5 Young Managers Set to Emulate Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho
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The coaching carousel can be as dizzying as the transfer window in the realm of world football. Ah, to be a football manager in the top flight.
Through the muck, the two giants in the field remain Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.
Having signed on with the Red Devils in 1986, Sir Alex is the marathon man of Manchester United. Jose Mourinho is a bit more mercurial, but success has followed him at nearly every stop—a Champions League win with Porto, a treble with Inter Milan, Premier League titles with Chelsea and a La Liga title with current club Real Madrid.
With Pep Guardiola temporarily out of the coaching mix, it's pretty much Sir Alex, The Special One (maybe Arsene Wenger) and everyone else.
There are a handful of managers waiting in the wings who've either achieved some major success at a relatively young age—we're using under-48 as the barometer here—or seem to have that special mix of tactical shrewdness and panache.
Let's take a gander at five who could one day take up the mantle of Mourinho and Ferguson.
Roberto Di Matteo: Chelsea
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From interim manager to Champions League and FA Cup glory, Di Matteo seems best poised to ascend the ranks of football's premier stewards.
Hoisting the Cup in Munich must have been an exquisite feeling for the former MK Dons coach who was denied a position at Birmingham City in 2011.
Jurgen Klopp: Borussia Dortmund
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Since taking over the reins in 2008, Klopp has transformed a scuffling Borussia Dortmund side into repeat Bundesliga champs (2010-2011 and 2011-2012).
Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool
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Though Liverpool has stumbled out of the gate since Rodgers took over at Anfield, a job at one of the world's biggest clubs is a massive vote of confidence.
Hovering around the drop zone has never been a hallmark of job security in the EPL, but Rodgers is bound to right the ship before long.
Andre Villas-Boas: Tottenham
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A wildly successful first season as manager of Porto—an undefeated 2010-2011 Primeira Liga campaign and a UEFA Cup—led to Villas-Boas' hire at Chelsea at just 33 years of age.
AVB's dreadful first season at Stamford Bridge opened the door for Di Matteo and led to his arrival at Tottenham a year later.
Taking Tottenham to the next level is a challenge that many have succumbed to, but AVB has the chops to one day be among the managing elite, even if it's not at White Hart Lane.
Michael Laudrup: Swansea
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Though he is the least-decorated and oldest member of this list (47), Laudrup is well-regarded in the coaching ranks.
The former Brondby manager brought his free-flowing, aggressive brand of football to Swansea for the 2012 campaign.
The former Danish international could end up at a much larger club next season.
OK, Paolo Di Canio—aka, Mr. "League One!"—is probably not going to make it to the managerial inner circle any time soon, but here are a few others who just might:
- Heiko Vogel, 36, Basel
- Remi Garde, 46, Lyon
- Frank de Boer, 42, Ajax
- Unai Emery, 40, Spartak Moscow
- Vitor Pereira, 44, Porto