Top 13 International Managers in World Football Right Now
In the world of international football, there is an ever-changing coaching cycle for the top nations. The most common association's approach is to experiment, analyze, fire and re-experiment at the start of every four year cycle.
Many nations never find the magical "Maestro" who can bring their team and country to glory. However, the lucky nations (or more often those who have a heavy wallet) have found the manager who can take their squad to the next level and spawn World Cup dreams out of nothing.
Scattered throughout this slideshow are the few men who have that capability. Here are the top 13 international managers in the world of football right now.
Laurent Blanc: Coach of France
Vladimir Weiss: Coach of Slovakia
Carlos Queiroz: Coach of Iran
Erik Hamren; Coach of Sweden
Jose Manuel de la Torre: Coach of Mexico
Bob Bradley: Coach of USA
13. Milovan Rajevac
Coach of Qatar
Recent Achievements: Led Ghana to World Cup quarterfinals in 2010
The Verdict: The Serbian is a man of the spotlight, leading former team Ghana to excellent finishes in both the African Cup of Nations and 2010 World Cup.
His Ghana side earned the silver medal at the 2010 African Cup of Nations, losing respectably to Egypt in the finals. A few months later, Rajevac led Ghana to the World Cup quarterfinals, defeating the United States on his way there.
Now, Rajevac is the coach of US football foe Qatar, looking to get the nation to a respectable ranking before its close-up in 2022.
12. Morten Olsen
Coach of Denmark
Recent Achievements: Tied for first in Group H of Euro Qualifying
The Verdict: Olsen has graced this list simply for his coaching consistency. Having managed Denmark since 2000, Olsen’s current tenure is one of the longest in International Football history.
Most coaches don’t last more than one World Cup cycle, yet Olsen has done three with the Danes, leading them to two World Cups. He has been a consistent coach for one team for over a decade, a feat that is rarely achieved and deserving of recognition.
11. Egil Olsen
Coach of Norway
Recent Achievements: 12-2-4 Record with Norway since 2009, Tied for first in Euro QF group
The Verdict: The Norwegian National team has gone under a complete overhaul since Olsen took over. The same nation that had qualified for merely one Euro Championship since 1960 is now tied for first in its Euro qualifying group with Portugal and Denmark.
Also, his current two-year tenure would already place him fourth on the all-time victory list for Norwegian coaches. Welcoming back Olsen was a fresh change to say the least.
10. Ottmar Hitzfeld
Coach of Switzerland
Recent Achievements: Beat Spain in 2010 World Cup
The Verdict: The former Stuttgart star has been coaching recently under most people's radar for the Switzerland National team. Although he has not been remarkably successful since joining the nation in 2008, he has some significant highlights.
In 2010, he and Switzerland defeated the eventual World Cup Champions Spain in a monumental 1-0 upset. His squad also nearly beat England at Wembley in April during the 2012 Euro Qualifying.
At Switzerland, Hitzfeld has thrived as the underdog and now must start winning the games he is supposed to.
9. Giovanni Trapattoni
Coach of Ireland
Recent Achievements: 2011 Nations Cup Champion, Top of Group B in Euro QF
The Verdict: It has certainly been a rollercoaster ride for Trapattoni since he arrived in Ireland.
The ups include winning the 2011 Nations Cup and being tied for first place in Group B of Euro QF. The main disappointment of course was failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, (though we all know it wasn’t exactly his fault).
However, with the Irish having not played in a major tournament since 2002, a lot of pressure will be on Gio in the next year.
8. Slaven Bilic
Coach of Croatia
Recent Achievements: 36-11-5 as Croatia Manager, Croatia has ascended 13 FIFA spots since hiring
The Verdict: Despite not qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Bilic has been relatively successful as Croatia’s head man.
Since August 2006, Croatia has won 36 matches, tied 11 and lost merely five, good enough to give them the current ranking of eighth in the world.
To put things in perspective, that is 13 spots higher than the team was back when Bilic first took over, a testament to the team’s progress under the big man.
7. Gerardo Martino
Coach of Paraguay
Recent Achievements: Led Paraguay to 2010 World Cup quarterfinals, Led Paraguay to Copa America semifinals
The Verdict: The Paraguay Football Association must be pleased that Martino did not retire after a miraculous run to the World Cup quarterfinals.
Since then Martino’s squad has gone undefeated in the Copa America and recently beat the No. 3 team Brazil in the quarterfinals. Despite retirement rumors, the PFA should probably try to keep him around after this summer.
6. Fabio Capello
Coach of England
Recent Achievements: 24-7-6 as England manager, Undefeated in Euro QF
The Verdict: He may not be the most liked English manager of all time, but he certainly has the capability of winning trophies.
He is one of the most successful Serie A managers of all time, and if he can find the right formation, could lead England to greatness someday. We all know what Capello can do, the only question now is can he do it for England.
5. Oscar Tabarez
Coach of Uruguay
Recent Achievements: Led Uruguay to 2010 World Cup semifinals
The Verdict: Under Tabarez, Uruguay has transformed from a mediocre CONMEBOL team, to a serious World Cup contender. El Maestro was recently labeled the 2010 South American Coach of the year after leading Uruguay on a miraculous run to the World Cup semifinals.
His goal was to bring Uruguay back to its glory days, and considering the progress he has already made, he might just do it.
4. Guus Hiddink
Coach of Turkey
Recent Achievements: Led Russia to Euro 2008 Semifinals, Won FA Cup with Chelsea in 2009
The Verdict: Despite a disappointing last couple of years, Hiddink is still considered one of the top coaches in International Football. Now coaching for Turkey, Hiddink is close to leading his new team out of the Group of Death and into Euro 2012 in his first cycle with the nation.
If he can display some of the magic he performed with Russia in 2008, then I’m sure he will be hearing from more prestigious clubs/nations in the future.
3. Bert Van Marwijk
Coach of Holland
Recent Achievements: Led Holland to World Cup final, Undefeated in Euro QF
The Verdict: The Oranje leader is truly underrated when it comes to International coaches. Van Marwijk nearly led Holland to its first World Cup victory in 2010, and since then the team has gone undefeated in friendlies and Euro qualifying.
Those are some pretty good results considering his relatively low salary.
2. Joachim Low
Coach of Germany
Recent Achievements: Led Germany to World Cup semifinals, 47-11-10 as German Manager
The Verdict: The German gem has done everything but bring home silverware since his promotion in 2006. In competitive matches since 2006, Low has led the Germans to a 32-5-5 record and top three finishes in both Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
If the DFB give Low the time, there is no doubt that he will win a major title.
1. Vicente Del Bosque
Coach of Spain
Recent Achievements: 2010 World Cup Champion with Spain, 88 percent win percentage with Spain
The Verdict: Since July 2008, no manager in football has had a better win percentage than Del Bosque. He has led the Spaniards to 38 victories, an undefeated Euro qualifying campaign and most importantly, a World Cup.
It can’t get much better than that.
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