Ranked! The 50 best club managers in the world right now

20. Simone Inzaghi

FC Internazionale coach Simone Inzaghi looks on during the Serie A TIM match between Atalanta BC and FC Internazionale at Gewiss Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Inter boss Inzaghi (Image credit: Getty Images)

Five formative seasons at Lazio prepared Inzaghi for the step up to one of Italy’s most prestigious clubs in 2021 - and the Italian hasn’t looked back.

While he has so far failed to lift the Scudetto during his two campaigns at San Siro, Inzaghi has twice won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana with Inter - not to forget a Champions League runners-up spot either. Narrowly losing 1-0 to Manchester City in the final in Istanbul certainly isn’t a blot on the CV, especially when they defeated AC Milan 3-0 on aggregate in the semis.

Deemed a little too cautious by some naysayers, Inzaghi’s approach to games has been criticised. But given how turbulent the Nerazzurri have been over the last couple years, his calming influence has been most welcome. A title challenge in Serie A is certainly on the cards this term, too, as Inzaghi looks to win his first league title. 

19. Imanol Alguacil

Coach Imanol Alguacil of Real Sociedad during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona at the Reale Arena Stadium on November 4, 2023 in San Sebastian Spain (Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Real Sociedad are flying under Alguacil  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Imanol Alguacil took Real Sociedad to the Champions League last season with an exciting brand of play which bucks plenty of the trends of modern football, using players in close proximity to one another to build overloads rather than exploiting space. As a result, La Real have taken the game to plenty – and even re-energised 37-year-old David Silva in the final season of his career.

Having gotten a tune out of Take Kubo when some failed, using Mikel Oyarzabal as a complete forward and building a side on a Mikel Merino/Martin Zubimendi midfield that could rival any in football on its day, Alguacil has turned the Basque outfit into a vibrant attacking unit that attack with directness, despite holding a lot of possession. They’re proving in Europe, too, that they can punch above their weight.

18. Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge

Pochettino has a difficult test on his hands at Chelsea (Image credit: Getty Images)

A year out last season looks to have re-energised Pochettino as he returned to the Premier League with Chelsea, though there have inevitably been plenty of teething problems at Stamford Bridge. Amid a raft of player departures, arrivals and off-field issues, the Argentine has managed to get his side playing some exciting football with promising talent. 

Injuries have certainly hampered the team’s progress, however, making it even more difficult for Pochettino to actually figure out his preferred starting XI - once that is nailed down, the Blues could become serious trophy challengers once again. 

A coach who will improve Chelsea’s young squad physically, mentally and technically through his man-management skills, Pochettino has proven in the past that he is the perfect boss to be in charge of the Blues as they develop their abundance of talent. What he needs most of all, though, is time. 

17. Arne Slot

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot celebrates his side's Eredivisie title in May 2023.

Slot celebrates winning Eredivisie (Image credit: Getty Images)

A Europa Conference League final in his first season was followed by a league title in his second for Arne Slot. Under the Dutchman, the likes of Luis Sinisterra, Tyrell Malacia, Marcos Senesi, Orkun Kokcu, Reiss Nelson and Santiago Gimenez have flourished at Feyenoord, meanwhile – and it’s easy to see why. 

Rather like another candidate for the Tottenham job in the summer, Slot favours a back four, inverting full-backs and peppering the goal with wave after wave of pressure. It’s typical Eredivisie to play high-octane and direct, yet Slot is calm and composed from the touchline and already looks cut from the cloth of great Dutch coaches of the past. At 45, his career is just beginning.

16. Ange Postecoglou

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou celebrates following their sides victory after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 16, 2023 in London, England.

Postecoglou is proving the doubters wrong (Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Spurs were scrambling for a manager in the summer when they finally landed on Big Ange - but what an appointment it has so far proven to be. Initially doubted - not for the first time, following his previous start at Celtic and spells at sides in Australia - Postecoglou has won his critics over with a high-octane, exciting, possession style football.

Don’t get it twisted, either, the Aussie had an extremely difficult test on his hands walking into Spurs over the summer. Antonio Conte had upset just about every single person at the club and the ownership and chairman were coming under serious pressure from the fans. 

Oh, and club record goalscorer and talisman Harry Kane had just departed for Bayern Munich. Not bad for Postecoglou - long may the feelgood factor continue. 

15. Jose Mourinho

AS Roma coach Josè Mourinho during a press conference at Centro Sportivo Fulvio Bernardini on September 30, 2023 in Rome, Italy.

Mourinho looks happy at Roma (Image credit: Getty Images)

Egotist. Anarchist. Rebel. Sinner. Winner. Just some of the words that FourFourTwo used on its 2020 cover of then-Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho. So have one more: inevitable.

Not until the River Tiber has run dry and the Colosseum has crumbled to dust will the Special One not be battling for honours – two European finals in a row with Roma, by the way. He moves to a quieter league and he’s still blockbuster (waiting in the car park for a ref, even wearing a wire to talk to one). After leading a tactical wave in the noughties, he’s seemingly behind the crest now – yet no one can out-think him on the night. 

At 60, he should be settling down, perhaps with a nice, sunny international job and a timeshare to match. No chance. And we love him for it. Viva Jose. 

14. Abel Ferreira

Abel Ferreira, head coach of Palmeiras celebrates after winning the final match between Palmeiras and Flamengo as part of Supercopa do Brasil 2023 at Mane Garrincha Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Ferreira is a serial winner in Brazil (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ferreira has transformed Brazilian football since arriving in 2020, and has quickly become the foreign manager with the most trophies in the country. Three consecutive Copa Libertadores titles were only stopped by a penalty shootout defeat to Boca Juniors in the semi-finals this term, but that would’ve just been greedy anyway. 

“The greatest evolution of Palmeiras after Abel’s arrival [was] a feeling of appreciation and a sense of belonging among all the club’s workers, from the cook to the youth squads, to the professional team and the board,” Mateus Augustine, an analyst in Brazil. 

He’s box-office, too: he's dedicated wins to his "annoying neighbour", he has the energy of a Duracell bunny on the sidelines and he's transformed the mentality of his Palmeiras side into serial winners. Ferreira is precisely the feel-good factor of Brazilian football and already a legend in South America for his achievements. 

13. Luis Enrique

Coach Luis Enrique of Paris Saint-Germain claps during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and RC Lens at Parc des Princes Stadium on AUGUST 26, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Enrique is now the PSG boss (Image credit: Getty Images)

Luis Enrique showed all the hallmarks of a club coach while coaching the Spanish national side: doing very well in league-formatted group stages, implementing perhaps the most cohesive style of play in international football but ultimately being done over by bad luck and Giorgio Chiellini’s mind games. 

PSG is an impossible job – but Enrique’s approach has thus far been intriguing, leaning on teenager Warren Zaire-Emery, implementing a one-fit 4-3-3 and trying to ‘Barca-ise’ this side from a mess of Galacticos into a group defined by their culture. It’s a long slog – but Enrique has the background and the trophy cabinet to back his biggest decisions. 

12. Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag celebrates victory at full-time following the Premier League match between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on August 26, 2023 in Manchester, England.

Ten Hag celebrates a Manchester United win (Image credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

It’s been topsy-turvy for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, to say the least. 2022/23 ended largely as a success, with a trophy and Champions League qualification, but the new term has started under trying circumstances.

Issues around Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Antony have all tested the Dutchman’s resolve off the pitch - not to mention those pesky owners - and on it his players are unreliable. Ten Hag’s quality as a manager, however, has been proven before. 

A Champions League semi-final at Ajax was phenomenal with a young side, and his faith in youth has transferred to Old Trafford. While 2023/24 started with plenty of question marks, his tactical nous truly is undeniable. When he realised David De Gea couldn’t play out from the back, he turned the Red Devils onto scratching after long balls. When his players struggled with games every few days, he switched to a more conservative pressing style.

It’s only a matter of time until Ten Hag turns things around at United. 

11. Xabi Alonso

Liverpool old boy Xabi Alonso, Head Coach of Bayer Leverkusen, applauds the fans following the team's victory during UEFA Europa League 2023/24 group stage match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and BK Häcken at BayArena on September 21, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany.

Alonso has been hugely impressive at Leverkusen (Image credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Playing for Guardiola, Ancelotti, Mourinho, Benitez and Del Bosque in your career provides you with a solid education to take into the dugout. Xabi Alonso was perhaps the most obvious management candidate from that Spanish golden generation – and boy has he proved it in a short space of time.

After getting Real Sociedad B to the Segunda Division for the first time in five decades, the former midfield metronome swerved a shot at the Borussia Monchengladbach job to take over Bayer Leverkusen, with the club second-bottom in the Bundesliga. Now, they’re fighting Bayern Munich for the title having qualified for Europe, playing a compact, intelligent 3-4-3 that has ripped apart the rest of Germany. His mentors would be proud.

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