FIFA Coach of the Year: Biggest surprises and omissions

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While the majority of the talk regarding the Ballon d'Or shortlist release centres around the Messi v Ronaldo debate, the 'Coach of the Year' shortlist certainly raises a lot more questions.

The 10-man list features some coaches who seem to have been included based on their reputation, rather than what they actually achieved in 2013, while some of the year's most successful managers can be rightfully fuming at having been left out.

Here we look at some of the list's biggest surprises and omissions.

Surprise 1: José Mourinho

The Special One's inclusion is perhaps the most surprising, especially considering he started 2013 in controversy after dropping Real Madrid hero and captain Iker Casillas. The decision may have proven wise in the end with the signing of Diego López, but the damage to the Madrid dressing room was irreparable and led to the Portuguese losing control of his squad towards the end of the campaign.

Mourinho may have left the club by 'mutual agreement' but there is no doubting that he would have been 'sacked' if he had wanted to stay, with Florentino Pérez losing confidence in the man who had won La Liga just a season before. That his last game was a cup final loss in the Bernabéu to rivals Atlético made his exit a pretty miserable one.

Since his return to Chelsea, Mourinho has enjoyed a mixed start, with Chelsea picking up 20 points from 27 so far, although a home loss to Basel in the Champions League was a particular low.

It's so far, so good for Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, but the Special One hasn't done anything too special yet and his departure from the Bernabéu was messy enough to make his inclusion a bewildering one.

Surprise 2: Sir Alex Ferguson

To be included on a list of the best managers of 2013 without managing for the second half of the year means you must have done something amazing in the first half.

David Moyes' struggles may be showing just exactly how good Sir Alex was as the man in charge at Old Trafford, but his 2013 wasn't particularly brilliant by his high standards. The club was already out of the League Cup long before Christmas, and a quarter-final exit in the FA Cup never goes down well at Old Trafford. Add to that being knocked out of the Champions League in the Last 16 round - despite the controversy over that Nani red card - and the season wasn't one of Sir Alex's best.

The Reds already had a seven point lead at the top of the table on January 1st, so winning the league was almost expected by then - not to take away from the great achievement that it was.

If including Ferguson on the list was more so as a tribute to the great manager upon his retirement then fair enough. However, I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson will receive enough awards and tributes to mark his whole time at the club that this inclusion wasn't completely necessary or deserved for his 2013 work.

Surprise 3: Vicente del Bosque

I always find it strange that an international manager could be included in a year without a major tournament, but that is exactly what has happened in the case of Vicente del Bosque.

The only big challenge Spain faced this year was the Confederations Cup and a qualifying game in Paris - which they did indeed win. The rest of the friendlies and qualifying matches were relatively straight forward for one of the best international teams in history.

So, basing Spain's year on the summer's Confederations Cup, Del Bosque may well be embarrassed to have been included after his side were humiliated by Brazil in the final in a 3-0 loss. Spain were also lucky to make the final after needing penalties to overcome their semi-final with Italy.

Del Bosque is certainly a great coach, but there was little chance to do anything award-worthy in 2013 and he failed when there was.

Notable Omission 1: Diego Simeone

The Atlético Madrid manager has enjoyed a fantastic 2013 so far and looks set to continue doing so.

Simeone and Atlético's highlight was defeating city rivals Real for the first time since 1999 to lift the Copa del Rey in the Bernabéu Stadium.

Yet that wasn't the only thing Simeone can boast about this year. For most managers, losing a talent like Radamel Falcao would be a real difficult blow to recover from, but Simeone has signed well and brought in the likes of David Villa, while continuing to develop players like Diego Costa and Koke.

With that squad, Simeone has taken Atlético to second in the league table, just a point behind leaders Barcelona. The club also has a 100% record in their Champions League group and only lost the Super Cup to Barcelona on away goals.

Leaving him out is absolutely shocking.

Notable Omission 2: Safet Sušić

If an international manager is to be on the list in an odd number year, then it really must be for leading an incredible qualification campaign. Well, that is exactly what Bosnia & Herzegovina manager Safet Sušić has achieved this year. 

Sušić guided the nation to their first major tournament as an independent country, seeing off Greece to take first place in the group. The country has also reached 13th place in the FIFA rankings - their highest ever placing.

The country has won six of its eight matches in 2013, a great success for a nation of less than four million people.

Notable Omission 3: Vincenzo Montella

The Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella enjoyed an impressive debut year at Fiorentina, taking the Florence side from 13th the year before to 4th - just two points away from a Champions League spot which was won by Milan on the season's last day.

Signing a mix of experience and youth - most notably Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gómez - Montella has managed his club's budget well and has assembled a squad that is capable of competing in both Serie A and the Europa League. The club currently sit fifth in the league, just four points away from 2nd place.

Considering where Fiorentina were just a couple of seasons ago, Montella deserves a huge amount of credit.

So there you have some of the biggest shocks from this year's 'Coach of the Year' list. The full list is as follows:

Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid/ex-Paris St-Germain), Rafael Benítez (Napoli/ex-Chelsea), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (ex-Bayern Munich), Jürgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), José Mourinho (Chelsea/ex-Real Madrid), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), Arsène Wenger (Arsenal)

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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