The Best Spanish Managers of All Time
In this article at Sportmob, we are going to talk about the best Spanish managers of all time. If you are interested to know about the greatest Spanish coaches in the beautiful game, you have come to the right place.
Throughout the history of football, Spain was one of the few counties that were able to develop talented managers. As you know, Spain is the home of two of the biggest football clubs in the world –Real Madrid
and Barcelona – therefore it is no surprise that they were able to produce some world class managers who changed the game for the better. Managers who not only managed to win trophies, but also made their own way of playing football and revolutionized the tactics of the game.
That is why we decided to dedicate an article to
the best Spanish managers of all time
. In the following article we are going to have a look at the profile of the top 10 best Spanish managers of all time. We will discuss about how they made their way in becoming one of the best Spanish managers of all time and what they achieved during their coaching career. Stay tuned with us!
Who Are The Greatest Spanish Coaches Ever?
Before we get to the details and talk about these incredible managers careers, let’s have a quick look at the name of the
top best Spanish managers of all time
. Here we shortlisted top 10 best Spanish managers of all time:
Vicente del Bosque
that is our shortlist for the best Spanish managers of all time. Now it is time to have a close look into these top managers profiles.
Miguel Muñoz is one of the icons of the Real Madrid. Muñoz was born on 1922 and when he was 24 years old, joined Real Madrid as a talented midfielder. He was a key part of Real Madrid’s early success at that time and after a decade serving the club as a player; he hanged up his boots and started his coaching career. Just after two years he made his return to the Royal Club this time as a manager and started one of the most successful runs of the club up to this day.
Miguel Muñoz started winning trophies at Real Madrid in his debut season as a manager in 1960-61 La Liga season. He didn’t stop there and added 4 back to back La Liga championships until 1965; and then another 3 consecutive championships from 1967 to 1969. Miguel Muñoz also conquered the European Cup on two occasions in 1960 and 1966. After 16 years, Muñoz left Real Madrid and experienced coaching other Spanish clubs such as Granada and Sevilla. In 1982 he took over the national job and led Spain to a Runner-up place in UEFA Euro 1984 and two years later in 1986World Cup
in Mexico, he reached to the quarter-finals and got eliminated in penalties against Belgium. For his great legacy in Spanish football, the Marca newspaper established an annual football award in 2006 for managers who are coaching in Spanish football and named it after Miguel Muñoz.
Luis Aragones was born in 1938 and started his senior career as a footballer in 1957. He spent most of his career at Atletico Madrid and was a decent attacking midfielder, but then turned out that he was even a better coach. Aragones started his coaching career with Atletico Madrid in 1974 and didn’t take him long to win a La Liga title in 1977. Aragones continued his coaching career at club level for the coming years and he managed so many clubs in Spanish football, includingBarcelona
in 1987. Although he didn’t stay there more than a season, Aragones managed to win a Copa del Rey with the Blugrana.
Luis Aragones was a relatively successful coach on club level. Being one of the most successful managers in Atletico Madrid history with eight trophies is a proof of that. But what makes Luis Aragones one of the
best Spanish managers of all time
is what he did for Spain national team. After a big failure on Euro 2004, Luis Aragones was appointed as the new coach of La Roja. He decided to inject some new blood into the team and for that; he had to drop big names like Raul and Michel Salgado. Then he developed a unique style of playing football which was called tiki-taka. It focuses on passing the ball as much as possible until the opposition defense cracks and gives away some free space. Aragones’s revolutionary style of play led Spain to win the Euro for the first time ever in 2008.
There are a lot of top managers in the world of football that experienced a horrible injury during their early footballing years which forced them to start a coaching career much sooner than expected. Javier Clemente is one of them and luckily, he turned out to be one of the
best Spanish managers of all time
. Javier had a career ending injury during his early 20s and immediately after that, he decided to start his coaching career. After coaching some local and low division clubs, Javier Clemente appointed as Athletic Bilbao manager in 1981. In his second and third year at Athletic Bilbao Javier Clemente won the La Liga and dominated the league.
He also won the Copa del Ray in the 1983-84 season and a Supercopa de España in 1984. Javier Clemente was enjoying his early years as a top flight coach and was given the bestLa Liga
manager award for three seasons. His style of play was a defensive minded play and he demanded his players to play aggressively on the pitch. You could say Javier Clemente has a little bit high temper since he had a lot of fights with his clubs directors or the rival coaches. Clemente is currently coaching Libya national team, where he managed to win an African Nations Championship in 2014.
Javier Irureta is one of the other
Greatest Spanish Coaches
that we are going to talk about. On his playing days, Irureta spent 8 years at Atletico Madrid and 5 years in Athletic Bilbao before he retired on 1980. He started his coaching career 4 years later by managing low division clubs until 1994 when he got back to Athletic Bilbao but this time as a coach. Javier Irureta showed that he is an above average coach and got awarded the best coach of the year by various newspapers. In 1998 Irureta joined Deportivo La Coruña and that was when his incredible run of successes started.
In the season of 1999-2000 Irureta led the Deportivo to their first ever and up to this day only championship in La Liga. Just like today, Real Madrid and Barcelona were two of the biggest clubs in Europe back then and nobody could even imagine Deportivo are going to win the league. The fairy tale of Deportivo and Irureta didn’t finish there; in the next four years Dportivo managed to finish the league either on 2nd or 3rd place. They also shined out on Champions League by reaching quarter-finals in 2001 and 2002 and a semi-final in 2004. After amazing seven years at Deportivo Coruña, Javier Irureta departed from the club and had two short spells at Betis and Zaragoza.
Juande Ramos is one of the classic examples of semi-professional footballers that become great football coaches. The reason why he is one of The
Top 10 Best Spanish Managers of All Time
is his great success at Sevilla on his two season spell. Before joiningSevilla
, Ramos started coaching at lower divisions at clubs like Elche, Levante, Logrones, and many others. He won the second division championship with Rayo Vallecano and that was enough to make his way to the top flight of Spanish football. In 2005 Ramos got the Sevilla job and had a wondergul season. Juande Ramos reached to the finals of UEFA Cup and managed to win the trophy by smashing Middlesbrough with 4 goals.
In the next season, Ramos led Sevilla to another UEFA Cup championship in addition to a UEFA Super Cup and a Supercopa de España. For his incredible achievements with Sevilla, Juande Ramos won the European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award in 2007. In the same year, Juande left Sevilla to experience coaching the English side, Tottenham. On his first season, Ramos managed to win the football league cup but things didn’t go well on his next season and he got fired which brought him back to Spain to sit at Real Madrid’s bench. Although Ramos managed to get 52 points from 54 possible in 18 consecutive matches in La Liga, he suffered a humiliating 6-2 loss to the rivals, Barcelona and lost the league title race. Unfortunately that was the last time Juande Ramos managed an elite club in European football.
Vicente del Bosque
When we are talking about Top Best Spanish Managers of All Time, it is impossible to ignore Vicente del Bosque Gonzalez. He achieved every possible title during his coaching career and cemented his place as one of the greatest Spanish coaches ever. In his early days, Vicente del Bosque was a capable defensive midfielder who played wore the Real Madrid shirt for 16 years. In 1987 he returned to Real Madrid to start his coaching career by coaching the Real Madrid Castilla squad. After two short spells as a caretaker manager, he was appointed as Real Madrid head coach in 1999 and started his journey as a top tier coach.
On his first season in Real Madrid, del Bosque won the UEFA Champions League, something that Real was craving for more than decades. On his second season Real won the La Liga and on his third season, they won both the La Liga and the UCL. Vicente del Bosque left the Royal Club with another La Liga championship in 2003 and had an unpleasant season at Besiktas in Turkey.
In 2008, del Bosque replaced one of the other coaches on our shortlist, Luis Aragones and became the head coach of Spain national team. Del Bosque carried on to play the tici-taca style and developed it to the point where Spain became unbeatable in the world of football. They won both the World Cup and theEuros
in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Spain was his last job and he retired from the game in 2016 after losing to Italy in Euro 2016.
Rafael Benitez Maudes started his coaching career during his 20s from Real Madrid youth academy. He served almost a decade in Real Madrid various age groups as a member of coaching staff and had some achievements such as wining Spain U19 Cup in 1991 and 1993. Rafael Benitez started his senior coaching career at Valladolod in 1995 but things didn’t go well for Rafa and his men. His next stop was Osasuna but once again he failed to implant his ideas and got sacked. After years of gathering experience and studying, finally in 2001 Rafael Benitez took the Valencia job which was his first opportunity at a top Spanish club.
On his very first season at La Liga, Benitez showed that he has something to offer and he could be on his way to become one of the best Spanish managers of all time. With an attacking football, Valencia under Benitez won their first La Liga title after 31 years. On his third season at Valencia, Benitez added another La Liga title and an UEFA Cup trophy to become the UEFA manager of the year. After his successful spell at Valencia, Benitez took over Liverpool and became the first Spanish manager ofPremier league
From the very first day he had a tough job on the English club. He had to convince Steven Gerrard to stay at the club since he was one step away from joiningChelsea
. Liverpool wasn’t able to stay on the title race in the Premier League but they had one of their best Champions League runs and reached to the finals to face against the legendary Milan. Liverpool conceded 3 goals on the first half but they managed to accomplish a comeback on the second half and eventually win the match on penalty shout-outs.
Benitez remained in England until 2010 and managed to add three other cups to Liverpool’s trophy cabinet. Since then Rafael Benitez has coached big clubs like Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli. He has won a FIFA Club World cup in 2010 with Inter, an UEFA Europa League in 2013 with Chelsea and a Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2014. Rafael Benitez was appointed as Everton head coach recently and he has almost the perfect squad to play his favorite 4-2-3-1 system.
Unai Emery as known as Mr. Europa League is one of the
Top Best Spanish Managers of All Time
without a doubt. Unai spent most of his playing career in Spain’s second division and hanged up his boots in 2004. In the same year, he started his coaching career at Lorca Deportiva when he was 33 years old. It was in 2008 when he became the coach of Valencia and proved that he is ready to coach top flight teams in Spain. Although he didn’t win any trophy withValencia
, but he managed to finish the season in a top-three position for several years.
After a six month spell at Spartak Moskow, Unai Emery came back to Spain in 2013 and became the head coach of Sevilla. On his first full season at Sevilla which was the 2013-14 season, Unai Emery won his first major trophy which was the Europa League. But that was just the first of three consecutive Europa League championships which made Unai Emery the first coach ever to accomplish that. In 2016 Emery chose Paris Saint-Germain as his next club and during only two seasons, he has won 7 domestic trophies in France. After a season and a half challenging seasons at Arsenal, Unai Emery returned to Spain but this time as the head coach of Villarreal. On his first season at Villarreal, Unai Emery managed to win the Europa League for the fourth time during his coaching career and that’s why he is the ultimate Mr. Europa League.
After a successful career as a football player, Luis Enrique started his coaching career in 2008 by coaching the Barcelona B team for three years. Then in 2011Roma
approached him and started a new project with Luis Enrique being the main man in it. They wanted to build an Italian Barcelona which turned out it wasn’t going to work out and Luis had a nightmare of a season as a head coach. Just after one year Luis Enrique returned to Spain and chose Celta as his new club. He had a relatively good season which convinced Barcelona to sign him from the start of the 2014-15 season.
On his very first season at Barcelona, Luis Enrique had arguably the best season of his career with winning a treble. On his second season, Enrique repeated the domestic double and proved that he is one of the best Spanish managers of all time. After winning a total of 7 trophies with Barcelona in 3 years, Luis Enrique left the club and became the head coach of the Spain national team in 2018. Although he got knocked out in the semi-finals of Euro against Italy, Luis Enrique’s Spain is considered as one of the top candidates to win the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
Pep Guardiola is not only one of the best Spanish managers of all time, but also he is one of the best managers in the history of football who changed the game with his revolutionary ideas. Pep started his coaching career in 2007 and got appointed as the head coach of Barcelona B squad. After a successful season in that team, Barcelona decided to give him the main job and Pep became the Barcelona senior squad head coach. In 2008 he started his coaching career at top level and the rest as they say, is history. On his very first season, Guardiola won the La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League to accomplish a remarkable treble for the club.
Until 2012 Pep managed to win 11 other trophies including another Champions League in 2010-11 season. Then he left his beloved club and joined Bayern Munich in Germany in 2013. On his 3 year spell Guardiola won 7 cups for the Bavarians but he got knocked out three times in the Champions League semi-finals which were considered as a failure. Since 2016 Pep is coachingManchester City
and up to this day, he won 10 cups at English football and is ready to win more in the coming seasons. No matter how many trophies Guardiola will win on his next years as a football manager, there is no doubt that he is one of the best Spanish managers of all time, if not the very best.
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