Ryan Mason, Julian Nagelsmann, Didier Deschamps: Who are the youngest managers in history?

Ryan Mason makes Tottenham Hotspur debut

Ryan Mason‘s appointment as interim manager at Tottenham Hotspur was overshadowed by new concerning the formation of the European Super League this week. 

The dismissal of Jose Mourinho just six days before a cup final would typically be a headline story of significant magnitude to fill the back pages of newspapers, but the Portuguese slipped out the exit door in uncharacteristically stealthy fashion. 

With reports regarding the Super League, and Spurs’ inclusion within that, dominating the news throughout the week, the managerial situation in north London has rather faded into insignificance. 

However, Mason, who only turns 30 in June this year, will be acutely aware of the size of the task at hand. 

In what will represent just his second game in senior management, Mason will pit his wits against one of the most revered managers in the history of the game in Pep Guardiola at Wembley this weekend.

The Carabao Cup final is effectively a free-hit for the inexperienced manager and a fantastic opportunity for him to write his name into club folklore while also giving himself a chance of securing a permanent role. 

The emergence of Julian Nagelsmann in Germany has been one of the most high-profile cases of young success in the world of management, but he is not the youngest manager in the history of Europe’s top 15 leagues. 

According to data provided by Transfermarkt, Mason’s Spurs debut against Southampton on Wednesday made him the fourth-youngest manager to take charge of a team in Europe’s top 15 leagues.

Nagelsmann currently ranks in second having made his Hoffenheim bow at 28 years, six months and 21 days old. 


At the top of the list is Will Still, who took charge of his first Beerschot VA game at 28 years, three months and six days old. 

The 28-year-old has now been in charge of the Antwerp-Based Belgian Jupiler League side for 15 games following his appointment on 19 January 2021, averaging 1.33 points per game thus far. 

High-profile coaches including Andre Villas-Boas and France World Cup winner Didier Deschamps also feature in the top 16. 

Take a look at who else makes the cut in descending order below:

16. Didier Deschamps (AS Monaco – 2001) 32 years, 9 months 13 days

15. Soulis Papadopoulos (Proodeftiki Neolea – 2000) 32 years, 8 months 7 days

14. Georgios Petrakis (PAS Lamia – 2020) 32 years, 7 months 3 days

13. Emilio Ferrera (KSK Beveren – 2000) 32 years, 6 months 24 days

12. Sjors Ultee (Fortuna Sittard – 2019) 32 years, 2 months 12 days

11. Vladimir Gazzaev (Alania Vladikavkaz – 2012) 32 years, 20 days

10. Andre Villas-Boas (Academica Coimbra – 2009) 32 years, 8 days

9. Domenico Tedesco (Schalke – 2017) 31 years, 11 months 7 days

8. Yannick Ferrera (RSC Charleroi – 2012) 31 years, 10 months 4 days

7. Gunter Jacob (KV Mechelen – 2000) 31 years, 8 months 2 days

6. Robert Maaskant (RBC Roosendaal – 2000) 31 years, 7 months 10 days

5. Ian Cathro (Hearts – 2016) 30 years, 4 months, 29 days

4. Ryan Mason (Spurs – 2021) 29 years, 10 months, 8 days

3. Guillermo Abascal (FC Lugano – 2018) 29 years, 1 day

2. Julian Nagelsmann (Hoffenheim – 2016) 28 years, 6 months 21 days

1. Will Still (Beerschot VA – 2001) 28 years, 3 months 6 days

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