Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola: Who is the greatest manager of the modern era?


Sir Alex Ferguson won everything worth winning in the beautiful game at Manchester United.

With a trophy cabinet boasting 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies and countless other major honours, it’s not for no reason that Ferguson is considered one of the greatest of all time.

However, whether or not you agree that Ferguson is the finest manager to ever set foot in a dugout, though, there’s good reason to think that judging coaches is actually a harder tasker than players.

Legendary managers

Besides, reporters and fans alike are privy to everything that a player achieves on the pitch, whereas great swatches of a manager’s money-earning takes place behind closed doors.

Sure, you could say the same about players and training, but it’s the dressing room rallies and man-management that truly makes great leaders like Fergie – and we seldom get to see it first hand.

However, that fascinating obstacle hasn’t stopped the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) from trying to rank the best managers in the business each and every year.


Greatest managers of the modern era

And now, as we plough deeper into the 2020s, the IFFHS have looked back through their annual rankings of both club and international managers to draw up an ‘All Time Ranking’ of their top 50.

It’s worth noting that the IFFHS ‘only’ started their annual rankings in 1996, so don’t start scratching your head when Rinus Michels, Bill Shankley, Arrigo Sacchi and others don’t pop up.

But disclaimers aside, you can check out the full top 50 down below to see exactly why Ferguson strutted into the spotlight at the top of the article:

50. Felix Magath


=48. Dick Advocaat

=48. Bruce Arena

=46. Vanderlei Luxemburgo

=46. Gerard Houllier

=44. Luis Enrique

=44. Antonio Conte

43. Jose Camacho

42. Ramon Diaz

=39. Roger Lemerre

=39. Mauricio Pochettino


=39. Marcelo Gallardo

38. Zinedine Zidane

=36. Alejandro Sabella

=36. Jupp Heynckes

35. Dunga

=33. Otto Rehhagel

=33. Hector Cuper

32. Carlos Alberto Parreira

31. Roberto Martinez

30. Unai Emery


29. Fernando Santos

28. Roberto Mancini

27. Giovanni Trapattoni

26. Carlos Bianchi

25. Karel Bruckner

24. Massimiliano Allegri

23. Louis van Gaal

22. Oscar Tabarez

21. Tite

20. Rafael Benitez


19. José Pékerman

18. Frank Rijkaard

17. Jurgen Klopp

16. Fabio Capello

15. Sven Goran Eriksson

14. Didier Deschamps

13. Otmar Hitzfeld

12. Marcelo Bielsa

11. Guus Hiddink

10. Luiz Felipe Scolari


9. Diego Simeone

8. Marcelo Lippi

7. Carlo Ancelotti

6. Vicente Del Bosque

5. Pep Guardiola

4. Joachim Low

3. Arsene Wenger

2. Jose Mourinho

1. Sir Alex Ferguson


Ferguson crowned number one

So, there you have it, Ferguson is the greatest manager of the modern era.

Truth be told, it feels like something of a no-brainer when you consider Ferguson has a case for being the GOAT, full stop, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some stiff competition in the list.

The IFFHS have probably been a bit too generous to World Cup-winning managers for our liking, while the key role of longevity is probably why Guardiola has placed lower than we would prefer.


However, we’re not here to split hairs about the chasing pack because history remembers the winners and when it comes to winners amongst winners, the winner is Ferguson – you follow?

News Now - Sport News