What makes a great football manager? Tactics, style, personality, or number of trophies could bring any manager to a legendary status. It might depend on the club you support, let’s face it, everyone is biased. The four greatest football managers in history not only won loads of hardware but also had tactics, style and personality. Let’s review these great managers.

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Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is on his way to being the greatest football manager of all time with his recent Champions League win with Manchester City in 2023. Pep has won 14 trophies in total with Barcelona (2008-2012), 7 trophies with Bayern Munich (2013-2016) and 14 trophies with Manchester City (since 2016). He’s also only one of four managers to win the Championship League three times. Pep has perfected his own style of Spanish Tiki-Taka, which requires his players to relentlessly keep possession of the ball and create scoring opportunities.

Photo of Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest English football manager to ever walk this earth. For his 26 year tenure as head of Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including two Champions League titles, 13 Premier League titles and five FA Cups. This is unprecedented as the English Premier League is known as the toughest and most competitive league in the world. Sir Alex perfected the art of adapting to his opponents and was able evolve his tactics better than any manager in history. This man must have been a great general in his former life!

Photo of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex Ferguson

Carlo Ancelotti

To date, Carlo Ancelotti has won 24 titles (2023) throughout his managerial career. He is the first manager ever to win a league title in each of Europe’s top five divisions, four UEFA Champions Leagues and four UEFA Super Cup finals. He’s coached some of the finest football clubs in history including Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. There’s no doubt much of Ancelotti’s success has been the individual brilliance of his players. However, his organization and passion for an intense work rate, has allowed him to find success at every club he’s coached. He’s already one of the greatest managers in history and he’s still coaching!

Photo of Carlo Ancelotti.
Carlo Ancelotti

Jose Mourinho

Love him or hate him, Jose Mourinho is one of the greatest football managers of all time. He’s won 26 trophies and coached some of the most successful clubs in history including Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Roma. He leads his players with an intense personality that is a favorite among the media. Praising and criticizing his players using psychological tactics. Of course, he also has perfected his football methodology with a high level preparation, discipline and commitment of his players.

Photo of Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho

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