Football

Top five: Italian football managers

Capello has won six league titles as manager in two different countries (©GettyImages)
Capello has won six league titles as manager in two different countries (©GettyImages).

There have been many Italian managers that have existed over the years, including plenty who fall into the 'excellent' category.

From the very beginning, it's very hard to compile a list of this magnitude when the possibility of excluding numerous world-class names is nearly 100% certain.

Just looking at the Premier League alone, you can easily mention the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini, Roberto Di Matteo, Claudio Ranieri and most recently Paolo Di Canio amongst many greats.

This list will not only take into consideration the silverware won by the manager but also the effect their tactical masterpieces have had on the world of football. The honourable list includes the following: Enzo Bearzot, Ferruccio Valcareggi, Neoro Rocco, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte.

5. Vittorio Pozzo

Pozzo is famous for leading Italy throughout an incredible unbeaten run which lasted from 1934 to 1939. Of course during these years he was able to win two FIFA World Cup trophies and also an Olympic Gold medal in 1936.

He mainly used his famous "metodo" which is simply a 2-3-5 system but with few adjustments, a common tactic then. He could have probably featured higher on this list but the greater amount of competition that has existed in more contemporary era have pushed others above him.

4. Arrigo Sacchi 

He lead AC Milan to a league title and two consecutive European Cup trophies in 1988 and 1990. But perhaps, an even more incredible feat was his revolutionary attacking style of play which was very unusual from the typical Italian defensive type. He also led the Italian national team to a World Cup final in 1994 where they lost on penalties to a vastly talented Brazilian side.

3. Marcello Lippi 

Managing Italy to their fourth World Cup in their history is no small feat but the legend has far more to add to his CV. With five Serie A titles and a Champions League in 1996 all acquired with Juventus, it's hard to believe that his not the most successful manager in this list.

His rise to the top was mainly influenced by his incredible achievement of leading Napoli to a UEFA Cup spot despite their horrendous financial situation at the club, after that season he moved to Juventus and the rest, as they say, is history.

2. Fabio Capello

Capello has always depended on his solid defensive type of play which although successful has led to two different sackings from Real Madrid, despite winning the league title in each of those seasons.

In total he has won a Champions league title and seven league titles (two won with Juventus were stripped off due to the Calciopoli scandal) with AC Milan, Real Madrid and AS Roma.

Arguably the most impressive was with AS Roma, as they were not really considered title contenders in the first place after sixth and fifth-place finishes in the previous campaigns. 

1. Giovanni Trapattoni 

It was extremely difficult differentiating between Trapattoni and Capello but after looking at their respective achievements over the years, Trapattoni managed to edge "Don Fabio" mainly due to longevity over the years.

Having won a European Cup (Champions League) with Juventus and seven Serie A titles (six with Juventus and one with Inter Milan), Trapattoni is not short in the silverware department.

When you include league titles with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg, he sets a distinction with his experience and success in different leagues. Recently he led Ireland to their first major tournament in over a decade and even though he failed to qualify for the World Cup, his previous achievements with the team have definitely been no small feat.

Currently, he is unemployed and it is uncertain whether he will retire or continue with the game but either way he seems to be the greatest Italian manager to have set foot in the game.


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