10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

most successful champions league managers

10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Most Successful Managers in Champions League History? Who are the most Successful Managers in Champions League? Ever wondered who are the most successful managers in Champions League history? Over the years, we have had amazing football managers world wide. Despite having so great managers, we have managed to compile a list of the most successful managers of Champions League history listed under the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History going all the way back to the 1900’s up to 2000’s.

Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Ten Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Previously we have published the Top 10 Highest Spending Managers Of The Last Decade & Top 10 Highest Paid Football Managers 2018 if you haven’t seen these make sure you do after this list of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

10. Carlo Ancelotti-3 Champions League titles as manager (2003, 2007, 2014)

Carlo Ancelotti is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Carlo Ancelotti is One of only six people to have lifted the European Champion Clubs’ Cup as both a player and coach and the second manager, after Bob Paisley, to win the trophy three times. A combative midfielder, he helped Roma win the 1983 Serie A title and four Italian Cups before joining Milan in 1986 where he added two more league championships, as well as back-to-back European Cup triumphs in 1989 and 1990.

During eight seasons in charge, he won the UEFA Champions League in 2003 and 2007, but lost the 2005 final on penalties to Liverpool FC after leading 3-0. He Left to take over at Madrid in 2013 on a three-year contract, winning the Copa del Rey and the club’s tenth European Cup in his first season, becoming only the fifth coach to win the trophy with two clubs in the process. Madrid added the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the following campaign, the fifth time Ancelotti had won that trophy as player or coach.

9. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Johan Cruyff followed in the footsteps of his mentor Rinus Michels, coaching a young Ajax side to victory in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987. In May and June 1985, Cruyff returned to Ajax again. In the 1985–86 season, the league title was lost to Guus Hiddink’s PSV, despite Ajax having a goal difference of +85 (120 goals for, 35 goals against). In the 1985–86 and 1986–87 seasons, Ajax won the Dutch Cup (KNVB-Beker).

In 1988, Cruyff returned to FC Barcelona as manager. At Barcelona Cruyff’s “Dream Team” won La Liga four times between 1991 and 1994, and beat Sampdoria in both the 1989 European Cup Winners’ Cup final and the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley.

Barcelona won a Copa del Rey in 1990, the European Super Cup in 1992 and three Supercopa de España as well as finishing runner-up to Manchester United and A.C. Milan in two European finals. With 11 trophies, Cruyff was Barcelona’s most successful manager but has since been surpassed by his former pupil Pep Guardiola who achieved 15.

Just last week the great Dutch legend passed away at his home in Barcelona after loosing a battle with cancer see full story here Football legend Cruyff dies aged 68

He is one of the most successful managers in Champions League history.

8. Udo Lattek

Udo is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Farmer’s son Udo Lattek was a phenomenally successful football coach, the only man to attain the continental game’s triple crown – the European Cup, the Cup-Winners’ Cup and the Uefa Cup – by triumphing with three different clubs. Then there was the little matter of eight Bundesliga championships, six with Bayern Munich and two with Borussia Mönchengladbach, and three German Cups, and more, his avalanche of honours spread over a glittering career that spanned three decades.

A relatively indifferent spell followed, the coach leaving to take the reins of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and soon he was presiding over a golden era for his new employers. There were Bundesliga titles in 1976 and ’77, and the Uefa Cup was won by defeating Red Star Belgrade over two legs in 1979. The euphoria was dented only by the loss of the 1977 European Cup final to Bob Paisley’s Liverpool in Rome, where the likes of Berti Vogts, Rainer Bonhof and Allan Simonsen were outshone by Kevin Keegan, Tommy Smith and company.

7. Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Rafael Benitez has previously managed Valencia CF, CD Tenerife, CF Extremadura, CA Osasuna, Real Valladolid and Real Madrid B. Benítez became the most successful Valencia CF manager in their history after just three seasons in charge. In 2002 he led the club to their first La Liga title since 1971 and in 2004 he led the club to a La Liga/UEFA Cup double.

In 2005 he guided Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Champions League and the European Supercup. Benítez became only the third manager, after Bob Paisley and José Mourinho, to win the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League in successive seasons and he is the first manager to achieve this with two different clubs. He became the second Liverpool manager, after Joe Fagan, to win the European Cup in his first season in charge.

He is one of the Most Successful Managers in Champions League History.

6. Jose Villalonga Llorente

Jose Villalonga Llorente is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

José Villalonga and also known as Pepe Villalonga, was a Spanish football manager during the 1950s and 1960s. He coached Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Spain, winning major trophies with all three. Villalonga was appointed manager of Real Madrid during the middle of the 1954-55 season, During his first season he won a La Liga/Copa Latino double and in 1956 he became the first coach to win the European Cup.

At 36 and 184 days, he remains to date the youngest coach to win the competition. During his final season at Real he guided the team to a La Liga/Copa Latina/European Cup treble. In 1959 Villalonga became coach at Atlético Madrid, Atlético defeated Real in two successive Copa del Generalísimo finals in 1960 and 1961. They also finished as runners-up in La Liga in 1961 and in 1962 they won the European Cup Winners Cup, beating Fiorentina 3-0 after a replay.

5. Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Jose Mourinho is one of the Most Successful Managers in Champions League History. Jose Mourinho is regarded by a number of players, coaches, and commentators as one of the greatest and most successful managers in the world. In 2015 Mourinho was named the best Portuguese coach of the century by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). He returned to Porto in early 2002 as head coach, winning the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, and UEFA Cup in 2003. In the next season, Mourinho guided the team to victory in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, to the top of the league for a second time, and won the highest honour in European club football, the UEFA Champions League.

Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following year and won the Premier League title with a record 95 points, the club’s first league title in 50 years, and the League Cup in his first season. In his second year, Chelsea retained the Premier League and in 2006–07 he took the club to an FA Cup and League Cup double. Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007, amidst reports of a rift with club owner Roman Abramovich. In 2008, Mourinho moved to Serie A club Internazionale. Within three months he had won his first Italian honour, the Supercoppa Italiana, and completed the season by winning the Serie A title.

In 2009–10, Inter became the first Italian club to win the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League, also the first time Inter had won the latter competition since 1965. Beside Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti, Mourinho is one of only five coaches to have won the European Cup with two different teams. He won the first ever FIFA World Coach of the Year Award in 2010. He then signed with Real Madrid in 2010, winning the Copa del Rey in his first season. The following year, he won the La Liga and became the fifth coach, after Tomislav Ivić, Ernst Happel, Giovanni Trapattoni and Eric Gerets, to have won league titles in at least four different countries: Portugal, England, Italy, and Spain. After leaving Madrid in June 2013, Mourinho returned to England to manage Chelsea for a second spell, during which they won another league championship.

4. Nereo Rocco

Nereo Rocco is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Nereo Rocco was an Italian football manager. Regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time, he is famous for having been one of the most successful head coaches in Italy, winning several domestic and international titles during his tenure with A.C. Milan, and was the first proponent of catenaccio in the country. Rocco made his coaching debut for Triestina in 1947. He obtained a surprising second place in the Serie A, which is still the highest result ever reached by the team.

In 1961, Rocco was appointed as new AC Milan coach, starting one of the most successful periods for the rossoneri, winning the Italian league and the European Cup in 1963. After a good stint at Torino, where he obtained the best results since the disappearance of the Grande Torino, in 1967 Rocco returned to AC Milan, where he immediately won another scudetto and the Cup Winners’ Cup.He left AC Milan in 1973, after having won also another European Cup in 1969, an Intercontinental Cup, an Italian Cup and another Cup Winners’ Cup.

3. Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Fergusson is one of the 10 Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league championships, four Scottish Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986.

During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles. He was knighted in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for his services to the game. Ferguson is the longest serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby’s record on 19 December 2010. He retired from management at the end of the 2012– 13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season.

2. Bob Paisley

Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Bob Paisley was an English footballer and manager who spent almost fifty years with Liverpool as a wing half, physiotherapist, coach and manager. Due to his achievements as Liverpool manager, Paisley is one of the most successful English football managers of all time.[1] He is also considered as one of the greatest managers of all time. Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti are the only managers to have won the European Cup three times. During his nine- year tenure as Liverpool manager, Paisley won honours at a rate of 2.2 per season, a rate surpassed only by Pep Guardiola.

He is one of five managers to have won the English top-flight championship as both player and manager at the same club. In 1974, Shankly retired as Liverpool manager and, despite Paisley’s own initial reluctance, he was appointed as Shankly’s successor. He went on to lead Liverpool through a period of domestic and European dominance, winning twenty honours in nine seasons: six League Championships, three League Cups, six Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup. At the time of his retirement, he had won the Manager of the Year Award a record six times.

1. Giovanni Trapattoni

Most Successful Managers in Champions League History

Giovanni Trapattoni is number 1 on the Most Successful Managers in Champions League history list. Trapottoni is an Italian football manager who is considered the most successful club coach in the history of Serie A. One of the most celebrated managers in football history, Trapattoni is one of only four coaches, alongside Ernst Happel, José Mourinho, and Tomislav Ivić to have won league titles (10) in four different countries. Alongside Udo Lattek, he is the only coach to have won all three major European club titles and the only one to make it with the same club.

Also, he is the only one to have won all official continental club competitions and the world title, achieving this with Juventus during his first spell with the club. He is one of the rare few to have won the European Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup and Intercontinental Cup as both a player and manager.

Special Mention:

Zinedine Zidane

The Frenchman took over at Real Madrid as caretaker manager and went on to win the Champions League in his debut season despite taking over mid-season. It ended up with him being appointed as the permanent manager and Zidane went on to become the first ever manager in the history of the Champions League to defend the crown. He even furthered his record by winning it for the third time in three attempts.

Definitely a manager for the history books, he is already one of the best managers in the Champions League. We however, expect a lot more to come from Zizou and hence are waiting to put him in the list.


1 Comment

  1. cambridge

    Apr 6, 2016 at 7:03 am


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