The 20 Most Successful Football Managers of All Time

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There are many different ways to judge the success of a soccer coach. You could go by the the difference he made in various players’ careers, by the way he kept a small club punching above their weight, or even by the cultural legacy he leaves behind. But it’s all a bit ethereal. And so the only real way to rank the most successful managers of all time is the obvious one: How many trophies did he put in the cabinet?

So here are the 20 most successful coaches of all time, ranked by number of serious trophies won. And by serious trophies, I mean league titles, domestic cups or continental cups that take an entire season to win, or international tournaments. Any “supercups” that open seasons and can be won in just one game, or trinkets like pre-season tournaments, have been ignored.

For brevity’s sake, the list begins with managers who’ve won 12 trophies or more. Why? Because a surprising number of great numbers are stuck on 11, including Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti.

Three men very much worth a mention, but not included in this list because they were collecting medals in an era that’s impossible to compare with modern football, are Bill Struth, who won 30 trophies with Rangers in the 1920s; Willie Maley, who won 30 trophies with Celtic in the late-19th and early-20th century; and George Ramsey, who won 12 trophies with Aston Villa in the late-19th century.

20. Pep Guardiola
Barcelona
La Liga: 2009, 2010, 2011 (3)
Copa del Rey: 2009, 2012 (2)
UEFA Champions League: 2009, 2011 (2)
FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011 (2)
 Bayern Munich
Bundesliga: 2014
DFB Pokal: 2014
FIFA Club World Cup: 2013
TOTAL: 12

19. Albert Batteux
AlbertBatteux.jpg

Stade de Raim
Ligue 1: 1953, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1962 (5)
Coupe de France: 1958
Saint-Étienne
Ligue 1: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 (4)
Coupe de France: 1968, 1970 (2)
TOTAL: 12

18. Guus Hiddink
PSV Eindhoven
Eredivisie: 1987, 1988, 1989, 2003, 2005, 2006 (6)
KNVB Cup: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2005 (4)
European Cup: 1988
Chelsea
FA Cup: 2009
TOTAL: 12

17. Louis van Gaal
Ajax Amsterdam
Eredivisie: 1994, 1995, 1996 (3)
KNVB Cup: 1993
Champions League: 1995
UEFA Cup: 1992
Barcelona
La Liga: 1998, 1999 (2)
Copa del Rey: 1998
AZ
Eredivisie: 2009
 Bayern Munich
Bundesliga: 2010
DFB Pokal: 2010
TOTAL: 12

16. Helenio Herrera
Atletico Madrid
La Liga: 1950, 1951 (2)
Barcelona
La Liga: 1959, 1960 (2)
Copa del Rey: 1959, 1981 (2)
Internazionale
Serie A: 1963, 1965, 1966 (3)
European Cup: 1964, 1965 (2)
Roma
Coppa Italia: 1969
TOTAL: 12

15. Rinus Michels
Ajax Amsterdam
Eredivisie: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970 (4)
KNVB Cup: 1967, 1970, 1971 (3)
European Cup: 1971
Barcelona
La Liga: 1974
Copa del Rey: 1978
FC Köln
DFB Pokal: 1983
Netherlands
European Championship: 1988
TOTAL: 12

14. Tomislav Ivic
Hadjuk Split
Yugoslav First League: 1974, 1975, 1979 (3)
Yugoslav Cup: 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976 (4)
Ajax Amsterdam
Eredivisie: 1977
Anderlecht
Belgian Pro League: 1981
Panathinaikos
Alpha Ethniki (Greek league): 1986
FC Porto
Portuguese Primeira Liga: 1988
Taça de Portugal: 1988
Atletico Madrid
Copa del Rey: 1991
TOTAL: 13

13. Marcelo Lippi
  Juventus
Serie A: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 (5)
Coppa Italia: 1995
UEFA Champions League: 1996
Italy
World Cup: 2006
Guangzhou Evergrande
Chinese Super League: 2012, 2013, 2014 (3)
Chinese FA Cup: 2012
AFC Champions League: 2013
TOTAL: 13

12. Bob Paisley
Liverpool
Football League First Division: 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983 (6)
League Cup: 1981, 1982, 1983 (3)
UEFA Cup: 1976
European Cup: 1977, 1978, 1981 (3)
TOTAL: 13

11. Ernst Happel
ADO Den Haag
KNVB Cup: 1968
Feyenoord
Eredivisie: 1971
European Cup: 1970
Club Brugge
Pro League: 1976, 1977, 1978 (3)
Belgian Cup: 1977
Standard Liege
Belgian Cup: 1981
Hamburger SV
Bundesliga: 1982, 1983 (2)
DFB Pokal: 1987
European Cup: 1983
FC Swarovski Tirol
Austrian Bundesliga: 1989, 1990 (2)
Austrian Cup: 1989
TOTAL: 14

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