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Mon 23 January 2023 | 20:29

Best Young Football Coaches

It’s a rare sight when you see a young coach by the sidelines coaching a top-level football club. Experience has great deal of importance in the coaching career but with that being said, there are some Best Young Football Coaches out there who already made a name for themselves.

As

Pep Guardiola

said once in an interview, the joy of playing football and kicking the ball is not comparable to anything else including managing football teams. That is why there are not so many people who chose to become a football manager when they are young; because they want to try their luck as a football player and enjoy their playing career as long as possible. But of course, there are some exceptions.

Sometimes an early career ending injury or just the sheer love and passion of managing leads people to start a coaching career at a relatively young age. And just for the record, keep in mind that when we use the term

best young football coaches

, we are referring to coaches that are at max at their early 40s. It’s because that the average age to become an elite coach in today’s football is around 50 years old: Antonio Conte is 53, Zidane is 50, Jürgen Klopp is 55, Pep Guardiola is 51, Diego Simeone is 52, and Jose Mourinho is 59.

Who Are the Best Young Football Coaches Right Now? (2023)

Watching young and talented players who have that special something that makes them superior to the other players of the same age is always joyful for football fans all around the world. The same thing goes for the football managers as well. It is always interesting to see a manager who is in his 30s and have a breakthrough season and achieve something that many well-experienced coaches couldn't even dream of.

So, let’s get to the point and see who are the top young footbal managers 2023:

  • Andrea Pirlo

  • Julien Stéphan

  • Gerardo Seoane

  • Diego Martinez

  • Steven Gerrard

  • Mikel Arteta

  • Roberto De Zerbi

  • Marcelo Gallardo

  • Ruben Amorim

  • Julian Nagelsmann

Now we will have a brief review on those coaches’ career up to this day to see how they have made their way into our best young football coaches 2023 shortlist.

Andrea Pirlo, 43

Juventus were dominating the Italian football as they won nine straight Serie A titles from 2011 to 2020 until when Andrea Pirlo arrived and took charge to finish at 4th place with the Old Lady in the 2020-21 season. So, we get it if you are wondering what Andrea Pirlo’s name is doing in the

best young football coaches 2023

list? In order to answer that, let’s have a deeper look at how Juventus were and is doing before and after Pirlo. Maurizio Sarri had just won the league a few months before Pirlo arrival at the club but then he parted way with Juve because he believed that this Juve’s squad is “untrainable” according to his words.

Andrea Pirlo started his first days as a professional coach by implementing a flat 4-4-2 formation. As he had no experience before, Pirlo had to learn it during the job at Juventus and that costed him dropping some crucial points in the race of championship.

But he managed to keep his side in the battle for a top-four finish and only at the last day of the season, he gained a UCL qualification by sitting at the 4th place. The 43 years old Italian is currently head coach of Süper Lig club Fatih Karagümrük but he certainly showed enough potential on his debut season as a coach to consider him as one of the best young football coaches right now.

Julien Stéphan, 42

As a former midfielder, Julien Stéphan didn’t have a remarkable career and his playing days lasted barely a decade. Then at the age of 35 he took over at Rennes B team and after three years, he got promoted to the

Rennes

first team head coach position in 2018. On his debut season at the French top flight, Julien Stéphan won the Coupe de France title which was only the club’s seventh major title in its history! Julien Stéphan kept up the good form and finished the league on the 3rd place in the following season which meant that Rennes could enjoy its first ever Champions League qualification.

Although his third season at the club didn’t go well and Stéphan had to resign midseason, he was most recently the manager of Ligue 1 club Strasbourg. The 42 years old Frenchman likes to dominate the matches by an attacking style which is based on a 4-3-3 formation. His three-year experience at the youth level helped Stéphan to become an expert in working with the young talents on his squads and if he could replicate what he did at Rennes on his first couple of seasons, he has an exciting future waiting for him.

Gerardo Seoane, 44

Even if you are a passionate football fan, there is still a good chance that you may have never heard of Gerardo Seoane as a top coach who have achieved some incredible results at the age of 44. In the summer of 2021, Gerardo Seoane have joined the German side, Bayer Leverkusen to enjoy his first season at one of Europe’s top five leagues. But his three-year spell at Young Boys is what made Gerardo Seoane one of the

top young college football coaches

from Switzerland. In the 2018-19 season which was his debut season at Young Boys, Seoane led the club to its first Swiss league title after more than three decades.

The Swiss coach was 40 years old back then and he managed to win the league on his following two seasons as well. He also added a Swiss Cup trophy to the club’s cabinet during the 2019-20 season. in addition to the domestic successes, Gerardo Seoane had a couple of great European runs with

Young Boys

as they had reached to the UCL group stage in the 2018-19 season and managed to beat Juventus and draw with Valencia. Reaching to the last 16 stage in the Europa League 2020-21 was also a remarkable result for the Swiss tactician. Currently Gerardo Seoane is unemployed and last managed Bayer Leverkusen. 

Diego Martinez, 42

Spanish football is known for its attacking style that tends to keep the position as most as possible. But our man here, Diego Martinez, is not a typical Spaniard coach. He is one of the few people who started the coaching career when he was on his early 20s at the Imperio Albolote youth club. For more than two decades, Diego Martinez was gaining experience as a coach at lower division small clubs. He also had the assistant role at Sevilla for two seasons from 2012 to 2014 where he had the chance to learn from one of the bests in the job, Unai Emery. In the summer of 2018 at the age of 37, Diego Martinez was appointed as the head coach of

Granada

in the Spanish second division.

 His defensive 4-2-3-1 formation helped the club to gain a promotion to the La Liga and Martinez became the youngest coach in the Spanish top flight. On his first season at La Liga, Martinez finished the league sitting on 6th place which meant his side could play in the Europa League on the following season. After eliminating Napoli and Molde in the knockout stages, Martinez’s Granada reached to the quarter finals of the tournament where they lost to Manchester United. Nevertheless, Diego Martinez had three spectacular seasons with Granada and and currently manages RCD Espanyol.

Steven Gerrard, 42

Yet another former midfielder who had a legendary playing career is in our

best young football coaches

list. After hanging up his boots in 2017, Steven Gerrard decided that try his luck on managing as well. He started off at the Liverpool youth academy in 2017 and almost a year later, Rangers trusted him and appointed Gerrard as their head coach. After finishing the league as the runners-up on his debut season, in the 2020-21 season Gerrard managed to put a halt to Celtic’s nine consecutive years of dominance on Scottish football as his side were crowned the league champions for the first time since 2011.

On the European front,

Rangers

didn’t reach the Champions League with Gerrard at the helm but they managed to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League on two back-to-back seasons. Steven Gerrard prefers an attacking style of football and his main formation at Rangers was a 4-3-3 shape which provides many goalscoring chances for wingers and the striker. Steven Gerrard returned to the Premier League for a year as the head coach of Aston Villa in 2021. He is currently unemployed.

Mikel Arteta, 40

When you spent three seasons as an assistant to one of the greatest coaches of all time, you have the opportunity to make a name for yourself as one of the

best young football coaches

. Mikel Arteta retired from playing football in 2016 as he played his 110th game for Arsenal. Almost immediately after that, Arteta joined his compatriot Pep Guardiola as a member of coaching staff at

Manchester City

. Fast forward to three years later, Arteta was ready to step up in his career as he returned to his beloved club, Arsenal as the head coach in 2019.

On his first season, Arteta struggled a bit since he was appointed at the midseason and didn’t have much time to implement his ideas. But as the season went on, things got better and better. Beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final on his debut season was a promising start and gave a reason to Arsenal fans to believe that they have one of the best young football coaches in the European football. Arsenal are on top of the PL table with 5 points ahead of Man City as of January 2023.

Roberto De Zerbi, 43

Roberto De Zerbi is one of those classic top young college football coaches who claimed the ladder of coaching career one step at a time. He was a mediocre attacking midfielder who said his farewell to the pitch in 2013 and months later, cut his teeth as a manager. His first job was coaching Darfo Boario in the Italian Serie D while he was 34 years old. His next stop was at

Foggia

in Serie C where he won his first trophy which was a Coppa Italia Lega Pro and was inches away from promoting his side to Serie B.

A bitter stint at Palermo was De Zerbi’s first taste of Serie A in 2016. The next season he was given another chance to coach at the Italian top flight as the newcomers to the league, Benevento, trusted him. Despite sitting at the last place of the table, Roberto De Zerbi was praised for his attractive style of football. His side always tended to keep the position of the ball and ask questions of the opposition’s defense. On the next season, Sassuolo recognized the young Italian’s potential and chose him as the main man in their ambitious project.

During his two seasons at Sassuolo, Roberto De Zerbi put on one of the most delightful performances across the Europe. His main formation was 4-2-3-1 but he didn’t hesitate to change to a back-three when it was needed. Although Roberto De Zerbi’s sides could create tons of goalscoring opportunities, he has to work on his defensive tactics since his Sassuolo seemed vulnerable there. Right now, De Zerbi is coaching Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion and with a little bit of experience, he could easily become one of the top 30 managers in the world in the coming years. 

Ruben Amorim, 37

Portuguese football had provided some of the most talented football coaches in the recent years. Sergio Conceisao, Paulo Fonseca, Nuno Santo, Paulo Sousa and many others. The most recent one is Ruben Amorim who represented the Portugal national team on 14 occasions including two World Cups. In 2018 and at the age of 33, Amorim started his coaching journey with a couple of short stints at Casa Pia and

Braga B

team in the second tier of Portuguese football. Then he got promoted to the Braga senior team and took the league by storm straight away as he won the Portuguese league cup, Taça da Liga.

Wining 10 games out of 13 was enough for Sporting to pay his €10m release cause at the middle of 2019-20 season and hire him as their new manager. Ruben Amorim continued to use his modern 3-4-3 system at Sporting which was working like a well-oiled machine. Stars got aligned for Amorim and his team in the 2020-21 season as they won the league title by losing just one match. He also replicated the Taça da Liga championship with Sporting and won the Supercup in the following season as well. Ruben Amorim is now only 37 years old and has a long and exciting road ahead of him as one of the

best young football coaches

in the world. 

Marcelo Gallardo, 46

Young managers often don’t have the opportunity to add some silverware to their name since the top clubs who can compete for big trophies are less likely to trust a young coach to lead their pricey squads. But that’s not the case for the Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo. In fact, he is the most decorated manager in our best young football coaches list and even one of the most successful managers in the whole football world right now. Marcelo Gallardo had a decent career as a player and had the chance to play for likes of River Plate, Monaco, and PSG.

Before he announces his retirmenet as a player, Marcelo Gallardo obtained his coaching certificate from an Argentinian technical school while he was still playing for the Uruguayan side,

Nacional

. A year later the 35 years old Gallardo started coaching with the same club that he spent his last playing days at. Later Gallardo noted that starting a managerial career when you have to coach the players you know from your playing days, was a huge help for him in his debut season. That chemistry between Gallardo and his former teammates led to winning the Uruguayan league title in the 2011-12 season.

He managed River Plate for eight years and he is the main man in one of the most prosperous eras in the club’s history. His attacking style had led to a dozen of domestic and continental titles. Marcelo Gallardo is one of the few mangers in history that has two Copa Libertadores to his name and he is only 46 years old! So, as one of the most successful

young football managers 2023

, there would be no surprise if we see unemployed Gallardo at the charge of an elite European side soon. 

Julian Nagelsmann, 35

We all know that winning domestic trophies with Bayern is not that much of a hard task to do. So, what is all this fuss about

Julian Nagelsmann

at the age of only 35? The answer is Julian Nagelsmann might just be the next big thing in the football managerial world. As a teenager, Julian Nagelsmann used to play as a defender and had the dream of playing professional football but two back-to-back meniscus injuries forced him to end his playing career before it even starts properly.

Then at the age of 20, he started assisting his former coach Thomas Tuchel at Augsburg. He spent the next ten years studying at university and assisting coaches to gain experience. Finally in 2016 he got his first big job at Hoffenheim while he was 28 years old to become the youngest ever head coach in the Bundesliga. His main job was to avoid relegation in his debut season and he not only managed to do that but also, in the next season he finished the league in 4th place to gain a Champions League qualification for the first time in Hoffenheim’s history!

His next stop was at RB Leipzig where he had an incredible run in the 2019-20 Champions League as his side reached to the semi-final. Nagelsmann is a creative coach who uses an innovative 3-4-2-1 formation. Due to his young age, he has an excellent relationship with his players and he also is a sharp analyzer of the game. The German tactician has already cemented his place as one of the

top 20 managers in the world

and there is no doubt that Julian Nagelsmann is a genius in the game that we can sit back and enjoy watching his brilliant football in the coming years.

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source: SportMob



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