Under constant pressure from the board, from the fans and even at times from your own players, who would be a football manager? It’s a job that certainly has its perks, but at the same time comes with immense stress, frustration and heartache.
When things go your way, there is perhaps no better feeling, but on the other side of the coin comes those disastrous moments of failure, where the unforgiving eyes of the world watch on with derision. There truly is nowhere to hide.Fortunately we’ve been lucky enough to witness some of the greats in action on the touchline in recent years, but who are the top 10 managers in the world right now?
10. Jose Mourinho – Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs sat in 14th spot in the league when Jose took over from Mauricio Pochettino back in November, with only Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs picking up more points than Spurs from then on in. The Portuguese boss used all his experience to secure sixth place, recording his 300th win in English football along the way.
He’s certainly still the ‘Special One’, but perhaps isn’t quite as special as he used to be. That said, there wouldn’t be a club across Europe who would turn down his services should the opportunity ever arise.
9. Julian Nagelsmann – RB Leipzig
Already revered in German football at just 33 years of age, Nagelsmann has recently shown what he is capable of on the European stage, helping take his exciting side to this season’s Champions League semi-finals. The record-breaker is now the youngest boss in history to win a Champions League knockout tie, and is set to become the youngest coach in the semi-final of the competition.
An unfortunate injury brought his playing career to an early halt, but his innovation and ingenuity from the touchline helped secure third spot in the Bundesliga this season. Thanks to his previous spell at Hoffenheim, he’s already overseen 100 games in the German top-flight, unsurprisingly the youngest to achieve the feat.
8. Thomas Tuchel – CHELSEA (former PSG coach)
Nagelsmann’s role model thanks to their time together in the coaching setup at Augsburg in 2007/08, Tuchel is another to have proven himself in recent seasons at the very top level of the game.
The 46-year-old guided his side to the domestic treble in France earlier this season, as well as driving PSG to their first Champions League semi-final in 25 years. He’s undoubtedly been helped massively thanks to the club’s wealthy Qatari owners, but Tuchel’s tactical know-how cannot be overlooked.
7. Lucien Favre – (ex. Borussia Dortmund coach)
The 62-year-old boasts a wealth of managerial experience across several European clubs, and recently guided Dortmund to second place in the Bundesliga, with his side narrowly losing out to PSG in the Champions League round of 16.
The former Switzerland midfielder is, however, building for the future at Signal Iduna Park. His youthful, attacking squad – including Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna, Julian Brandt and Jude Bellingham – are getting prepared to challenge on all fronts next season, with the aim of knocking Bayern Munich off their perch at the top of the agenda.
6. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid
Love him or hate him, the Argentine has done a phenomenal job in the Spanish capital, enjoying huge success ever since taking over the role all the way back in 2011. Another disciplined defensive campaign saw his side take third spot in La Liga, where finding the back of the net was the only issue.
With a passion and enthusiasm for the game that surpasses most players and indeed most of his managerial counterparts, Simeone remains one of the most respected and highly-rated bosses out there.
5. Antonio Conte – Inter Milan
The former Chelsea boss surprised everyone with his success at San Siro this season, with his group of Premier League misfits and experienced Italians combining perfectly. Getting the best out of ex-Manchester United duo Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku has been key, with the club outscoring everyone but Atalanta on their way to second in Serie A.
Conte and Inter also now have a Europa League final to look forward to, with the Italian leader looking increasingly likely to be the man to take the club back to where they belong.
4. Zinedine Zidane – Real Madrid
Zidane’s bitter relationship with Gareth Bale once again dominated the headlines at Madrid throughout the year, but it didn’t get in the way of another hugely successful season for the manager and his side.
The club legend clinched another league title thanks to the best defensive record and second-best attacking record in La Liga this season, with the club finishing comfortably ahead of fierce rivals Barcelona and Atletico.
3. Hansi Flick – Bayern Munich
It’s all good and well having a team of superstars, but knowing where to put them and how to play them is another matter entirely. Flick was only supposed to be a temporary solution when he took over from Niko Kovac in November with the club sitting fourth in the table, but he has instead been rewarded with a long-term contract for his efforts in recent months.
Bayern ended the season with another Bundesliga title, with their 100 goals scored and 32 goals conceded the best records throughout the league. They now have a Champions League semi-final to look forward to after demolishing Barcelona 8-2.
2. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City
With a helping hand from the club’s wealthy owners, the Spaniard has completely changed the way of life at City, and remains at the very top of his game despite an ultimately disappointing campaign.
A serial winner from the touchline, Guardiola will forever be associated with his tactical genius and attractive, slick football. He’s proven his worth at the very best across Europe, and will undeniably be keen to bring further silverware to the northwest next season.
1. Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool
Recently voted Premier League Manager of the Season for bringing an end to a 30-year wait for the title, the enthusiastic manager has already etched his name into the club’s folklore, with his unique tactical approach bringing endless success to his unified squad.
With a mutual adoration between Klopp and his players, and indeed between the German and the Liverpool fans, it truly is a match made in heaven, with the Anfield faithful eager for it to continue long into the future.Do you agree with that list, or what would you have done differently? Let us know!