Being a top soccer coach is by no means easy. Not everyone has the character or personality to succeed in this role, which also requires numerous other key attributes, such as man-management skills and the ability to inspire the players at their disposal. Mastery of tactics and with a keen eye for spotting talent, the best in the business embrace everything to get results.
Of course, other factors also influence the success of any given soccer manager, such as good fortune or simply being in the right place at the right time. That being said, hard work and effort are also vital attributes, which has undoubtedly made these five remarkable individuals the give most successful managers in soccer history.
Jock Stein – 26 Titles
🗓 #OnThisDay in 1977: Jock Stein clinched his last Scottish Cup at Celtic.
A club legend. 🟢 pic.twitter.com/KFZhC1p1xX
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) May 7, 2021
There was a time when Scotland consistently produced a host of top managerial talents, all of whom pointed at legendary Jock Stein as one of their biggest influences. Up until his untimely death in 1985 at the age of 62 while managing the Scottish national team, he was the most successful manager of all time in terms of trophies won.
Stein claimed his first major trophy leading Dunfermline Athletic to win the 1960-61 Scottish Cup. After a brief yet unsuccessful spell in charge at Hibernian, he moved to Celtic and made history, guiding them to become the first ever British team to win the European Cup in 1966-67. That was just one of 25 trophies he won at Celtic, before taking the Scotland job in 1978.
Valeriy Lobanovskyi – 29 Titles
Often the forgotten man when lists like this are produced, usually in favor of western European managers, Valeriy Lobanovskyi is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most successful soccer coaches of all time. His work developing tactics has widely influenced the modern game, which included books and papers on strategies and collective teamwork.
Born in Kyiv, it was the success achieved with hometown club Dynamo Kyiv that will always be associated with Lobanovskyi, both during the Soviet era and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. In two spells with the club, from 1973 to 1990, then 1997 to 2002 and his premature death at the age of just 63, tactical genius Lobanovsky led the team to 29 domestic league and cup titles.
Pep Guardiola – 31 Titles
31 trophies in 12 seasons. Pep Guardiola is one of the greats. pic.twitter.com/ZKagztTvoL
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 11, 2021
Widely considered to be the best manager of the current generation, Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola is undoubtedly the most successful manager in modern football. He openly admits to being hugely influenced by other great managers, including Johan Cruyff and Marcelo Bielsa, before ushering in the ‘tiki-taka’ golden age of Spanish football with Barcelona.
Guardiola is famed for building teams which dominate possession of the ball, controlling the passing and tempo of matches. Since taking the top job at Barcelona, then moving to Bayern Munich and since taking the helm of Manchester City in 2016, Guardiola could yet become the most successful manager of all time. Still just 50, he has already won 32 major trophies.
Mircea Lucescu – 35 Titles
Arguably the last of his generation, 76-year-old Mircea Lucescu is currently the most successful manager who continues to remain active. Working as the head coach of Dynamo Kyiv since July 2020, age is no barrier to his passion for the game. “I’ve worked for 50 years without a break. I tried to stop last year, but it was impossible,” he told the official UEFA website last year.
Such a profound love for soccer has also brought Lucescu plenty of rewards, throughout his extensive and much-travelled career. Since his first league title with Dinamo Bucaresti in 1989-90, this remarkable Romanian coach has managed in his home country, Italy, Turkey, Russia, and Ukrain. During his journeys, Lucescu has amassed a spectacular haul of 35 major trophies.
Sir Alex Ferguson – 38 Titles
📆6th November 1986 – Sir Alex Ferguson is appointed #MUFC manager
🏆 Manchester United won 38 trophies in his 26 year reign at the club, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups, five League Cups and a Club World Cup.
Safe to say he did alright. pic.twitter.com/4bqX9GmZ6e
— COPA90 (@Copa90) November 6, 2018
Nobody has yet reached the exceptional record achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson, who made his name by breaking the dominance of Celtic and Rangers in Scotland, guiding Aberdeen to 10 trophies between 1978 and 1986. After a spell in charge of Scotland following the death of his mentor Jock Stein, the opportunity to manage Manchester United was too good to refuse.
Despite initial difficulties and almost losing his job, Ferguson went on to become the most successful manager in English football, achieving legendary status with Manchester United. During his tenure at Old Trafford and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999, ‘Sir Alex’ won 27 trophies with the Red Devils between 1986 and his retirement in 2013, taking his overall career record to an unsurpassed 37 major titles.
Backing the Best for Success
Before he retires, Mircea Lucescu could topple the record set by Sir Alex Ferguson, while Pep Guardiola still has age on his side to become the most successful manager of all time. Everyone wants the best, so before backing these iconic soccer coaches and their teams, it makes good sense to find out which are the best betting sites for 2021, carefully researched by the football betting experts at SBO.
Whenever seeking out the best football betting sites, in-depth sportsbook reviews and information provided by SBO supply everything we need. This includes details of the best mobile betting sites, the best in-play and live betting options, along with those which offer the best options for bet editing and bet builders. Sites are always ranked in order of merit, just like our own list of the most successful managers in soccer history.