Real Madrid is indeed one of the most successful La Liga clubs, and even in some beliefs, one of the most successful clubs in the world. Behind every successful club, there stands a successful or better said, stand successful managers, and Real Madrid is no exception, too.
Who are the
most successful Real Madrid managers of all time
? The ones with more wins and less losses or the ones with most trophies? Although both these bases are somehow reliable, the latter has more reliability. Why?
Because a team can beat several other teams easily and increase its wins, but a team can never earn trophies, especially intracontinental ones, with much effort. This is where teams and their managers’ wills will be put to test. So that’s a better criterion to determine which managers have been the most successful ones - in our case Real Madrid's most successful managers in history.
Almost half of the managers among the top 10 most successful Real Madrid managers in history are Spanish. But what about the rest of the list? Read on to know.
most successful Real Madrid manager ever
in terms of the number of trophies won, Miguel Munoz is a passed Spanish manager who won 14 trophies with Real Madrid during his career as a manager.
He also served Real as a player more than any other team during his footballing career; actually for 10 years between 1948 and 1958 which is at least 5 times higher than the other clubs he served during his career.
And as a manager, Munoz served Real even higher: once for a short period in 1959 and another time from 1960 to 1974 - actually for 14 years. During this time, as mentioned above, he won 14 trophies with Real Madrid which include 9La Liga
titles, 2 Copa del Rey trophies, 2 European Cups, and 1 Intercontinental Cup also known as Toyota Cup or European/South American Cup.
As a player, Munoz was also a decorated one: He won 4 La Liga titles, 2 Copa Latina trophies, and 3 European Cups. The interesting fact about him is that he won all the trophies of both his playing and managing career withReal Madrid
, and again the number of trophies he won as a manager, just like his years of service, are higher than the number of trophies he won as a player (14 vs 11).
Munoz also served the Spanish national team both as a player and manager: as a player for 7 years between 1948 and 1995, and as a manager for 6 years between 1982 and 1988 and indeed a short period in 1969. He is the first manager in the history of football who won the European Cup both as a manager and player.
The second place on the list of greatest Real Madrid managers in history goes to the beloved Zinedine Zidane. Although Zidane is not actually - we mean based on the list criteria -
Real Madrid's most successful manager of all time
, some believe he is as a modern-day manager. Football has changed a lot since Miguel Munoz’s time and so the criteria for being the greatest manager of all - of any team. If this is your reason, then you could call Zinedine Zidane the greatest Real Madrid manager in history.
is also the first and only French manager among the top 30 greatest Real Madrid managers in history and also the only French manager and indeed one of the most successful ones Real has ever had since 1910 - actually 8 years from the foundation of the club itself.
Zidane has also served Real Madrid as a player; actually for 5 years from 2001 and 2006 which marks the end of his career. However and just like Miguel Munoz, the number of years Zidane has served Real as a manager exceeds that: From 2014 to this date which is by now 6 years.
Well, if you still think Zidane is the greatest Real Madrid managers in history, we should say you’re right, in fact, in terms of the number of individual records he has set and also the number of individual trophies he has won as a manager.
While Miguel Munoz set no individual records has won no individual trophies as a manager, Zidane has set more than 20 records at Real Madrid and has won more than 20 individual trophies so far.
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Here are some of Zidane’s records, indeed at Real Madrid: Longest unbeaten run in Real Madrid history (40 games), the only manager in Real Madrid history to have won four trophies in one season, the only manager in Real Madrid history to have wonUEFA Super Cup
twice, and the only manager in Real Madrid history to have won five trophies in a calendar year.
And his club trophies as a manager? With Real, Zidane has won two La Liga titles, two Spanish Super Cups, three UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups which sum up to a total of 11 trophies.
Concerning Zidane’s individual trophies, we should say he was named La Liga Manager of the Month in April 2016, and May 2017, France Football French Manager of the Year in the same aforementioned years, and the Best FIFA Football Coach in 2017 just to name a few.
Despite all his individual trophies, the 48-year-old French manager has never managed the French national team, however, as a player he played for them between 1994 and 2006 and during this time scored 31 goals in the 108 appearances that he made for them.
The second Spanish and also the second passed manager on the list of greatest Real Madrid managers in history, Luis Molowny managedReal Madrid
in 4 time periods during his life time: once in a short time period in 1974, a second time from 1977 to 1979, a third time in 1982 - this one was also a short one, and a fourth time in 1985-86 which altogether sum up to 3 to 5 years.
This is as Molowny served Real Madrid as a player for 11 years between 1946 and 1957 which is more than two times longer than the period he managed the same team.
The interesting fact about Luis Molowny is that he only managed the clubs he served as a player during his footballing career. These two clubs areLas Palmas
and Real Madrid. With Real Madrid he won 3 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey trophies, one La Liga Cup, and 2 UEFA Cups which sum up to 8 trophies in total. The passed Spanish manager also served the Spanish national team both as a manager and player; as a manager in 1969 and as a player from 1950 to 1955 - for 5 years.
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And here comes the third Spanish manager on the list of
greatest Real Madrid managers in history
: Vicente del Bosque. He’s a 69-year-old former manager and player who played for Real Madrid for the majority of his club career and also managed the same team a few years after his retirement as a player.
Just like Luis Molowny, this - we mean managing Real Madrid - happened to Del Bosque in 4 time periods: Once from 1987 to 1990 where the retied Spanish manager served Real Madrid Castilla - Real Madrid Division B team, a second time in 1994 where served Real Madrid as a caretaker, a third time in 1996 where he served the same club in the same position, and a fourth time from 1999 to 2003 where he served them as a manager.
The four time periods mentioned above - we mean the time periods Del Bosque served Real as a manager or caretaker - sum up to 7 to 9 years. This is as the retired Spanish manager served the La Liga club for 16 years between 1968 and 1984 as a player which actually covers almost all his club career.
As a manager, Del Bosque won 2La Liga
titles, one Spanish Super Cup, one Copa Iberia, 2 UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Super Cup, and one Intercontinental Cup which sum up to 7 trophies in total. He has also won a handful of individual trophies among which are FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2012, European Coach of the Year in 2002, and 2012, and UEFA Club Coach of the Year in 2002.
The first Dutch and the only manager among the top 10 greatest Real Madrid managers in history to have managed more than 20 clubs and national teams since the start of his managerial career, Leo Beenhakker is a 78-year-old manager who is currently serving the Dutch club,Sparta Rotterdam
, as a technical advisor.
If you just like to know about some of the teams he has managed to this date - both club and international, here they are: Feyenoord, Ajax, Volendam, Cambuur - all Dutch clubs, the Mexican club, Guadalajara, Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Saudi Arabia, and Poland national teams, and indeed, Real Madrid.
Beenhakker served Real Madrid as a manager in two time periods: Once from 1986 to 1989 and another time in a short period in 1992, however and despite the fact that he only served Real for 3 to 4 years, he managed to collect 6 trophies - all in the first period - which shows he did quite well in the years he served Real as a manager.
The 78-year-old Dutch manager actually managed to win three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups both in the first period that he served Real. It is also noteworthy to mention that Leo Beenhakker only served as a manager during his career - he’s indeed the first all-time manager among the most successful Real Madrid managers of all time - which means he never served as a footballer.
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The fourth Spanish and the third passed manager on the list of greatest Real Madrid managers in history, Jose Villalonga was an all-time manager during his life time just like his predecessor on the list, Leo Beenhakker. He actually played for no team, but managed one international and two club teams during his career: Real Madrid,Atletico Madrid
, and the Spanish national team.
Villalonga’s career only lasted 11 years - from 1955 to 1966 - and the interesting fact about it is that Real Madrid gets the lowest share of Villalonga’s years of service; actually two years from 1955 to 1957. This is as the passed Spanish manager served Atletico Madrid for 3 years between 1959 and 1962 and the Spanish national team for 4 years between 1962 and 1966. Despite this, he won most of his club trophies - actually 4 - with Real Madrid.
These trophies include two La Liga titles and two European Cups. Villalonga also won two Copa Latina trophies in 1955 and 1957, however, since the competition was abolished 63 years ago, we have not counted this one toward Villalonga’s trophies. If we did, then the number of Villalonga’s trophies would count up to 6, though that didn’t move him higher on the list of Real Madrid's most successful managers ever.
The first Italian manager and also the first manager on the list of
greatest Real Madrid managers in history
who has not won a single La Liga title during his career, Carlo Ancelotti is a 61-year-old manager who has been serving the Premier League club, Everton, since 2019.
Although having won no La Liga title during his managerial career, Ancelotti is the first manager on the list who has managed several top-tier clubs other than Real Madrid in major European leagues like Bayern Munich, Chelsea, PSG,Juventus
, and AC Milan.
The trophies Ancelotti has won during his managerial career are distributed almost evenly among the above-mentioned clubs with Real Madrid having a share of 4 out of 17 and Milan having the greatest share (6). The trophies Ancelotti has won with Real Madrid are one Copa del Rey in 2013-14 season, one UEFA Champions League title in the same season, one UEFA Super Cup in 2014, and one FIFA Club World Cup in the same year.
He is the second and only manager after Zinedine Zidane among Real Madrid's most successful managers ever - at least among the top 20 - to have won a FIFA Club World Cup trophy with Real Madrid.
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And this number of trophies have been earned in the two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15) that Ancelotti served Real as a manager. Just Imagine how many other trophies he would gain, if he stayed with the La Liga club.
Ancelotti is also among the managers on the list with a number of individual awards includingSerie A
Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2004, Ligue 1 Manager of the Year in 2012-13 season, and Premier League Manager of the Month in five different months just to name a few. He was also inducted into AC Milan Hall of Fame, A.S. Roma Hall of Fame in 2014, and the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
The first Argentinian and the fourth passed manager on the list of greatest Real Madrid managers in history, Luis Carniglia is among the managers who managed or have managed more teams than they have played for. He served 6 clubs as a player, while he managed 11 clubs during his managerial career among which were top-tier clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, AS Roma, and indeed Real Madrid.
However and despite the fact that Carniglia served several top-tier clubs in major European leagues as a manager, just like Carlo Ancelotti, but he never won as many trophies as Ancelotti did.
He won only 5 trophies during his managerial career from which of course Real Madrid has the greatest share: 3 which is actually the sum-up of 1 La Liga title, and two European Cups. And these three trophies were earned just in two years between 1957 and 1959. The other two trophies Carniglia earned during his career are one Ligue 1 title in 1955-56 season with the French club,Nice
, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960-61 season with AS Roma.
The first Yugoslavian and the fifth passed manager on the list of greatest Real Madrid managers in history, Miljan Miljanic served one national team - actually his country’s (Yugoslavia) national team - and 5 clubs during his career with the most prominent of them being Real Madrid. He actually served Real for 3 years between 1974 and 1977 and during this time won 3 trophies with them: 2 consecutive La Liga titles in 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons and one Copa del Rey in 1974-75 season.
Although Real Madrid is the most prominent club Miljanic served during his career, he actually served the top Serbian club,Red Star Belgrade
, longer - actually for 8 years between 1966 and 1974 which is almost 3 times longer than the period he served Real - and collected more trophies with them: 8 trophies which is again almost 3 times higher than the number of trophies he won with Real. He also served the Yugoslavian national team in four time periods: Once from 1965 to 1966, a second time from 1973 to 1974, a third time from 1979 to 1982, and a fourth time in 1992 which was a short period.
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The last but not least on the list of g
reatest Real Madrid managers in history
, Jose Mourinho is also the first Portuguese manager on the list. Just like Carlo Ancelotti he’s also one of the managers on the list to have also managed top European clubs other than Real Madrid during his career; clubs such as Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Porto, and Tottenham Hotsupr - the last one he’s been serving since 2019.
So if you think to have managed top-tier clubs is a success criterion for a manager, we should say both Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti should top the list. Also if our criterion was a manager’s total trophies during his career, then Mourinho again would top the list because he has a handful of trophies with every of the teams mentioned above except forTottenham Hotspur
With Real Madrid, however, Mourinho has won the least number of trophies and that’s why he has a lower rank on the list of Real Madrid's most successful managers of all time. These trophies include one La Liga title in 2011-12 season, one Copa del Rey trophy in 2010-11 season, and one Spanish Super Cup in 2012. This is as he has won eight trophies with Chelsea, six trophies with Porto, and five trophies with Inter Milan - with Manchester United he has also won three trophies.
Mourinho has also won a number of individual trophies some of which are Serie A Manager of the Year in 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, Premier League Manager of the Season in three seasons, namely 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2014-15 seasons in all of which he was the manager of Chelsea, UEFA Manager of the Year in 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, and FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2010. Despite the fact that Mourinho has been such a successful manager at club level, he has never managed a national team.
Surely Real Madrid has seen other great managers in its history. Although these manages won or have won less trophies with the La Liga club, they are still on the list of
Real Madrid's most successful managers in history
and as below:
Francisco Bru, Trophies: 2 Copa del Rey trophies, Ntl: Spanish
Vujadin Boskov, Trophies: one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey trophy, Ntl: Yugoslavian
Benito Floro, Trophies: one Copa del Rey trophy and one Spanish Super Cup, Ntl: Spanish
Fabio Capello, Trophies: two La Liga titles, Ntl: Italian
Jupp Heynckes, Trophies: one Spanish Super Cup and one UEFA Champions League title, Ntl: German
Bernd Schuster, Trophies: one La Liga title and one Spanish Super Cup, Ntl: German
Arthur Johnson, Trophies: one Copa del Rey, Ntl: Irish
Lippo Hertzka, Trophies: one La Liga title, Ntl: Hungarian
Robert Firth, Trophies: one La Liga title, Ntl: English
Jacinto Quincoces, Trophies: one Copa del Rey, Ntl: Spanish