The Champions League's 10 greatest managers have been ranked

  • Kobe Tong

The Champions League is the ultimate competition in world football.

As much as FIFA might tell you that the Club World Cup is the creme de la creme, we all know that lifting 'Big Ears' to become champions of Europe is hard to beat in the professional game.

It's a trophy that has been lifted by some of the greatest players to ever grace the sport from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to Lionel Messi and Paolo Maldini to name just a few.

But no side can ever get their hands on the Champions League trophy without a world-class coach behind them or - at the very least- some inspiring man-management a la Roberto Di Matteo.

It's no coincidence that some of the greatest European-conquering sides have had the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho behind their successes.

Greatest ever Champions League managers

But naming the GOAT of managers in the Champions League alone is by no means an easy task, especially when you consider the gridlock of coaches on either a single triumph or two.

However, that hasn't stopped the team at Squawka from trying, compiling a top ten of the greatest managers in Europe's top competition since its rebranding in 1992.

You can see who comes out on top by checking out their final 10 down below and decide whether you agree with their picks for the Champions League's very best:


10. Ottmar Hitzfeld

Clubs: Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich

Win percentage: 51%

Trophies won: 1997 (Borussia Dortmund) and 2001 (Bayern Munich)


9. Rafael Benitez

Clubs: Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid

Win percentage: 57%

Trophies won: 2005 (Liverpool)


8. Vicente del Bosque

Clubs: Real Madrid

Win percentage: 57%

Trophies won: 2000 and 2002 (Real Madrid)


7. Jupp Heynckes

Clubs: Real Madrid and Bayern Munich

Win percentage: 70%

Trophies won: 1998 (Real Madrid) and 2013 (Bayern Munich)


6. Sir Alex Ferguson

Clubs: Manchester United

Win percentage: 54%

Trophies won: 1999 and 2008 (Manchester United)


5. Louis van Gaal

Clubs: Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United

Win percentage: 60%

Trophies won: 1995 (Ajax)


4. Jose Mourinho

Clubs: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur

Win percentage: 56.74%

Trophies won: 2004 (Porto) and 2010 (Inter Milan)


3. Carlo Ancelotti

Clubs: Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli

Win percentage: 55.15%

Trophies won: 2003, 2007 (AC Milan) and 2014 (Real Madrid)


2. Pep Guardiola

Clubs: Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City

Win percentage: 61%

Trophies won: 2009 and 2011 (Barcelona)


1. Zinedine Zidane

Clubs: Real Madrid

Win percentage: 65%

Trophies won: 2016, 2017 and 2018 (Real Madrid)


Legendary coaches

Say what you like about Zidane being 'lucky' with his remarkable squad at the Bernabeu, but how can you top a manager that's won a Champions League title in every season he's contested it?

Besides, we're talking about the modern era and modern era alone in which Real became the first team to retain the title, never mind bag a three-peat, and all with Zidane at the reins.

So, yes, it might seem uncomfortable to see him above Guardiola - the mastermind of arguably the greatest Champions League-winning team - but the statistical comparison doesn't lie. 


Only time will tell whether Guardiola will be able to win Manchester City's first European title - if they can compete in at all - or whether Zidane will lose his midas touch with Los Blancos.

But for the moment, Zidane is enjoying the same European dominance in the technical area as he did on the pitch itself.

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