Football as we see can sometimes be too straight forward to look at. But the real beauty of the game lies in the intricate tactics involved in it. Management in football is arguably more prominent and deciding than in any other sport. Managers govern nearly everything to run a team, not to mention the high risk of getting sacked if no results follow.
The world has witnessed some notable managers in the likes of Johan Cruyff, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Bill Shankly amongst many others, with some having revolutionized the game as we know today. Today we try to compile a list of the best football managers in the world right now.
Honorable mentions –
Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta)
Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)
Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)
Julian Nagelsmann (RB Leipzig)
Carlo Ancelloti (Everton)
Here are the 10 best football managers in the world right now.
10. Nuno Santo (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
After retirement from playing, Nuno rejoined former Porto manager Jesualdo Ferreira at Malaga CF as their goalkeeping coach. The pair then worked together at Panathinaikos FC before Nuno was given the manager’s position at Rio Ave in 2012. He led them to the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the club’s history.
In 2014, he joined Valencia replacing Juan Antonio Pizzi. After signing a contract extension, his side finished in the top 4 the next season which included an impressive 2-1 win over Real Madrid and an away draw at Bernabéu. He spent a year at Porto before joining Championship sides Wolverhampton Wanderers and led them to promotion with four games to spare in the first season. Nuno generally deploys a 3-4-3 formation giving his sides a balanced attacking edge, accompanied by a constant press making him one of the best football managers in the world. Under him, Wolves also secured the place for European football.
9. Antonio Conte (Inter Milan)
Antonio Conte served as the assistant coach under Luigi De Canio at Siena in the 2005-06 season before being appointed as the manager of Serie B side Arezzo. He joined Bari in 2007 to replace Giuseppe Materazzi and led them to promotion. Before the 2009-10 season, he was appointed as the head coach Atalanta but things took a downfall and Conte left mid-season. Siena appointed Conte as their manager and eventually secured promotion to Serie A for the 2011-12 season.
The following year, Conte was announced as the new head coach of Juventus. He had a successful stay at the club, winning three successive league titles in as many years and two Supercoppa Cups. Conte joined Chelsea in 2016 after managing the Italian national team from 2014-16. He led the Blues to the Premier League title in his first year in charge but was dismissed in 2018 before jointed Inter. He is known for popularizing the 3-5-2 formation where wingbacks replace both wingers and fullbacks.
8. Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)
Nicknamed “El Loco” or the madman, Bielsa has revolutionized the game given his unique tactics and efficient man-management. He has been regarded as an influence for many notable managers, namely Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino. Although he has only won three Argentine league titles, a Championship and Olympic gold in a career spanning over three decades; Bielsa’s approach and philosophy make him one of the most influential figures in the world of football.
Bielsa started as the head coach of Newell’s Old Boys youth team in 1980 before managing the senior team in 1990. He spent numerous spells in different leagues across the globe including Mexico, Chile, Spain and France and presently, England.
Bielsa also served as the head coach of Argentina and Chile before coming into notice with Atletico Bilbao in 2011 where he led them to the Copa del Rey and Europa League finals. He is undoubtedly one of the best football managers in the world.
7. Joachim Low (Germany NT)
Having started his initial managerial days at FC Frauenfeld where he also served as a player, Joachim Low managed a host of clubs in Germany, Austria, Turkey, and Astana. He worked as the assistant manager of the German national football team from 2004 before he was appointed as the head coach in 2006 following Jürgen Klinsmann’s dismissal.
Along with his assistant Hans-Dieter Flick, Low helped Germany reach new heights with an offensive style of play. Although he failed to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup given Spain’s untouchable form, Germany did manage to finish third. Löw‘s perseverance paid dividends as they finally got their hands on the trophy the next time in Brazil in 2014. Löw’s men defeated the hosts 7-1 in the semifinals which resulted in Brazil’s heaviest defeat in FIFA World Cup history.