15 Best Soccer Coaches of All Time

Every fan knows ultimately; a good soccer coach is behind a team’s victory. A soccer coach is a key person who works with the players to bring out their full potential and devise a strategy to bring the best out of the team.

Among the long lists of the soccer coaches, what are the achievements that make the coaches on this list of the best soccer coaches of all time?

Without further delay, let’s go through this list of the best soccer coaches of all time to learn about them, shall we.

15 Best Soccer Coaches of All Time

The list below has been compiled from various sources around the web like Business Insider, All Famous, etc.

Here are 15 of those most celebrated, best soccer coaches from around the world who have excelled in their roles.

NamesNationality
15. Marcello LippiItaly
14. Louis Van GaalThe Netherlands
13. Fabio CapelloItaly
12. Antonio ConteItaly
11. Diego Pablo Simeone González Argentina
10. Carlo AncelottiItaly
 9. Giovanni TrapattoniItaly
 8. Johan CruyffThe Netherlands
 7. Ernst HappelAustria
 6. Helenio HerreraNaturalized French
 5. Arrigo SacchiItaly
 4. Ottmar HitzfeldGermany
 3. José MourinhoPortugal
 2. Zinedine ZidaneFrance
 1. Pep GuardiolaSpain

15. Marcello Lippi

Marcello Lippi was born in Viareggio in northern Italy. Initially, he started his professional career in soccer in the role of a sweeper’s defender in 1969.

Marcello held the helm of the Italian national soccer as a coach from 2004 to 2006. Likewise, the other clubs he coached in his initial days were Juventus and Internazionale.

Currently, he is managing the Chinese national team “Guangzhou Evergrande.”

Marcello Lippi in China Iran Press Conference
Marcello Lippi in China Iran Press Conference (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Marcello is highly regarded as one of the best soccer coaches. He was also listed in the top 50 managers of all time by Times magazine.

The notable titles won in Marcello’s career to date include 1 FIFA World cup, 5 Series Championships, 1 UEFA Champions League title.

Similarly, it also includes victories like 3 Chinese Super League and 1 AFC Champions League title.

14. Louis Van Gaal

Louis Van Gaal nicknamed the Iron Tulip started his career as a youngster playing for the Amsterdam amateur side RKSV de Meer.

Van Gaal has the coaching experience of nearly three decades. This dutch football manager has managed some of the biggest clubs in the soccer world, starting in the early nineties with Ajax.

Then he went ahead to manage FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United.

Despite his official retirement in 2019, he has returned to manage the Netherlands national team from August 4th, 2021.

Louis van Gaal’s biggest titles in his magnificent long coaching career consist of 2 La Liga Championships, 3 Eredivisie Championships.

It also consists of 1 Bundesliga, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 UEFA Cup, and 1 UEFA Champions League.

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13. Fabio Capello

Despite being infamous for his overly strict attitude, Fabio Capello is hailed as one of the most successful coaches.

He debuted his soccer career in 1964 as a midfielder for SPAL. After a career as a professional player for 15 years, Capello shifted to a coaching career.

He began coaching with AC Milan with the tremendous success of winning 4 Serie A championships.

Since then, he managed some of the biggest clubs like Real Madrid, Juventus, Roma, and the national teams of England and Russia.

Before his retirement as a coach, Capello won 5 Serie A Championships, 2 La Liga Championships, and 1 UEFA Champions League title.

12. Antonio Conte

One of the most celebrated players in the history of Juventus, Antonio Conte started his coaching journey in 2006.

Conte led the club to the Serie A title resulting in a win each season while managing Juventus for 3 years in the 2011-2012 season.

Antonio Conte december of 2016
Antonio Conte December of 2016 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The other clubs that Conte took over as a coach include Chelsea and Milan. He also managed the Italian national team till UEFA Euro 2016.

He won Premier League in the first season with Chelsea, the FA cup in 2018, and Serie A title in his second and final season with Milan.

11. Diego Pablo Simeone González

Diego Simeone is considered a rising star in the soccer coaching world. He started his professional soccer player career in 1987 before transitioning to coaching.

Simeone has coached Estudiantes de La Plata, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Italian club Catania, Argentine Sides Racing Club, and then Atletico Madrid.

He is considered an important club figure because of his contribution to Atletico Madrid as a professional player and a coach.

Simeone’s achievements include 2 UEFA Europa League, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 2 La Liga.

Moreover, he has also won titles like 1 Copa del Rey, the Spanish domestic cup, and the 2014 Spanish League title.

10. Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti (nicknamed “Carletto”) is considered one of the best soccer coaches. Ancelotti is one of the only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League three times.

Ancelotti is also one of the 7 people to have won the European Cup as both a player and a manager.

He began his professional playing career with the Italian club playing as a midfielder before becoming a coach. In the present, he manages La Liga club Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti 2012
Carlo Ancelotti 2012 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Ancelotti also has managed clubs like Juventus, Reggiana, Parma, AC Milan, Chelsea FC, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Everton, and Napoli.

His coaching career’s major title wins are 2 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Serie A Championships, 1 Premier League Championships, 1 Coppa Italia.

Furthermore, he has also won 3 European Super Cups, 1 Italian Super Cup, 2 German Super Cups, and 1 FA Cup.

9. Giovanni Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni is one of the celebrated coaches among the only 5 coaches to have won league titles in 4 different European countries in soccer history.

Trapattoni is also considered to be the most successful coach in the modern era of Serie A.

Trapattoni was a professional player and spent his entire club career with AC Milan. He began his coaching career as a youth team coach at Milan before taking on a caretaker coach.

Trapattoni managed some of the biggest clubs like Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, the Italian national team, and the Republic of Ireland in his coaching career.

During his managerial career, he won 7 Serie A Championships, 1 Bundesliga Championships, and 1 Primeira Liga Championships.

Likewise, he has also won 1 Austrian Bundesliga Championships, 1 UEFA Europa League, and 1 UEFA Champions League.

8. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff, nicknamed “El Falco,” is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in the soccer history. He was an excellent coach and one of the finest players of all time.

Cruyff managed Ajax and FC Barcelona during his career as a coach. He was an influential figure and is still considered to be one in the soccer history.

Johan Cruyff in Netherland
Johan Cruyff in Netherland (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Cruyff won 4 La Liga Championships, 2 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, and 1 UEFA Champions League in his managerial career.

Sadly, Johan Cruyff passed away on 24 March 2016. However, he is still remembered as one of the greatest soccer players and best soccer coaches of all time by the fans of the sport.

His soccer philosophy still influences coaches and players to date.

7. Ernst Happel

One can not mention Ernst Happel when it comes to some of the best soccer coaches of all time.

Happel is one of the 6 managers to win top-flight domestic league championships in at least 4 different countries. He is also one of the first 5 managers to win the European Cup with 2 clubs.

Happel retired as a soccer player in 1962. He then started his managerial career with ADO Den Haag.

His role as a manager leads him to manage some of the biggest clubs like Club Brugge, Hamburg, and The Netherlands national soccer team.

Over the course of this managerial career, he won 1 Eredivisie Championships, 3 Belgian Championships, 2 Bundesliga Championships.

Similarly, he has also won 2 Austrian Championships and 2 UEFA Champions League.

Unfortunately, Happel died of lung cancer at the age of 66 in 1992.

6. Helenio Herrera

Helenio Herrera was a naturalized French who is considered one of the important influencers in the soccer world.

Herrera debuted as a professional player in the soccer world before successfully transitioning to a coach.

He was the first manager to collect credits for his team’s performances. Consequently, he was considered a revolutionary during his time in the soccer world.

He was in charge of some of the biggest clubs like Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Inter Milan during his coaching career.

His major titles win 4 La Liga Championships, 3 Serie A Championships, and 2 UEFA Champions League.

Herrera died at the age of 87 years old on 9 November 1997.

5. Arrigo Sacchi

Unlike most of the coaches in this list, Arrigo Sacchi was never a professional soccer player before being a coach.

Famous for his quote, “I never realized that to become a jockey, you have to have been a horse first,” he was a shoe salesman before entering the soccer world.

He held the helm of popular clubs like AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, and the Italian national soccer team in his managerial career. After that, he slowly rose to the seat of one of the best soccer coaches of all time.

Even though Sacchi was not a World Cup-winning coach, he won 1 Serie A Championship and 2 UEFA Champions League coaches.

4. Ottmar Hitzfeld

Ottmar Hitzfeld (nickname “Der General ) is one of the celebrated coaches in the soccer world. He is among one of the only 5 managers to win the UEFA Champions League with two clubs.

Hitzfeld was a secondary school teacher for mathematics and sport before entering the soccer world.

He became a professional soccer player in the late 1960s and began his coaching journey at the beginning of the 1980s.

Hitzfled took the head coach role for Grasshopper, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, and the Swiss national team.

His managerial career is decorated with title wins like 2 Swiss Super League Championships, 7 Bundesliga Championships, and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.

After six years of a successful coaching career, Hitzfeld got retired in 2014.

3. José Mourinho

José Mourinho is a Portuguese-born coach who is considered one of the best soccer coaches of all time.

Mourinho transitioned to a coaching career after playing as a midfielder in the Portuguese Leagues. He has an awe-inspiring winning rate.

Despite his controversial personality, he is highly respected for his tactical knowledge, charisma, and knack for perfection.

José Mourinho 2017
José Mourinho 2017 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Mourinho is currently working as a head coach for Roma. Before that, he managed clubs like FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, etc.

Mourinho’s winning includes 2 Primeira Liga Championships, 3 Premier League Championships, 2 Serie A Championships. coupled with 1 La Liga Championship, 2 UEFA Europa League titles, and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.

2. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane is also undoubtedly one of the most skilled soccer coaches in the present time. 

Zidane had his first introduction to football at 5. However, his passion for soccer made him one of the best professional soccer players with outstanding control and dribbling skills.

After showcasing his phenomenal skills as a player, he moved on to be the coach for Real Madrid Castilla in 2014.

Zidane’s managerial skills have earned his team 1 La Liga Championship and 3 UEFA Champions League titles.

Currently, he is signed to be the head coach of Real Madrid until the summer of 2022.

1. Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is one of the acclaimed soccer coaches in the world. He holds the record for the most consecutive league games won in La Liga, the Bundesliga, and the Premier League.

Guardiola was inducted into the youth academy of Barcelona at the age of 13. There, his training officially started.

Pep Guardiola training FC Bayern Munich
Pep Guardiola training FC Bayern Munich (Source: Wikimedia.org)

He is regarded as one of the best soccer players and midfielders. In 2007, Guardiola got retired from being a professional player and started his managerial career.

He started his managerial career with Barcelona B. From then onwards, he had moved on to manage other clubs like Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Guardiola’s major title wins includes 3 La Liga Championships, 3 Bundesliga Championships, 1 Premier League and 2 UEFA Champions League title.

Presently, he has signed a 2-year contract with Manchester City until summer 2023.

Conclusion

In soccer, the player’s skills and teamwork play an important part in the victory. But it is also important for fans and alike to realize the vital role played by the coaches shaping the team to their success.

So, let’s celebrate these individuals for their hard work and contributions to the sport, making them the best soccer coaches of all time.

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