Ranking the five best managers in world football right now - Pep Guardiola
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Ranking the five best managers in world football right now

World football’s best managers extract the most from the talent at their disposal, inspire dressing rooms, and discover innovative methods to keep on top of opponents.

There’s no shortage of outstanding coaches right now and we’ve decided to embark on the difficult challenge of rating the finest football minds in the game. No easy task, but our top five have certainly made compelling cases for inclusion.

Ranking the five best managers in world football right now:

5. Simone Inzaghi – Inter Milan

Simeone Inzaghi has stepped into Antonio Conte’s shoes at Inter Milan to make the Italian outfit one of Europe’s most impressive sides. Though the club’s Champions League elimination to Atletico Madrid was a disappointment this month, it does not overly dampen the progress the Nerazzurri have made during Inzaghi’s tenure to date,

Having led Lazio to the Coppa Italia and a pair of Supercoppa Italiana, Inzaghi moved to Milan and has continued to enhance his reputation as an elite coach. Back-to-back Coppa Italia and a hat-trick of Supercoppa successes have added to his trophy cabinet, in addition to leading Inter to a first Champions League final in over a decade last season.

This season, Inter are cantering towards the Scudetto and boast a 14-point advantage at the top. Inzaghi’s side has lost just once in the league all season and has combined formidable defensive strength with attractive football. No side in Europe’s top five leagues has conceded fewer goals than Inter (14), though there’s an adventure to their game with marauding wing-backs and a forward partnership of Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez.

That Inzaghi’s overhaul has been done with a transfer window profit of around €170m over the last three seasons underlines Inter’s brilliant business and top-class coaching.

4. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid’s upset of Inter Milan in the Champions League this month proved there’s plenty of life left in their head coach.

Simeone is into his 13th year as Atletico Madrid manager and while there’s been ups and downs, the Argentine has more often than not found a way to win. It might not always be pretty, but Simeone’s sides are rarely fun to play against. He’s won eight trophies, including a pair of La Liga titles and two Europa League trophies, and twice led the Colchoneros to the Champions League final.

Each time things appear to be getting stale in the Spanish capital, Simeone has reinvented the side and found improvement. That is often ingrained in the very best coaches, an ability to continually evolve teams over long periods.

3. Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid

If Carlo Ancelotti called time on his career tomorrow, he would do so as one of the greatest coaches to have ever taken to the dugout. Few boast a résumé of success quite like Don Carlo.

A record four-time winner of the Champions League, he has claimed football’s biggest prize twice apiece with AC Milan and Real Madrid. The 64-year-old is also the only coach in football history to have won each of Europe’s top five leagues, claiming titles with Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

A second La Liga title looks likely to arrive this season with Los Blancos top of the table and eight points clear. He has overseen the rebuild of Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants focus on emerging names and look to build a side capable of dominating for a decade.

Ancelotti’s ability to manage dressing room egos is perhaps one of his greatest traits, an exceptional man manager and a popular figure at all of his former clubs.

2. Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool

Liverpool face an almost impossible task this summer, following the announcement that Jurgen Klopp will step down as manager in the summer. Klopp has overseen the most successful period in the club’s modern history, finding methods to compete against the powerhouse of Manchester City and lead Liverpool to the game’s biggest honours.

The German has completed a clean sweep of major trophies on Merseyside, including the club’s drought-breaking Premier League crown in 2019/20. A second could follow this season, as Klopp targets the perfect farewell to his nine seasons in English football.

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Klopp’s charisma and infectious energy have transformed Liverpool into one of Europe’s strongest sides. Whoever replaces him will have a sizeable task on their hands to fill the void.

1. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is the most decorated coach currently in the game, with his career of almost constant success.

After turning Barcelona into arguably world football’s greatest-ever side, Guardiola has collected honour after honour during spells at Bayern Munich and Manchester City, breaking records and setting new standards.

His list of firsts includes Spanish football’s first-ever treble, the Premier League’s first 100-point team, English football’s first domestic treble and City’s maiden Champions League triumph, the latter completed as part of another historic treble-winning season.

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Guardiola’s impact has seen the game evolve at all levels, with false nines and inverted full-backs just some of the concepts popularised by his management style. Still just 53, it remains to be seen how long Guardiola continues. His argument as the finest coach of all time is already a strong one.

Read – The most points won in a single season across Europe’s top five leagues

See more – The problem positions England must solve before Euro 2024

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