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FourFourTwo's 50 Best Football Managers in the World 2018

50 Best Football Managers in the World
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30. Bruno Genesio (Lyon)

Lyon fans have never warmed to Genesio, yet the low-key coach continues to do a good job against the odds. Les Gones finished third in Ligue 1 last May and are a good bet to earn a fourth straight top-four place under the 52-year-old this season.

Genesio also deserves praise for drawing the best out of Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir and Bertrand Traore at various points over the past 12 months, making l’OL one of the continent’s most consistently entertaining sides. – James Eastham

29. Niko Kovac (Bayern Munich)

Middling managerial pedigree made the Croat a surprise Bayern choice, prompting the club to reassure sceptics that they’d first been rejected by the re-retiring Jupp Heynckes and a PSG-bound Thomas Tuchel. Four games without a win in October – including a 3-0 home hozing to Borussia Monchengladbach – didn’t help either.

But Roten fans need only remember the 3-1 DFB-Pokal final defeat to Kovac’s Eintracht Frankfurt in May for the tactical nuance and off-pitch discipline he will bring to Bavaria.

A 5-0 Supercup thumping of his former club was a good springboard, especially with the pre-arranged Leon Goretzka their only signing, as Kovac’s team won their first four league games by two goals or more. Now get back to that form. – Huw Davies

28. Renato Gaucho (Gremio)

At a time when most of his colleagues were spending their days abroad trying to pick up a thing or two from Guardiola, Ancelotti and Mourinho, Renato preferred to remain on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches playing his favorite sport, foot-volley. “Those that need to learn and study can go to Europe,” he said.

It took over two years for the man known by his mother as ‘Renato Portaluppi’ to get a job until Gremio came after him in late 2016. Many thought it a risky choice, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

In November 2017, Renato became the first Brazilian to win the Copa Libertadores as both a player and a coach, and has lifted three other trophies since then. He’s got one foot in another Libertadores final after Gremio beat River Plate in the first leg of their semi-final. No surprise, then, that he's the favourite to succeed Tite as Brazil’s coach. – Marcus Alves

27. Jose Bordalas (Getafe)

Simply, Bordalas has completely transformed a club. When he took over Getafe at the end of September 2016, they were second-bottom of Spain’s Segunda Division.

In the same season he got them promoted to La Liga, then steered los Azulones to an eighth-placed finish in their first season back, only five points off a European berth.

Bordalas professes immense levels of work rate, focus and defensive solidity. Getafe players have followed his every move, and it makes them one of the toughest teams to beat in Spain. How much longer they’ll be able to keep one of Europe’s hottest managerial properties remains to be seen. – David Cartlidge

26. Domenico Tedesco (Schalke)

Tedesco must give one hell of a job interview. Schalke paid €500,000 to hire a 31-year-old business engineering graduate whose 11-match managerial career comprised saving Erzgebirge Aue from relegation to the third tier (via a play-off).

He repaid their faith by taking bottom-half Schalke to a magnificent second, highlights including a 4-4 draw at rivals Dortmund having trailed 4-0 at half-time.

The German-Italian is finding life harder since Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer left on frees this summer and opponents figured out his direct, counter-attacking 3-4-3 setup: Schalke have lost six of their first eight league matches of 2018/19, but have at least started their Champions League campaign well. – Huw Davies

25. Jose Mourinho (Manchester United)

Where do you even start? A second-place finish in the Premier League and an FA Cup final was certainly a decent return, but the substance of that performance – on the pitch and off it – has created a swirl of asterisks.

As ever with Mourinho, there has been nearly constant acrimony. The Paul Pogba saga continues to dominate the news cycle and the January transfer window will presumably bring another round of conflict with Ed Woodward, plus more public demands for greater backing.

He remains a fine football mind, but why must it always be so fractious – and why, in spite of such exorbitant spending, do Manchester United remain so underwhelming? Their stars may give them the punching power to remain broadly competitive, but they remain by far the least joined-up team within their weight class. Jose isn’t the same anymore. – Seb Stafford-Bloor

24. Pablo Machin (Sevilla)

After securing promotion to La Liga for the first time in Girona’s history, Machin didn’t stop there. Instead, he took them to an unprecedented 10th-place finish in their debut campaign and made them a serious top-flight outfit which claimed the scalps of Real Madrid, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo.

When he took over at Girona in March 2014, they were bottom of Spain’s second division. It was inevitable that he’d be snapped up for greater things, and they came in the form of Sevilla, who acted quickest to snare him in May with the hope of instilling some much-needed organisation and fight into the club.

It’s so far, so good – Machin’s side are third in La Liga after nine games after trouncing Real Madrid 3-0 in September. – David Cartlidge

23. Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta)

While many of the managers on this list have been included for tactical advances or lifting important trophies, Gasperini is a little different. The avuncular 60-year-old has achieved little tangible success – although steering Atalanta to Europe for the first time in 26 years was quite something – but his ability to develop players is frankly astonishing and he has found a perfect home at Atalanta.

The quiet and unassuming ‘Gaspe’ has produced a steady stream of talent that has moved on to Serie A’s bigger clubs, and continues bring the best from the young prospects at his disposal. – Adam Digby

22. Paulo Fonseca (Shakhtar Donetsk)

It should be heresy to suggest that the great Mircea Lucescu has a challenger as the club’s greatest-ever coach, but Fonseca has done the near-impossible in replacing a long-serving club legend with distinction.

After a shock elimination by Young Boys in Champions League qualification within weeks of taking the helm in 2016, Fonseca has delivered successive league-and-cup doubles plus a Champions League last 16 place, all in the face of slashed playing budgets and the continuing exile from Donetsk. Impressive. – Andy Brassell

21. Zlatko Dalic (Croatia)

Few people outside of Croatia and, er, the Persian Gulf knew who Dalic was when he unexpectedly became Croatia national team coach in October 2017, just two days before a crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

Lose, and his career would have lasted about 48 hours. He won, made it through the play-offs and proceeded all the way to the World Cup final.

Yes, there were penalty shootouts against Denmark and Russia, but Dalic deserves huge credit for uniting the dressing room despite a very delicate political situation. An easy-going attitude with media helped to promote his personal brand, too. – Michael Yokhin

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