Ranking the 50 Best Managers of All Time on Trophy Hauls

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJune 19, 2013

Ranking the 50 Best Managers of All Time on Trophy Hauls

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    The worldwide game has made it tough to compare managers from different continents.

    With the quality of competition much higher in Spain than, for example, Saudi Arabia, how do we differentiate between the different achievements and varying trophy cabinets each coach can boast?

    We developed a simple metric system that converts trophy wins into points, and the top managers, by trophy haul, became clear.

    The shortlist started out 81-strong—featuring the likes of Bruce Arena, Artur Jorge and Abel Braga—and was whittled down to 50.

    The metric ranks different competitions in order of their level of prestige, number of clubs involved and competitive playing level. Winning the FIFA World Cup scores you a colossal 10, a major domestic league four points and the Charity Shield a paltry 0.5.

    Any club or national achievement is counted, while individual awards are not. If you see a "T" before the rank, it means the scores are level and the players are tied.

HN. Dick Advocaat

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    Points: 18

    Dick Advocaat is one of a number of coaches who've spread their wings in the football management world, taking in every possible opportunity no matter where the location may be.

    He's tried Russia, Netherlands, South Korea, Belgium, Scotland and more in attempt to secure more trophies, and he's landed top honours at Rangers, Zenit St Petersburg and PSV Eindhoven.

    He recently confirmed his retirement from the game.


HN. Stan Cullis

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    Points: 18

    In polar opposite fashion to Dick Advocaat, Stan Cullis accrued all of his honours at one club: Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    At 31 years of age, he presided over the club's most successful spell ever, landing three English Premier League titles (named First Division at the time) and two FA Cups.

    Wolves' ground, Molineux, has a "Stan Cullis Stand" dedicated to the impact he made.

HN. Ramon Diaz

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    Points: 18

    Ramon Diaz is one of River Plate's most successful coaches and holds a club-record five Argentine Primera Division wins.

    El Pelado—"Baldy," as he is affectionately known—boasts further individual success at San Lorenzo, but he's practically part of the furniture at los Millonarios.

    His Copa Libertadores win in 1996 sneaks him into our top 50.

HN. Tele Santana

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    Points: 18

    Tele Santana has managed his fair share of Brazilian clubs.

    He can boast silverware won with Fluminense, Gremio, Atletico Mineiro, Flamengo and Sao Paulo, winning as many Campeonato state championships as it's possible to count.

    As a player, he made more than 500 appearances for Fluminense.

HN. Vujadin Boskov

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    Points: 19

    Vujadin Boskov is one of Serbia's finest footballing exports.

    He managed Sampdoria in their heyday and claimed a priceless Serie A Scudetto, having already made his name at Real Madrid during the 1980s.

    He never tasted European success, but he did possess an impressive knack for winning the top domestic trophy available in any given league.

HN. Felix Magath

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    Points: 19

    Felix Magath is currently unemployed, and many fans simply can't understand why he's being overlooked for top vacancies across Europe.

    As a player he excelled in a wonderful Hamburg side, and as a manager he led Bayern Munich to consecutive domestic doubles circa 2005.

    He was also responsible for a Wolfsburg Bundesliga win in 2009, boasting a formidable strike duo of Edin Dzeko and Grafite.

50. Muricy Ramalho

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    Points: 19.5

    Muricy Ramalho is another talented head coach who has floated between Brazilian clubs and enjoyed success in various regions of the country.

    His best spell came in charge of Sao Paulo, where he won the Brasileiro Serie A title three seasons in a row. After spells at Fluminense and Palmeiras, he took charge of Santos, where he managed the prodigious talent of Neymar.

    In 2011, he delivered the ultimate prize: the Copa Libertadores.

49. Oleg Romantsev

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    Points: 20

    Oleg Romantsev is hardly the first name on the lips when it comes to discussing the world's greatest, but the sheer amount of titles he won in his native Russia enables him to qualify under our metric.

    He won the Russian Premier League an astonishing eight times with Spartak Moscow, giving the capital club unrivaled dominance in a growing competition.

    An assortment of domestic trinkets and cups followed.


48. Scott Symon

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    Points: 20.5

    Rangers and Celtic have enjoyed hugely dominant spells over Scottish football since its inception, and Scott Symon is the first of several who feature thanks largely due to their control of either club.

    Symon was a Rangers man, and after steering East Fife to unlikely cup success, he took the Gers into Europe and landed six Scottish Premier League titles.

    Oddly enough, after landing the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967, he was sacked.

47. Kenny Dalglish

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    Points: 21

    Fresh memories of Kenny Dalglish are far from positive, and it's easy to forget why his nickname deservedly remains "King Kenny."

    After 13 wonderful years as a player at Liverpool, he took the reins of the club and led them to three First Division titles, two FA Cups and four Charity Shields.

    He went on to win the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, fostering one of the finest strike partnerships England had ever witnessed in Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton.


T46. Luis Molowny

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    Points: 22

    Luis Molowny took in several spells with Real Madrid and proves value in the saying, "Practice makes perfect."

    In the end, he landed los Blancos two consecutive UEFA Cups, three La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey victories.

    Molowny passed away, aged 84, in February 2010.

T46. Mario Zagallo

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    Points: 22

    Not one to stick to the day in, day out regime of club management, Mario Zagallo tried his hand on the international scene after winning two FIFA World Cups as a player.

    Following suit, he led the Selecao to victory in the world's greatest competition in 1970 after being drafted in late to avoid a potentially embarrassing campaign.

    In 1997, he coached his nation to a Copa America win, presiding over talents such as Ronaldo and Romario.

    At club level, he secured Botafogo two state championships and a Taca Brasil.

T44. Roberto Scarone

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    Points: 23

    Midway through the 20th century, Penarol were an absolute force.

    They won the Copa Libertadores—a competition generally dominated by Brazilian and Argentinian sides—in consecutive years, adding three Uruguayan league titles to their history at the same time.

    Roberto Scarone was the man at the helm, and he enjoyed prolific spells with Universitario and Nacional, among others, in a fine end to his career.

T44. Bobby Robson

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    Points: 23

    The legendary Bobby Robson left his fingerprint on global football, and his presence and influence can be seen in many of today's top managers and tacticians.

    He guided Ipswich Town to FA Cup honours and enjoyed success with Barcelona, Porto and PSV Eindhoven—all while teaching and instructing eager young coaches who would go on to great things.

    He even placed fourth at a FIFA World Cup with England.

42. Arrigo Sacchi

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    Points: 24.5

    Arrigo Sacchi is a particular favourite on the tactical blogs due to his impressive work with Milan in 1990.

    He delivered a European Cup to the San Siro club using a 4-4-2 formation founded on the idea of controlling space and a high defensive line.

    His pressing methods have really caught on.

41. Bela Guttman

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    Points: 25

    Bela Guttman's impact on Benfica was so severe, the locals believe he left a curse lingering over the club after he departed.

    His two European Cup wins with the Eagles represent the true highlight of an illustrious career, changing the face of modern football and developing the game from a tactical standpoint.

    Since his departure, Benfica have lost an astonishing amount of finals. Seasons such as the one just gone, in which the side lost three cup finals, do nothing to calm the fears of the curse being real.

T40. Roberto Mancini

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    Points: 26

    Hounded out of Manchester City, Roberto Mancini will know he did a good job in a high-pressure situation and leaves with his head held high.

    His outrageous domestic success in his native Italy assures him of a place in the 50 most successful managers of all time; Four Coppa Italia wins and three Serie A titles, added to his titles in England, make for a cosy trophy cabinet.

    The Italian has indicated his willingness to return to management to the Associated Press, via Mail.com, potentially eyeing a 2014 FIFA World Cup job.

T40. Aime Jacquet

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    Points: 26

    Aime Jacquet guided his nation to a home FIFA World Cup win—a feat which cannot be understated considering the pressures and expectations involved.

    His success in the 1980s with Girondins Bordeaux, with whom he lifted the Ligue 1 title three times and the Coupe de France twice, gave him the platform to step into international management and succeed.

    Even better, he managed to rinse an impressive Brazil side in the World Cup final 3-0 with the much-maligned Stephane Guivarc'h on the pitch.

T40. Lula

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    Points: 26

    Luis Alonso Perez—or Lula, for short—is one of Brazil's most successful domestic managers.

    He won the Tacas Brasil an incredible five times, two Copa Libertadores and seven Campeonatos state championships for his beloved Santos, making them a dominant force from 1954 to 1966.

    He won one last state championship for Corinthians before retiring.

T37. Sven-Goran Eriksson

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    Points: 26.5

    The fact that Sven-Goran Eriksson has taken jobs at the likes of Notts County and Leicester takes away from his brilliant beginnings as a manager.

    He enjoyed glorious years with Sampdoria, Benfica, Roma and Lazio before trying his hand at one of the most enduring, difficult and challenging jobs in world football: the England national team.

    He's currently at Guangzhou R&F in China.


T37. Raymond Goethals

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    Points: 26.5

    Raymond Goethals is the most successful Belgian manager ever to have graced the managerial game, cutting his teeth with Anderlecht and Standard Liege before moving onto Europe's big guns.

    He took charge of Marseille in 1991 and won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles.

    At the culmination of the 1992-93 season, Goethals led L'OM to victory in the UEFA Champions League final, beating Milan 1-0 in Munich.

T35. Rafa Benitez

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    Points: 27

    Rafa Benitez attracts a curious amount of hatred and mockery considering the amount of titles he's won and the clubs he's managed.

    He's one of the few men who have been able to break up the Spanish Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly in La Liga, while he won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.

    Even at Chelsea, where he was booed vociferously by the home support, he won the Europa League.

    Impressive stuff.

T35. Guus Hiddink

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    Points: 27

    From one Chelsea interim manager to another, then.

    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 took South Korea to dizzying heights in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, then managed Australia and Russia in final attempts to succeed on the international stage,

    He's currently in charge of the mega-rich Anzhi Makhachkala.

33. Walter Smith

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    Points: 28

    Walter Smith is one of the most decorated Rangers managers in history.

    He lead the Gers to 10 Scottish Premier League titles and eight total domestic cups. He now works on the board of the club as chairman, fighting to get the club back to the top tier.

    He took in a spell at Everton, and also served as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson in 2004.

32. Otto Rehhagel

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    Points: 28.5

    Otto Rehhagel was the defensive genius behind Greece's unthinkable Euro 2004 win in Portugal.

    That remains his crowning achievement—it would take something pretty special to top it, mind—and he has experienced success with Fortuna Dusseldorf, Kaiserslautern and Werder Bremen, too.

    His last job was in charge of Hertha Berlin.

31. Luis Cubilla

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    Points: 29

    Luis Cubilla was the mastermind behind a dominant Olimpia side between 1979 and 1999.

    The Uruguayan coach played under the aforementioned Roberto Scarone at Penarol and clearly took plenty of what he said on board.

    He boasts an absurd 17 titles as a tactician, winning the Copa Libertadores twice.

30. Jupp Heynckes

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    Points: 30

    Jupp Heynckes secured the historic treble for Bayern Munich this season, winning the DFB Pokal, the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.

    His reward? Sacked, in favour of a younger, shinier model of manager.

    That's the second time he's been removed after winning the Champions League, having been forced out after his triumph at Real Madrid in 1998.

29. Brian Clough

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    Points: 30.5

    Brian Clough is a truly famous figure in English football.

    The amount of stories that surround his managerial career is astonishing, each story as alarming and entertaining as the next.

    Luckily for him, he got away with his methods because he was so good at getting results. The European Cup with Nottingham Forest was a particular highlight.

T28. Arsene Wenger

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    Points: 31

    As the animosity toward Arsene Wenger grows and grows, it becomes easy to forget all of the great work he's done at Arsenal over the last decade-and-a-half.

    Coming in fresh from successes at Monaco, he's recruited well, stuck to his principles and made the football club a lot of money.

    With new money coming in, the trophy drought won't go on much longer.


T28. Rinus Michels

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    Points: 31

    Rinus Michels has left one of the biggest stylistic footprints on the game.

    His work in the Netherlands lead to an impressive Euro 1988 victory over the Soviet Union, utilising the perfect mixture of free-flowing, pass-and-move football and a ruthless securing of results.

    He went on to inspire many players to become fantastic coaches—á la Bobby Robson—and tasted futher success in Spain and Germany.

26. Vanderlei Luxemburgo

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    Points: 31.5

    Vanderlei Luxemburgo has been a huge success in the Brazilian domestic leagues, winning Serie A and state championship titles with ease for several different clubs.

    His cameo at Real Madrid—in which he tried to bring the magical quadrilateral formation to Europe—failed, but he bounced back with ease at Santos and continues to impress.

    The 1999 Copa America win with Brazil is the highlight of his C.V.

25. Luiz Felipe Scolari

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    Points: 33.5

    Luiz Felipe Scolari's big achievement in his career remains the FIFA World Cup triumph with Brazil.

    Most would be satisfied with one, but no, Felipao simply couldn't resist the call from the Brazilian FA to come back and manage the Selecao in front of a home crowd.

    His domestic success is rather sporadic, with titles and cups in the Brasileiro Serie A, Uzbekistan and Kuwait.

24. Johan Cruyff

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    Points: 34

    Johan Cruyff shone as a player, scoring impossible goals and carrying both club and country in the depths of major international tournaments.

    Turning manager, he revolutionised the game, and the framework he built at Barcelona can be found bearing fruits in the forms of Thiago Alcantara, Pedro and Sergio Busquets.

    Cules have a lot to thank for him for.

23. Sir Matt Busby

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    Points 34.5

    Sir Matt Busby led a Manchester United team to five First Division titles, two FA Cups and even a European Cup.

    He did so in tragic circumstances following the Munich Air disaster, and every British kid knows the meaning of the phrase "the Busby Babes."

    Busby famously declined "managing paradise" in the form of Real Madrid, rejecting the club's advances and suggesting Manchester was "his heaven."

22. Carlo Ancelotti

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    Points: 35

    With the Ligue 1 title secured, Carlo Ancelotti has now sampled title success in three different countries.

    He secured Milan two UEFA Champions League titles in 2003 and 2007, respectively, and has Premier League success in the form of Chelsea on his C.V. too.

    Marca have suggested his next destination will be Real Madrid—will he make it four major European countries, then?

21. Carlos Bianchi

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    Points: 35.5

    Carlos Bianchi is a popular figure in Argentina, having greatly influenced their footballing school of thought.

    He's won the Copa Libertadores an astonishing four times—once with Velez Sarsfield, three times with Boca Juniors—and a host of Primera Divisions too.

    "The Viceroy," as they call him, is back at Boca after a break from the game.

20. Pepe Villalonga

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    Points: 36

    Pepe Villalonga is the champion on Madrid.

    After winning two European Cups and two Spanish cups at Real Madrid, he switched sides and joined the Atletico side of the capital.

    There, he won a Cup Winners' Cup and finished runner-up in the league. He went on to manage Spain to victory in the 1964 European Championships.

19. Mircea Lucescu

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    Points: 37.5

    Mircea Lucescu remains one of the most underrated and understated coaches in the game.

    There's no denying that his club, Shakhtar Donetsk, play some of the best football in Europe. Brendan Rodgers, among others, is seeking to replicate his advanced, entertaining system on the pitch by bringing in some of the Hirnyky's players.

    Lucescu has always been ahead of the game and isn't afraid to try something innovative to get results.

18. Pep Guardiola

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    Points: 38

    Pep Guardiola has the hardest job in football next season as he succeeds Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich, but don't doubt his C.V. for one second.

    At 42 years of age he's won more than most could dream of, including two UEFA Champions Leagues, three La Ligas and two Copa del Reys with Barcelona.

    He played for Barca, he managed Barca; it will be interesting to see him tackle a club not made of his own flesh and blood.

17. Louis Van Gaal

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    Points: 39.5

    Louis van Gaal is working wonders with the Netherlands, sculpting a great back line and utilising all the superb youth products moving into the prime of their careers.

    The Dutch needed a world-class manager to guide them into the 2014 World Cup after Bert van Marwijk's disastrous Euro 2012, and van Gaal is the perfect man to do it.

    Victory in Brazil would surpass all of his achievements so far—including winning the UEFA Champions League with Ajax.

16. Nils Arne Eggen

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    Points: 40

    Nils Arne Eggen takes deep inspiration from Rinus Michels' work and favours a teamwork-first 4-3-3 shape in his teachings.

    Eggen was responsible for Rosenborg's 11 consecutive Norwegian titles straddling the turn of the year—a truly remarkable feat that enables him to climb unusually high in our rankings.

15. Fabio Capello

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    Points: 41

    Fabio Capello knows his next adventure into the FIFA World Cup with Russia is one of his final chances to land some silverware.

    He's won the Serie A a remarkable nine times—why not try something new?

    His last adventure, in charge of England, ended poorly, but PSG will enter the new season clear favourites to win Ligue 1.

14. Vicente Del Bosque

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    Points: 42

    There are those who claim Vincente Del Bosque has the easiest job in football, but don't be fooled by his calm, complacent nature on the touchline.

    Spain went stale and dragged themselves to victory at Euro 2012, but their showings at the 2013 Confederations Cup have been truly electric.

    La Roja have evolved, improved and changed to stay on top. It's what's made Del Bosque such a great coach throughout his career.

13. Jock Stein

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    Points: 43

    Jock Stein's Celtic are one of the greatest sides ever to play football.

    They conquered "La Grande Inter" in the UEFA Champions League final in 1967, boasting electric players such as club legend Jimmy Johnstone and Stevie Chalmers.

    Ten Scottish league titles, eight Scottish cups and six Scottish league cups ensured they were the dominant domestic force across the 1960s and 1970s.

T12. Marcello Lippi

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    Points: 44.5

    Marcello Lippi, manager of Guangzhou, is easily forgotten due to his current placement out in the Far East.

    But this is a man who's won five Serie A titles and a UEFA Champions League with Juventus, then went on to conquer the world in 2006 with his national side Italy.

    Hes one of the finest managers the game has seen, and he's doing an excellent job raising the profile of Asia's domestic football market.

T12. Ernst Happel

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    Points: 44.5

    Back in the day when money didn't govern football, Ernst Happel took Feyenoord to the summit of Europe by winning the UEFA Champions League.

    He went on to enjoy great success in the Belgian leagues, finished runner-up with the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup and take Hamburg to contintental supremacy too.

    Happel is one of only four coaches in history to win the Champions League with two different sides.

10. Bill Struth

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    Points: 46

    Bill Struth was a true disciplinarian and set many standards—both on and off the field—that football follows today.

    He won a remarkable 14 Scottish titles in a 19-year span as Rangers manager, essentially making the club the premier outfit in the country at the time.

    A painting of him sits in the Glaswegian side's board room, a tribute to his influence on their history.

9. Helenio Herrera

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    Points: 52

    Helenio Herrera's methods have been questioned, but his results were ruthless and effective.

    He developed the infamous Italian defensive system known as catenaccio, drilling his side to withstand any and all attacks.

    He won Internazionale the European Cup in 1964 and 1965, brought three Scudettos to the San Siro and excelled for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid too.

T8. Udo Lattek

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    Points: 53

    Udo Lattek led Bayern Munich through an extremely dominant period in the late 20th century.

    Between domestic cup and title success with the Bavarian outfit, he hauled in trophies with Barcelona and Borussia Moenchengladbach, too.

    The German, now 78 years of age, appears infrequently as a sports broadcaster and pundit.

T8. Willie Maley

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    Points: 53

    Willie Maley won 16 Scottish titles with Celtic in a truly inspiring tenure at the football club.

    He added 14 Scottish Cups and 14 Glasgow Cups to his C.V. while he was at it, making for a trophy haul-high in terms of pure numbers on this list.

    Maley is the most successful man ever to manage in Scotland.

6. Jose Mourinho

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    Points: 54

    It doesn't matter if he's happy, special or simply downright disgruntled, Jose Mourinho wins trophies.

    As Real Madrid manager, he stopped Barcelona in their tracks just as they were starting to appear unbeatable, and who can forget his historic treble at Internazionale?

    Nine years ago it all started in FC Porto, winning the double. Now, on his return to Chelsea, he's looking to win the UEFA Champions League with a third club.

5. Ottmar Hitzfeld

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    Points: 55

    As manager of Switzerland, Ottmar Hitzfeld gets little attention.

    Few have dominated Germany in a way he has, though, recording seven Bundesliga titles, countless cups and even a Champions League win with Bayern Munich.

    He's achieved club-level success with Swiss sides, too, and clearly has a penchant for the country.

4. Bob Paisley

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    Points: 58

    Apart from his fantastic quotes, Bob Paisley was also rather famous for his impressive tenure as Liverpool manager in the 1970s.

    He won six Premier League titles and an immense three European Cups with his beloved Reds, sewing his name into the club's history books, folklore and stadia chants.

    He was awarded an OBE for his service to English football in 1983.

3. Miguel Munoz

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    Points: 58.5

    Two of Real Madrid's impressive nine European Cup successes can be attributed to one man: Miguel Munoz.

    He also presided over one of the most dominant periods for one club in the history of the game, securing eight La Liga titles inside a single decade.

    Munoz sadly passed away in Madrid in 1990, but he is still a true hero in the capital.

2. Giovanni Trapattoni

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    Points: 60

    Giovanni Trapattoni has seen it all, done it all.

    His trophy haul with Juventus was beyond absurd, and he's gone on to impress in Austria, Portugal, and Germany too.

    Current boss of Republic of Ireland, "Trap" knows it will be a miracle if he is able to extract any major international trophies out of the Boys in Green.

1. Sir Alex Ferguson

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    Points: 100.5

    The greatest manager of all time in almost every aspect of the game is Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Football will do well to find another like him—and another club willing to display patience like Manchester United did—and Fergie sweeps our list with ease.

    A fantastic man-manager and student of the game, his trophy haul will take some beating.