20 Best Coaches in World Football Right Now
Who are the 20 best coaches in world football right now, and who, more importantly, is No. 1?
With Sir Alex Ferguson retired and consigned the the history books, a new man rises to take his place atop the pyramid. Fergie's presence was a foregone conclusion, but the new man's is not.
Take a look at our rankings, based not solely on this season, but each manager's career span, and have your say in the comments!
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Frank de Boer
20. Luciano Spalletti
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Luciano Spalletti currently manages Zenit St. Petersburg, but many wish he would move to a more central European club.
He is famous for devising the false-nine formula from which a Francesco Totti-inspired Roma entertained the world, and that system ensured the Giallorossi experienced significant cup success.
He's got a few titles out in Russia, and it doesn't seem like he's coming "home" any time soon—he signed a contract extension with Zenit as recently as Febraury, staying on for three more seasons.
19. Andre Villas-Boas
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In the end, it was disappointment for the Tottenham fans once more, but they ran Arsenal mighty close and can look back on their season with pride.
Andre Villas-Boas has taken one giant stride toward convincing people his failures at Chelsea were a one-off, and it's easy to forget this is a treble-winning coach we're looking at.
He wasn't left much other than a starting XI by previous incumbent Harry Redknapp, and did extremely well to keep his side competitive for so long in the season.
18. Marcelo Bielsa
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The day Marcelo Bielsa retires will be a sad day for football, as his crazy antics and strange ways of working never fail to entertain the masses.
He led an Argentine side blessed with talent to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, but that remains his most prestigious achievement—finishing as runner up in both the Europa League and the Copa del Rey in 2012 was nothing short of heartbreak.
Nevertheless, he's a tactical visionary who does things differently. He will always have a hardcore group of fans in the game.
17. Antonio Conte
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Antonio Conte has just led Juventus to consecutive Serie A titles.
Add in a SuperCoppa in 2012 and a 49-game unbeaten streak and you've got yourself a truly classy, long-term manager at the helm of one of the world's finest clubs.
Conte was shown up a little in the Champions League this season in a tactical sense, but will learn from his first encounter at the highest level and come back stronger for the 2013-14 charge.
16. Mircea Lucescu
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When Mircea Lucescu signed with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2004, many expected it to be a short-term thing. Why? Because it was to be the 11th side managed in his illustrious career so far.
But nine years on, he's still in Ukraine. Seven league titles, five Ukrainian cups, four Ukrainian Super Cups and a UEFA cup represent a seriously successful trophy haul for the Romanian.
His club's dominance in Eastern Europe is getting a little silly.
15. Fatih Terim
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On the back of two consecutive Turkish Super Liga titles, Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim's name should carry more weight than it currently does.
Terim eased his side into the Champions League quarterfinals, competed well with Real Madrid and finally got Burak Yilmaz to show his limitless potential.
His managerial record glitters compared to many, and he was also the man responsible for Turkey's surprise appearance in the Euro 2008 semifinals.
14. Manuel Pellegrini
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Claims that Manuel Pellegrini isn't up the task at Manchester City on account of his lack of trophies can be instantly dismissed as misguided.
The Chilean is a tactical wizard, and fell victim to only managing lesser clubs such as Malaga and Villarreal. He overachieved with both, and his one shot at stardom with Real Madrid was ruined by Florentino Perez's ruthless signing of Galacticos.
Expect Pellegrini to finally start stocking up on the silverware he's deserved for so long.
13. Juergen Klopp
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Lovable Juergen Klopp remained dignified and positive after losing the 2013 Champions League final, choosing to only praise Bayern Munich for their efforts and refuse to speak of his own players.
That's what makes him a coveted coach—not only is he tactically astute and great with the players, but also a true gentleman behind the microphone.
In fours years at Borussia Dortmund, he's taken the club back from the brink to win two Bundesliga titles, one Pokal and reach a European final. Not bad.
12. Luiz Felipe Scolari
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Luiz Felipe Scolari couldn't resist: He's in charge of Brazil for a second time ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He won it back in 2002, and now the public expect a repeat result. Between tenures in charge of his nation, he's managed all over the world and even given the Chelsea job a go.
His most successful ever period remains in charge of Gremio.
11. Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink made his name in the Netherlands by winning six Eredivisie titles and four domestic cups, but most impressive was his European Cup triumph in 1988.
He's been on to manage moderate success at international level, while he also holds the prestigious record of being one of the only interim Chelsea managers the players actually wanted to keep.
Now, he manages Anzhi Makhachkala—a Russian venture that appears to be his final swan song.
10. Arsene Wenger
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However beleaguered boss Arsene Wenger becomes, he will always have a stellar C.V. to fall back on.
He's won titles in Japan, France and England, while also collecting six domestic cup trophies and creating the Arsenal side known as "The Invincibles."
He's been the Gunners' boss since 1996, a rare spate of loyalty in a game littered with rash decisions and departures.
9. Carlo Ancelotti
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Carlo Ancelotti's name doesn't share the prestigious ring of his counterparts at times, but there's no denying the outrageous success he's enjoyed as manager.
He's picked up domestic titles with Paris Saint-Germain, Milan, Chelsea, and even added two Champions League wins to his cabinet while in charge of the Rossoneri.
If Real Madrid snare him, they're taking on a born winner.
8. Rafa Benitez
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Reputation tarnished but intact, Rafa Benitez will feel he did a fantastic job in a poisonous Chelsea atmosphere last season.
He's the man who achieved the rare feat of breaking the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly in La Liga, while he also won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.
His haul of a Europa League victory means he leaves Stamford Bridge with his head held high, entering his new adventure at Napoli with optimism and positive expectation.
7. Marcello Lippi
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Marcello Lippi is currently managing Guangzhou Evergrande, so for those not acquainted with Chinese football, it's easy to believe he's fallen off the map.
The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner has collected a Chinese Super League and a Chinese FA Cup so far, adding to the five Serie A titles collected while in charge of Juventus.
He won the Champions League in 2006, guiding the Bianconeri to victory over Ajax.
6. Louis Van Gaal
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Louis van Gaal is easily one of the most decorated managers in world football history, collecting honours in three separate countries.
He's won the domestic league with AZ Alkmaar, Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern Munich, and collected a Champions League win in 1995 with de Godenzonen.
Right now, he's steadily returning the Dutch national team to its former glory after a disastrous 2012 under Bert van Marwijk.
5. Otmar Hitzfield
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Ottmar Hitzeld has been hiding away as manager of Switzerland for five years, meaning many forget his name when discussing the greats.
Few have dominated Germany in a way he has, though, recording seven Bundesliga titles, countless cups and even a Champions League with Bayern Munich.
He's also lead Grasshopper to domestic glory in the Swiss Super League.
4. Pep Guardiola
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Pep Guardiola is walking into one of the worst jobs in the world due to the success Bayern Munich's previous coach enjoyed.
But this is Pep we're talking about: A tactical visionary and innovator of methods, thumbing the pages of history for divine inspiration and success.
His four years at Barcelona were unprecedented, winning 14 of 16 trophies available to him during his time at the helm at Camp Nou.
With the squad being built at the Allianz Arena, expect nothing to change.
3. Vicente Del Bosque
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Some believe Vicente del Bosque has the easiest job in sports, but that's not strictly true.
He's earned his stripes with a double Champions League win with Real Madrid at the start of the century, then moved on to succeed Luis Aragones after a successful Euro 2008.
He guided la Furia Roja to a win in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, then repeated Aragones' success at Euro 2012.
He leads his side into the 2013 Confederations Cup as favourites to win that, too.
2. Jose Mourinho
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Twice a Champions League winner, Jose Mourinho will be looking to go the distance with Chelsea and become a rare phenomenon in world football.
He knocked Barcelona off their pedestal just as they were beginning to look truly unstoppable, and achieved a historic treble at Internazionale.
Despite it occurring nine years ago, his famous double at FC Porto remains one of his greatest ever achievements.
1. Jupp Heynckes
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Jupp Heynckes has done the unthinkable, and despite his probable impending retirement, we honour him here.
To be ousted from your job by a younger, sexier model as early as February and still continue to smash records in half takes some kind of mental strength, and Bayern Munich fans will always be thankful to this revered tactician.
The European treble was a stunning, if not expect, climax to a wonderful season.