José Mourinho are the only two managers in history to win the league and a domestic cup in 4 countries. He also reached the 1978 World Cup final with Netherlands, making him the first manager (and one of just six) to reach the European Cup final and the World Cup final.
Béla Guttman
Born: January 27, 1899
Died: August 28, 1981
Nationality: Hungarian
Career: 1933-1973
Teams Managed: Hakoah Vienna, Enschede, Újpest, Vasas, Ciocanul Bucharest, Budapest Honvéd, Padova, Triestina, Quilnes, APOEL, AC Milan, Vicenza, São Paulo, Porto, Benfica, Peñarol, Austria, Servette, Panathinaikos, Austria Vienna
Hungarian League: MTK Hungaria 1919-20, 1920-21; Újpest 1938-39, 1946-47
Austrian League: Hakoah Vienna 1924-25
Portuguese League: Porto 1958-59; Benfica 1959-60, 1960-61
Campeonato Paulista: São Paulo 1957
Portuguese Cup: Benfica 1961-62
Mitropa Cup: Újpest 1939
National Challenge Cup: New York Hakoah 1929
European Cup: Benfica 1960-61, 1961-62

Guttman was one of the first great 'nomads' of soccer. He didn't stay at any club but Benfica for more than two years; he stayed at the Portuguese giants for three! Despite winning numerous other trophies, Guttman is most closely associated with Benfica's two European Cups, and his mentoring of the legendary Eusébio. Guttman was openly arrogant and brash. His attitude and reluctance to stay at a club for a long time led to comparisons between him and José Mourinho. After winning his second European Cup, he asked the Benfica board for a raise, but was declined. Staying true to his quirky manner, Guttman immediately left and "cursed" Benfica that they would not win another European Cup in the next 100 years. Surprisingly, Benfica haven't won a European Cup since 1962, and have lost in the final five times! What's more, they have even lost in two UEFA Cup/Europa League finals!
Ottmar Hitzfeld
Born: January 12, 1949
Nationality: German
Career: 1983-present
Teams Managed: Zug, Aarau, Grasshopper, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Switzerland
Swiss Super League: Grasshopper 1989-90, 1990-91
Swiss Cup: Aarau 1985; Grasshopper 1989, 1990
Swiss Supercup: Grasshopper 1989
Bundesliga: Dortmund 1994-95, 1995-96; Bayern Munich 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2007-08
DFB-Pokal: Bayern Munich 1999-00, 2002-03, 2007-08
DFB-Ligapokal: Bayern Munich 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007
DFL-Supercup: Dortmund 1995, 1996
UEFA Champions League: Dortmund 1996-97; Bayern Munich 2000-01
Intercontinental Cup: Bayern Munich 2001

Hitzfeld is one of only four managers to have won the UEFA Champions League with two clubs. His Champions League victory with Dortmund was the first in the club's history, while Bayern hadn't won the prestigious title for 35 years before 2001. Hitzfeld is thus a highly respected manager in Germany and Europe. His stint as the coach of the Swiss national team has been relatively successful. He achieved qualification for the 2010 World Cup, where Switzerland were the only team to beat eventual champions Spain. Due to his success and commanding personality, he is known as der General.
Louis van Gaal
Born: August 8, 1951
Nationality: Dutch
Career: 1991-present
Teams Managed: Ajax, Barcelona, Netherlands, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich
Eredivisie: Ajax 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96; AZ Alkmaar 2008-09
KNVB Cup: Ajax 1992-93
Dutch Supercup: Ajax 1993, 1994, 1995
La Liga: 1997-98, 1998-1999
Copa del Rey: Barcelona 1997-98
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich 2009-10
DFB-Pokal: Bayern Munich 2009-10
DFB-Supercup: Bayern Munich 2010
UEFA Champions League: Ajax 1994-95
UEFA Cup: Ajax 1991-92
UEFA Super Cup: Ajax 1995; Barcelona 1997
Intercontinental Cup: Ajax 1995

Louis van Gaal is one of the most successful and respected coaches in the modern game. He got his career off with a bang, coaching the most successful Ajax side since the Cruyff-dominated 1970s. He won every major trophy available to a Dutch club, and then emulated Cruyff by moving to Barcelona. Van Gaal is a self-confessed slow starter as a manager, and demands time to let his teams learn his way of playing. His successes with Ajax correspondingly came with a group of young, malleable, and versatile players, ready to be molded into the way Van Gaal wanted them to play. Van Gaal is known for his development of youth players. After developing a core of young, talented Dutch players at Ajax, he continued with the policy, and notably brought forth current German internationals Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber while at Bayern. He is also known to be flexible with his formations, adopting the formation best suited for the team, rather than forcing the formation on unsuitable players.
Otto Rehhagel
Born: August 9, 1938
Nationality: German
Career: 1972-present
Teams Managed: Rockenhausen, Saarbrücken, Kickers Offenbach, Borussia Dortmund, Arminia Bielefeld, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, Kaiserslautern, Greece, Hertha Berlin
UEFA Euro: Greece 2004
Bundesliga: Werder Bremen 1987-88, 1992-93; Kaiserslautern 1997-98
Bundesliga Second Division: Kaiserslautern 1996-97
DFB-Pokal: Fortuna Düsseldorf 1979-80, Werder Bremen 1990-91, 1993-94
DFL-Supercup: Werder Bremen 1988, 1993, 1994
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: Werder Bremen 1991-92

Rehhagel pulled off probably the best underdog story in European football, when he led Greece to victory in the 2004 Euro Championship. On their way to the trophy, Greece beat defending Champions France and hosts Portugal. The victory reaffirmed Rehhagel's fame as one of the best motivators in the modern game. Rehhagel's seemingly old-fashioned tactics, employing a libero, strong, uncompromising defenders, and high pressure from the wings, invited criticism in the modern era of fluid, ball-playing defenses, but Rehhagel backs up his continued usage of the system with his successes. Rehhagel used similar tactics and the famous motivational ability to inspire Kaiserslautern to the second and first division titles in successive years -- a first in German football, and a general rarity.
These were 25 of the greatest managers in the history of the beautiful game. Of course, it is impossible to include all the legends of the game in one list, not least because 'greatness' is defined and interpreted differently by everyone. These greats, however, definitely have their name carved in golden letters in the annals of soccer.