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Best Football Managers Of All Time – Top 15

9. Jock Stein

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Jock Stein was part of a group of four great Scottish managers, consisting of Matt Busby, Bill Shankly, himself, and Alex Ferguson.

His achievements, for a long time, outshone them all. He took Celtic to ten league titles, including a record nine successive successes between 1966-1974. He also won eight Scottish Cups and six Scottish League Cups.

Jock Stein came to worldwide acclaim when he led his “Lisbon Lions” to a historic victory over a very strong Inter Milan team to become the first British side to win the European Cup in 1967.

8. Johan Cruyff

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Johan Cruyff is considered to be one of the most influential figures in football history. His style of play and his football philosophy has influenced managers and players, including the likes of Sacchi, Sir Alex Ferguson, Wenger, Pep, Rijkaard, Laudrup, etc.

Ajax and Barcelona are among the clubs that have developed youth academies based on Cruyff’s coaching methods. His coaching philosophy helped lay the foundations for the revival of Ajax’s international successes in the 1990s.

Spanish football’s successes at both club and international level during the years 2008 to 2012 have been cited by many as evidence of Cruyff’s impact on contemporary football. In 2017, Cruyff was named among the 10 greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA in 1954.

7. Valeriy Lobanovskyi

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Lobanovskyi is most famous for his spells managing FC Dynamo Kyiv, the Ukraine National Football team, and earlier the USSR national football team. In 1975 his Dynamo Kyiv team became the first side from the Soviet Union to win a major European trophy when they beat Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the Cup Winner’s Cup final.

Lobanovskyi is highly esteemed for his achievements as a coach, but also notorious for his both highly scientific and excessively disciplinarian approach to management. In January 2017, Lobanovskyi was named among the ten greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA in 1954.

6. Bob Paisley

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Paisley is one of the only three managers to have won the European Cup three times. During his nine-year tenure as Liverpool manager, Paisley won honours at a rate of 2.2 per season, a rate surpassed only by Pep Guardiola.

After finishing his playing career, he stayed with Liverpool and took on two roles as reserve team coach and club physiotherapist. In December 1959, Bill Shankly was appointed Liverpool manager and he promoted Paisley to work alongside him as his assistant manager. Paisley filled an important role as tactician under Shankly’s leadership and the team won numerous honours during the next twelve seasons.

In 1974, Shankly retired as manager and, despite Paisley’s own initial reluctance, he was appointed as Shankly’s successor. He went on to lead Liverpool through a period of domestic and European dominance, winning twenty honours in nine seasons: six League Championships, three League Cups, six Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.

By the time he retired in 1983, Bob Paisley had been associated with Liverpool Football club for 44 years. He would continue to offer advice to his successor Kenny Dalglish for a couple of years before becoming a board member.

5. Ernst Happel

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Ernst Happel is one of few managers who have achieved great success at both the international and club level. He won the league and domestic cup titles in Belgium, Netherlands, Austria and Germany.

He won three Belgian championships, a Belgian Cup, a Dutch championship, a Dutch Cup, two German championships, a German Cup, and two Austrian championships in his managerial career.

Happel also guided the underdogs Feyenoord to the European Cup, and took Hamburg to the same title 13 years later, becoming the first manager to win the trophy with two different clubs. He was in charge of the Dutch team who reached the World Cup final in 1978, only to go down to hosts Argentina.

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Subhayan Chakraborty

Post Graduation student of Journalism and Mass Communication, aiming to be a top sports journalist and change the scenario of sports journalism in India and educate people about sports in India.

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