The 50 Greatest Football Managers of All Time

For ten weeks, we at 90min ranked the top 50 greatest managers of all time. 

In those weeks, we at 90min published 100 articles on these managers, wrote the guts of 100,000,000,000 words (roughly) on these managers, and told some of the most incredible stories in the beautiful game’s history. 

So now, here is a rather long list detailing every single one of these managers’ storied careers. 


50) Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa

By Ben Carter

Taking influence from Rinus Michels’ totaalvoetbal, as well as Argentine pioneers César Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo, Marcelo Bielsa is still to this day one of the most well-renowned managers in football history.

That’s come not only as a result of his tactics on the pitch, but Bielsa’s antics off it too. Legend has it he once pulled a grenade out and threatened to pull the pin when he was confronted by a group of Newell’s Old Boys ultras at his house.

Marcelo Bielsa: El Loco’s Journey From Argentina to Footballing Immortality in Europe

Marcelo Bielsa: The Argentina Manager’s All-Time Best XI


49) Vic Buckingham

Vic Buckingham

By Jack Spedding

The greatest manager you’ve probably never heard of. The Londoner was a true pioneer of total football and a key factor in a rise of the great Johan Cruyff.

Buckingham is renowned as lauded as a hero on the continent, but his ideologies came too early for a stubborn English fan base who thought it was their way or the highway.

Vic Buckingham: How an Englishman Discovered Johan Cruyff & Pioneered Total Football

Vic Buckingham: The English Manager’s All-Time Best XI


48) Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri

By Toby Cudworth

One of the most charismatic managers in the history of the game, Claudio Ranieri will forever be remembered as the man who achieved the impossible with Leicester. Favourite for relegation going into the 2015/16 season, a change of emphasis, mood and direction at the club, led by Ranieri, soon transformed the Foxes into fairytale title contenders as the Premier League’s big boys endured a dramatic fall from grace. 

Once regarded as a loveable tinkerman, Ranieri’s title win changed the landscape of English football forever – making the Italian one of the greatest managers of all time.

Claudio Ranieri: A Ridiculed Tinkerman Who Masterminded One of Football’s Greatest Ever Achievements

Claudio Ranieri: The Tinkerman’s All-Time Best XI


47) Bill Nicholson

Bill Nicholson

By Jude Summerfield

Nicholson was responsible for Tottenham having any kind of golden age. His immense man-management played a major role in transforming Spurs from a team languishing sixth from the bottom in the First Division into title winners less than three years later. Winning eight major trophies in his 16-year managerial spell, including a double in 1960/61, Nicholson is rightly heralded as ‘Mr Tottenham’, his soul and ethos still prevalent at the club this day.

Bill Nicholson: Mr Tottenham Hotspur, the First Double Winning Manager of the 20th Century

Bill Nicholson: The Tottenham Legend’s All-Time Best XI


46) Sven-Goran Eriksson

Bari v Lazio X

By Chris Deeley

Do you start with Lazio, and the impossible Scudetto? With his England spell – the most successful of the 21st century until Gareth Southgate turned up with his waistcoat and winning smile? With seven trophies in three and a half years in Italy? 

No. You start; you must start, you’re contractually obliged to start, with the shagging. Whatever it was about the Swede – charm, smooth lines, a whopper whose legend has never been told – his greatest cultural impact will remain his astonishing way with women. 

The man looked like a nerdy Mr Burns. His life should’ve been impossible…and yet.

Sven-Goran Eriksson: The Scudetto Winning Shagger Who Never Solved the Lampard-Gerrard Conundrum

Sven-Goran Eriksson: The Former Lazio Manager’s All Time Best XI


45) Sir Alf Ramsey

Alf Ramsey

By Wilf Dutton

By those he knew best, Sir Alf Ramsey was regularly described as somewhere between an ‘enigma’ and a ‘lone wolf’, a fact he was publicly proud of. “I should be hard difficult to get to know,” he said in an ESPN documentary. Maybe so. But he was also known, both in his playing and coaching career, as ‘The General’.

So, enigmatic and a wholehearted leader of men – check. But he was also a pioneering tactician, with his ‘Wingless Wonders’, and an ardent disciplinarian, who emitted pure professionalism with every breath. That sounds about right for the only English manager ever to lift the World Cup, right?

Sir Alf Ramsey: The Man Behind the ‘Wingless Wonders’ & England’s Sole World Cup Triumph

Sir Alf Ramsey: The World Cup Winer’s All Time Best XI


44) Antonio Conte

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By Toby Cudworth

Winner of domestic league titles in both Italy and England, there is no doubting the credentials of current Inter manager Antonio Conte. The former heartbeat of Italy’s midfield has worked with some of the best players to grace the modern game, but his success owes much to his reinventing of the 3-5-2 wheel. 

Charged with reviving Juventus’ fortunes after the Calciopoli scandal, Conte led La Vecchia Signora to three consecutive Serie A titles – before impressing his philosophy upon an arguably average Chelsea side, winning the Premier League in his first year in charge.

Antonio Conte: An Astute Tactician Whose Perfectionist Philosophy Reinvented the 3-5-2 Wheel

Antonio Conte: The Fiery Italian’s All-Time Best XI


43) Sir Kenny Dalglish

FBL-ENG-LCUP-BURTON-LIVERPOOL

By Ed Alexander

King Kenny will forever rule the hearts of Liverpool supporters. Sure, his record of 169 goals in 502 appearances as the Reds’ go-to forward made him a beloved figure at Anfield, as did his 13 years of loyal service. And yes, the three First Division titles – plus a trio of domestic cups – that he delivered whilst coaching the side were mightily well received amongst fans. 

However, it was his stoic, brave, inspiring leadership in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster that make Dalglish a genuine legend on Merseyside. The Scot also enjoyed success at Blackburn Rovers and Celtic – via an ill-fated stint at Newcastle United – but Anfield is undoubtedly his spiritual home.

Kenny Dalglish: The Beacon of Light in Liverpool’s Darkest Hour

Kenny Dalglish: The King of Anfield’s All-Time Best XI


42) Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri

By Jude Summerfield

Antonio Conte laid the foundations for Massimiliano Allegri, but the levels he took Juventus to during his five-year spell in Turin could not have been predicted prior to his arrival. However, success at AC Milan did hint at greater triumphs down the line, and Allegri realised that with an incredible five Serie A titles in a row. 

The Champions League proved illusive, but the Italian giants are in immaculate shape to win Europe’s most coveted club competition sooner rather than later thanks to Allegri.

Massimiliano Allegri: The Masterful Tactician Who Won Serie A Five Times in a Row

Massimiliano Allegri: The Six-Time Serie A Winner’s All-Time Best XI


41) Sir Bobby Robson

Bobby Robson, Manager of Barcelona

By Will Imbo

Sir Bobby Robson is arguably the most revered and fondly remembered manager in English football history. He came within a whisker of winning the World Cup with England in 1990, and enjoyed incredible success with the likes of Ipswich Town, Barcelona and Porto. But that’s not the reason he’s so highly regarded.

For Robson was also so much more than a football manager. He was a warm and kind soul, a mentor, an entertainer, a trailblazer, a fighter – a legend. Few people have ever had the impact he made on so many people in the world of sports, nor the success he enjoyed at so many different clubs in numerous countries.

Make no mistake – we will never see the likes of Sir Bobby Robson again.

Sir Bobby Robson: A Footballing Colossus Whose Fighting Spirit Ensured an Immortal Legacy

Sir Bobby Robson: The Legendary Fighter’s All-Time Best XI


40) Luis Aragones

Spanish national football team coach Lui

By Chris Deeley

The most important manager in the history of the Spanish national team and one of Atleti’s all-time greats, the 30+ year gap between Aragones’ first major title and his last speak of a coach who was able to tweak and reinvent himself with an innate tactical understanding. He made Fernando Torres into Fernando Torres.

He saw David Villa and helped craft him into Spain’s greatest ever striker. He was also, notably, a bit racist. His comments about Thierry Henry early in his Spain tenure went down in history – and if it feels gratuitous to mention it in every profile of him? Well, we wouldn’t have to if he hadn’t said racist things.

Luis Aragones: Spain’s Most Important Manager, the Atleti Rock and the Modern Father of Tiki-Taka

Luis Aragones: Spain’s Most Important Manager’s All-Time Best XI


39) Herbert Chapman

Herbert Chapman,Mr Foster

By Ross Kennerley

Naturally, throughout the development of a sport, there will be figures whose roles in its progression will be classed a true innovators. However, when the topic of ‘innovators’ is mentioned, it would be a crime to have Herbert Chapman’s name not in the discussions. His methods and tactics were revolutionary, and not only did he outsmart the rest of English football with the creation of his own ‘W-M’ formation, he led two sides to unparalleled success. 

Firstly with Huddersfield and then with a mid-table Arsenal, Chapman rewrote the handbook on football management. Implementing previously unseen training techniques and taking on more responsibility than those before him, he set the astronomically high benchmark for what a professional coach in England needed to be.

Herbert Chapman: One of Football’s Great Innovators & Mastermind Behind the ‘W-M’ Formation

Herbert Chapman: The Yorkshire Tactician’s All-Time Best XI


38) Carlos Alberto Parreira

Carlos Alberto Parreira

By Tom Gott

No manager has ever understood international football quite like Carlos Alberto Parreira, and his record six appearances at the World Cup proves it. The motivational Brazilian often took on near-impossible jobs, in an attempt to bring the world together over a mutual love of football.

Leading the likes of South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was never going to be easy, but Parreira was solely responsible for some of the greatest moments in the sporting history of each nation.

However, the crowning moment of his career came in charge of Brazil, as Parreira led the Selecao to glory in the 1994 World Cup.

Carlos Alberto Parreira: The International Specialist Who Never Shied Away From a Challenge

Carlos Alberto Parreira: The World Cup Hero’s All-Time Best XI


37) Franz Beckenbauer

WORLD CUP-1990-ARGENTINA-WEST GERMANY

By Robbie Copeland

Der Kaiser is best remembered for his glittering playing career, but he achieved more in his 12-year management spell than most will in a lifetime. His larger than life personality and organised style drilled Germany into becoming World Cup winners in 1990 and he would later lead Bayern Munich to domestic and European glory.

Franz Beckenbauer: The German Giant Whose Playing Career Overshadowed His Managerial Genius

Franz Beckenbauer: Der Kaiser’s All-Time Best XI


36) Viktor Maslov

By Tal Robinson 

Viktor Maslov’s name has become one of the lesser known footnotes of football history, however his brilliance can still be seen to this day. The 4-4-2 formation that he pioneered is still in wide use, and his pressing tactics continue to shine in the best teams around the world. Maslov was one of the fathers of modern tactical thinking, and his influence should be celebrated and known by every football fan who loves the game.

Viktor Maslov: Soviet Pioneer of the 4-4-2 & the Innovator of Pressing

Viktor Maslov: Dedushka’s All-Time Best XI


35) Rafael Benitez

FBL-ASIA-CHN-DALIAN-YIFANG-HENAN-JIANYE

By Toby Cudworth

There are few managers over the past 35 years who have been able to break Barcelona and Real Madrid’s stranglehold of La Liga. Radomir Antic, Diego Simeone and Javier Irureta each achieved the feat once, but only one man has had the guile, wisdom and tactical knowledge to defeat Spain’s heavyweight duo twice in that time – the grossly underappreciated Rafa Benitez. 

A future Champions League winner for Liverpool, the Spaniard is famous for his methodical and pragmatic approach to management, as well as the ability to raise the games of all those who play under his stewardship.

Rafa Benitez: The Conquerer of La Liga Who Masterminded That Comeback in Istanbul

Rafa Benitez: The Likeable Spaniard’s All-Time Best XI


34) Zinedine Zidane

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-REAL MADRID

By Jamie Clarke

Zidane has had comfortably the shortest career to date of any manager on the list and that is a testament to the impact he has made on the game in such a short spell. Under Zizou in 2017, Real Madrid became the first club to retain the Champions League in 27 years. 

One year later, the Frenchman became the first manager *ever* to win three consecutive European Cups with the same club – a feat we may never see repeated again. Now back at the club with whom he has had such success, Zidane will hope to add to his legend.

Zinedine Zidane: Cataloguing the Frenchman’s Transition From Midfield Magician to Managerial Maestro

Zinedine Zidane: The French Magician’s All-Time Best XI


33) Luiz Felipe Scolari 

FUSSBALL: WM 2002 in JAPAN und KOREA

By Jamie Clarke

Scolari is perhaps the most Hollywood movie-worthy manager on the list because in the Brazilian, you would usually get one of two extremes. The outstanding or the appalling – though more often the former than the latter. 

Much of his success can be credited to his enigmatic style, with his ability to inspire his players proving to be as important as his tactical prowess. As a manager he was by no means a remedy for all ills, but when his methods worked, they worked brilliantly and his World Cup triumph with Brazil in 2002 is evidence of this.

Luiz Felipe Scolari: How the Enigmatic ‘Big Phil’ Succeeded as Much as He Failed on the Big Stage

Luiz Felipe Scolari: Picking Big Phil’s All-Time Best XI


32) Jupp Heynckes

FBL-GER-CUP-DFB-BAYERN MUNICH-STUTTGART

By Jack Spedding 

The mastermind behind Bayern Munich’s 2013 treble winning side, arguably the most complete European club outfit of the 21st century.

The German was relentless in his pursuit of tactical perfection, and his methods have been universally praised by almost every great player he has managed in his illustrious career.

Jupp Heynckes: The Legendary Manager Who Masterminded ‘the Greatest Bayern Side Ever’

Jupp Heynckes: The German Master Tactician’s All-Time Best XI


31) Vicente Del Bosque

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By Andrew Headspeath

While Del Bosque’s style and tactics will never be poured over like Arrigo Sacchi, Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, he was a master of the most human elements of football. He made his players feel happy, trusted and confident. He facilitated an environment where they could be at their best together, with little room for ego and pressure. Tiki-taka, after all, was as much about the team over the individual as anything else.

Del Bosque won everything worth winning and it never looked particularly difficult. He was a subtle, master conductor of the greatest orchestras, always keeping the focus on his delighted performers, shunning any spotlight of his own. 

Vicente del Bosque: The Unluckiest Manager in the World Who Led Spain to Immortality

Vicente del Bosque: The Moustachioed Mister’s All-Time Best XI


30) Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

By Toby Cudworth

Arsenal are a club steeped in history and traditional, but one man has become synonymous with everything they stand for over the last two decades. That man is Arsene Wenger. At the helm for 22 years, Wenger redefined and reinvigorated the Gunners by introducing a slick, attacking brand of football, whilst demonstrating great knowledge of the transfer market to bring in talented youngsters who he would transition into world class players. 

Winner of the league and cup double on two occasions, the Frenchman then achieved the unthinkable – becoming ‘Invincible’ as Arsenal went the entire 2003/04 Premier League campaign unbeaten.

Arsene Wenger: A Pioneering Who Became Invincible at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger: The Legendary Arsenal Manager’s All-Time Best XI


29) Udo Lattek 

Fussball: Samba Soccer Charity

By Tom Gott

Remembered as perhaps the finest manager in Bundesliga history, Udo Lattek knew nothing other than winning. During his career, Lattek managed an incredible eight league titles, leading both Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach to domestic glory.

His intellectual and motivational approach to management often left many questioning his credentials, but wherever Lattek went, success tended to follow.

It wasn’t just league success which made Lattek so great, as he even etched his name into European folklore as well. He won the 1974 European Cup with Bayern, the 1979 UEFA Cup with Gladbach, and the 1982 European Cup Winners Cup with Barcelona, making him one of just two men to lift all three – and the only to do so with three different clubs.

Udo Lattek: The Bundesliga Icon Who Shattered European Records

Udo Lattek: The Inspirational Leader’s All-Time Best XI


28) Jock Stein

By Robbie Copeland

When Stein took over Celtic in 1965 they were at one of their lowest ever ebbs. Within two years they were European champions and by the time he left to take over Scotland 12 years later they had won the league 10 times under in his tenure. Yet perhaps his greatest accomplishment is the influence he had over Sir Alex Ferguson, his international assistant, who describes him as the greatest ever.

Jock Stein: The Man Who Guided Celtic to Historic Heights & Mentored Sir Alex Ferguson

Jock Stein: Big Jock’s All-Time Best XI


27) Vittorio Pozzo

Italy's national soccer team poses with

By Jack Gallagher

Vittorio Pozzo is one of the greatest managers of all time because he is the only manager in history to win two consecutive FIFA World Cups.

That’s pretty good. Maybe too good to be 27th on this list…until you hear about the accusations of match-fixing – Benito Mussolini’s influence on the outcome of World Cup games – and a certain Nazi salute incident in 1938…

…Then maybe Pozzo’s ranking makes a bit more sense. 

Vittorio Pozzo: Metodo, Mussolini, Meazza & the Difficult Memory of a Two-Time World Cup Winner

Vittorio Pozzo: Il Vecchio Maestro’s All-Time Best XI


26) Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp

By Andrew Headspeath

One of the very best coaches, working right now, Jurgen Klopp has been so successful due to his knack for taking talents and squeezing something extra out of them that no-one else even knew was there.

He ended Bayern’s Bundesliga dominance (for a while anyways), brought Liverpool back to the very top of the European game, and has made every player he’s ever worked with better. A true modern great.

Jurgen Klopp: The Early Years at Mainz 05 Where He Sealed His ‘Greatest Achievement’

Jurgen Klopp: Mr Heavy Metal Football’s All-Time Best XI


25) Mario Zagallo 

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By Ross Kennerley

It became the bane of Brazilian football. A mission to somehow get a one of the most talented group of footballers the world has ever seen all singing from the same hymn sheet. One would argue that moulding the likes of Pele, Tostao, Rivellino and Jairzinho into a formidable force is more a joy than and assignment, but it had yet to crafted successfully. Mario Zagallo did that. 

And, not only did he thrive under that pressure, he blossomed in it, with the 1970 Brazil World Cup team often revered as the greatest of all time. ‘Jogo Bonito’ was forged under his guidance, and Brazil as we know it owe a significant degree of gratitude to the habitual World Cup winner. Two triumphs as a player and two as a manager, Zagallo is the World Cup.

Mario Zagallo: Habitual World Cup Winner & Sculptor of Brazil’s Joga Bonito Era

Mario Zagallo: Velho Lobo’s All-Time Best XI


24) Bela Guttmann

Bela Guttmann

By Chris Deeley

You always know you’ve made it in life when you’ve got an entire curse named after you. That’s when you’re a ‘someone’. True to Guttmann’s words – or alleged words, it’s always hard to tell whether these sort of perfectly fitting lines are apocryphal or not – Benfica haven’t won a single European Cup in the 50+ years since they refused to give him an improved contract. 

Bela Guttmann. Two-time European Cup winner, Holocaust survivor, man who nailed dead rats to management’s doors, qualified dance instructor. Nomad. Gamechanger.

Bela Guttmann: The Dance Instructor Who Changed Football Forever (and Managed…Just Everyone)

Bela Guttmann: The Proto-Mourinho’s All-Time Best XI


23) Valeriy Lobanovski

By Jack Spedding

Second only to Sir Alex Ferguson in terms of managerial trophy collections, the former Soviet scientist was the first trailblazer when it came to sports science and bringing in the idea that the team is the star, not the individual.

With the exception of Lev Yashin, there may not be a name more synonymous with Soviet football than Lobanovskyi, who created the dominant Dynamo Kiev side of the late 20th century, and he is considered a national icon in Ukraine.

Valeriy Lobanovskyi: The Scientist Who Dominated Football in the Soviet Union

Valeriy Lobanovskyi: The Soviet Scientist’s All-Time Best XI


22) Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal

By Jamie Spencer

Louis van Gaal had the honour of managing four of the most famous clubs in history during his career – Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United – and he won trophies with all of them.

The Dutchman has famously fallen out with plenty of people over the years, but his greatest strength was his faith in young talent. So many modern legends, including Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Xavi, Carles Puyol Andres Iniesta, made their senior debut under Van Gaal, while he proved so influential for others like Frank de Boer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller.

Louis van Gaal: The Stubborn Master Who Won 15 Major Trophies at 4 of the World’s Greatest Clubs

Louis van Gaal: The Mercurial & Enigmatic Dutch Master’s All-Time Best XI


21) Otto Rehhagel 

Fussball: EM 2004 in Portugal Finale POR-GRE 0:1

By Jamie Spencer

With a career split into two distinct chunks, Otto Rehhagel was the great German coach humiliated in his own country by failure at Bayern Munich, who went on to transform Greece into the most unlikely European champions in history.

Rehhagel made his name in Germany in the 1980s and early 1990s when he guided Werder Bremen to two Bundesliga titles, two DFB Pokals and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He turned Kaiserslautern into national champions after his Bayern disaster, but it was with Greece where his greatest achievement came – stealing the show with pragmatic brilliance at Euro 2004.

Otto Rehhagel: The ‘King’ Who Turned 150/1 Greek Outsiders into Champions of Europe

Otto Rehhagel: The ‘King’ Who Conquered Europe’s All-Time Best XI


20) Tele Santana

Tele Santana

By Tom Gott

When you think of Brazilian football, chances are you will think of joga bonito – ‘the beautiful game’. Whilst Tele Santana did not found this movement, his time with Brazil was certainly behind its rise to prominence.

During his two separate spells with the Selecao, Santana may not have won any silverware, but he is credited with forming some of the greatest international sides in history. His 1986 side were fantastic, but his 1982 squad was something else. His love for attacking football quickly infected the nation, and Brazil still pride themselves on their free-flowing attack to this day.

Even at club level, Santana helped transform Sao Paulo into one of the world’s finest teams, winning back-to-back Intercontinental Cups in 1993 and 1994.

Tele Santana: The ‘Joga Bonito’ Icon Who Helped Brazil Rediscover Their Love of Football

Tele Santana: The Attack-Minded Superstar’s All-Time Best XI


19) Bill Shankly 

Bill Shankly

By Robbie Copeland

Put simply, Liverpool would not have the domestic or European legacy they herald today without the remarkable rebuilding process they underwent in Shankly’s 16 years at Anfield. 

His enthusiasm for the job and belief in the club restored an average second division side to the top flight and won the league three times before stepping down, leaving his long-term assistant Bob Paisley to take Liverpool into the next step of their evolution in the 70s.

Bill Shankly: The Innovative Motivator Who Rebuilt Liverpool From the Ground Up

Bill Shankly: The Liverpool Godfather’s All-Time Best XI


18) Ottmar Hitzfeld

Fussball: Borussia Dortmund

By Ross Kennerley

It’s a title bestowed upon you that is achieved through no less than total dedication, loyalty and a burning desire to give your heart and soul to the cause. Ottmar Hitzfeld earned legendary status, not once, but twice, with the two biggest clubs in German football. 

Firstly at Borussia Dortmund and then Bayern Munch, the man’s supreme marshalling of his troops ultimately meant he obliterated all the competition on a march towards the upper echelons of German football. Brushing aside those in his way, he won everything with Die Borussen, before eventually repeating the feat in Bavaria. On a one-way trajectory towards Bundesliga royalty, Hitzfeld now stands in a league of his own.

Ottmar Hitzfeld: The Manager Who Won Absolutely Everything at Germany’s 2 Biggest Clubs

Ottmar Hitzfeld: Der General Who Dominated Germany’s All-Time Best XI


17) Miguel Munoz 

By Andrew Headspeath

In the history of the best club there has ever been, Miguel Muñoz is quite probably Real Madrid’s best ever manager.

The former European Cup-winning player navigated what should have been a perilous transitional period to transform the ageing Galacticos of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano into the youthful Ye-Ye’s (named after the Beatles chorus in She Loves You) of Amancio and Pirri, while keeping them at the very apex of Spanish and world football. 

Miguel Muñoz: The Man Who Told Alfredo Di Stefano to F*ck Off & Led the Ye-Ye’s to European Glory

Miguel Muñoz: Real Madrid’s Greatest Ever Manager’s All-Time Best XI


16) Fabio Capello

AC Milan Coach Fabio Capello

By Ben Carter

A far cry from how his most recent spells as a manager will be remembered, Fabio Capello not only helped to create one of Italian football’s best-ever teams but he also helped to make Calcio exactly what it is today.

Capello brought tremendous success to AC Milan – even more so than Arrigo Sacchi – while also lifting silverware almost everywhere he went across Europe.

Fabio Capello: Italy’s Cosmopolitan Disciplinarian Who Built on a Generation-Defining AC Milan

Fabio Capello: The Serial Serie A Winner’s All-Time Best XI


15) Brian Clough

Brian Clough and Peter Taylor

By Ed Alexander

Arrogant, disrespectful, obnoxious…Clough had many insults levelled at him. The issue is, ‘Old Big Head’ didn’t care in the slightest. In his own words, he was the best manager in the business; his time at Nottingham Forest suggests he may well be right. 

He won the First Division with Derby County in 1972, though no silverware came Clough’s way when coaching Hartlepool United, nor Brighton. It was worse at Leeds United, where – without the aid of trusty assistant Peter Taylor – the Yorkshireman was sacked after just 44 days. Clough then redeemed himself as he got Forest promoted to the top-flight. On their return, he took them to a maiden English crown. And then he secured back-to-back European Cups, the only side from these shores to ever achieve such a feat.

Brian Clough: He Wasn’t the Best Manager in the Business, But He Was in the Top 1

Brian Clough: The Maverick Manager’s All-Time Best XI


14) Nereo Rocco

Jimmy Greaves,Nereo Rocco

By Wilf Dutton

Italy is to football management as America is to basketball, pretty much. Which goes some way to explaining why Nereo Rocco is unlikely to be the first name uttered during a quick fire round of categories. But he should be. The great pioneer of Catenaccio – that greatly misunderstood tactical discipline – was in many ways a simple man. He enjoyed food, drink and company (usually in excess). 

But he was also a complete innovator, coaching with a ‘genius-like pragmatism’, as the great Italian journalist Gianni Brera described it. But even that could be seen to embolden the myth that his AC Milan sides were dourly defensive. Rocco was a winner, there’s no doubt, but he was also not dull in doing so. And, while you may not be that clued up on him, all of your favourite managers are and, if they coincided with his time in the game, they were probably taught a lesson or two in real time.

Nereo Rocco: ‘El Paron’, the Pioneer of Catenaccio & Forgotten Great of Italian Football

Nereo Rocco: The Milan Legend’s All-Time Best XI


13) Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti

By Andrew Headspeath

‘The Diva Whisperer’, football’s great avuncular uncle, Carletto’s legacy (beyond winning a boatload of trophies) is his man-management skills.

From Milan to Madrid to Munich, it seems almost no-one has a bad word to say about Ancelotti. He is the manager the very best love to play for.

His detractors might say he has been in right place at the right time (with the right squads) but Ancelotti’s great trick is managing the highest of high profile names of the last two decades and nearly always getting the very best out of them. Having the best team on paper, as football history shows, doesn’t always guarantee success. Having Ancelotti as your manager pretty much does.

Carlo Ancelotti: Football’s Most Loveable Eyebrow in the Words of His Players

Carlo Ancelotti: The Diva Whisperer’s All-Time Best XI


12) Sir Matt Busby

Matt Busby

By Jamie Spencer

Sir Matt Busby did nothing short of build the modern Manchester United, creating a legacy that paved the way for all of Sir Alex Ferguson’s success and one that still serves the club to this day.

Busby took over a club in 1945 that had narrowly avoided bankruptcy twice in just 43 years, where there was a new focus on developing young players at a time when it wasn’t the norm.

His ‘Busby Babes’ were revered, but from the ashes of the tragic Munich Air Disaster in 1958 rose a team that would become the first English club to win the European Cup 10 years later.

Sir Matt Busby: The Man Who Built the Modern Manchester United

Sir Matt Busby: The Legendary Scot Who Built Modern Man Utd’s All-Time Best XI


11) Marcello Lippi 

Head coach of the Italian team Marcello

By Ben Carter

Perhaps even more important to the development of Italian football than Capello, Marcello Lippi put the groundwork in throughout the 1990s with Juventus most notably, but also punching above his weight initially at Napoli.

Lippi, with a cigar protruding from his lips, was then reaping the rewards of his work when he took over the Italian national team, ending Gli Azzurri’s 24-year wait to be crowned as world champions in 2006.

Marcello Lippi: Montecristo Cigars, Neapolitan Dreams, Scudetti in Turin & Gli Azzurri’s World Cup

Marcello Lippi: The Italian World Cup Winner’s All-Time Best XI


10) Bob Paisley

Bob Paisley

By Robbie Copeland

Shankly aimed the bow for Liverpool’s dominance throughout the 70s and 80s, but Paisley was the razor-sharp arrow that followed through and conquered all of Europe. 

He adapted Liverpool’s tactics for a new era, and although his management career lasted just nine years, he won the league six times, the European cup three, and averaged 2.2 major trophies per season – making him the second most successful manager of all time.

Bob Paisley: The Understated Tactician Who Conquered All of Europe With Liverpool

Bob Paisley: Liverpool’s Humble Genius’ All-Time Best XI


9) Jose Mourinho 

Inter Milan's Portuguese coach Jose Mour

By Tom Gott

Love him or loathe him, Jose Mourinho has proven to be one of the most influential managers in football history.

After taking Europe by storm by winning the 2003/04 Champions League with Porto, Mourinho has picked up a stunning amount of silverware with Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United, picking up six league titles across a ten-year spell.

Capable of masterminding a strategy to subdue even the strongest opponents, Mourinho has made a career out of constructing dominant sides, and there are few managers capable of stopping him.

Jose Mourinho: The ‘Special One’ Who Shattered Records All Over Europe

Jose Mourinho: The Legendary Portuguese Tactician’s All-Time Best XI


8) Helenio Herrera 

Helenio Herrera

By Ed Alexander

Psychological warfare is so commonplace in the world of modern football that it is difficult to imagine the sport without it. Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and many others would like to think they are the masters of such battles, but they are all mere pretenders to Herrera’s throne. 

The eccentric Argentine-turned-Frenchman was the first to bring focus onto the mind-set of players: both his own, and those of rival clubs. Herrera was a brilliant man-manager, using motivational words and scathing attacks to help his teams fulfil their potential and unarm opponents. Without his pioneering methods, Inter would never have lifted consecutive European Cups, whilst he was similarly important to the mid-20th-century glory enjoyed by both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Helenio Herrera: The Innovator Who Single-Handedly Changed the Beautiful Game

Helenio Herrera: The Peerless Pioneer’s All-Time Best XI


7) Ernst Happel 

Ernst Happel

By Jamie Clarke

Happel questioned everything football had taken for granted, helping him to revolutionise the game and inspire the era of ‘total football’ in the 1970s. Always willing to question his own opinions as much as anybody else’s, the rebellious Austrian was one of the first to opt for a three-man midfield in an era where the 4-2-4 formation prevailed. 

Not just an innovator, Happel was a winner too and is one of only six managers to win the European Cup with two clubs and the *only* manager to lead three different clubs to the final of the competition.

Ernst Happel: The ‘Weird Man’ Who Conquered European Football and Helped Shape the Modern Game

Ernst Happel: The Austrian Mastermind’s All-Time Best XI


6) Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruijff

By Jamie Spencer

It’s not a stretch to call Johan Cruyff the single most important person in the history of football for the impact he had as a player, coach, general figurehead and pioneer.

Cruyff nurtured several of the Dutch legends of the 1980s while at Ajax and later built the ‘Dream Team’ at Barcelona that dominated Spanish football and won the European Cup in 1992, a perfect blend of home-grown talent and world class stars.

But he was so much more; a true visionary who saw the value of implementing a single way of playing at every level of a club and insisted Barcelona launch the academy that became La Masia.

Johan Cruyff: The Visionary Who Became the Most Important Man in the History of Football

Johan Cruyff: The Creator of the Barcelona Dream Team’s All-Time Best XI


5) Giovanni Trapattoni 

Giovanni Trapattoni

By Jack Gallagher

The most successful Italian manager of all time.

That says it all really. 

Trapattoni isn’t fondly remembered by Republic of Ireland fans, but Juventus fans do remember him rather fondly, for winning well, everything in the most golden of eras for La Vecchia Signora.

Giovanni Trapattoni: A Career of 2 Halves That Defined the Golden Era of Calcio at Juventus

Giovanni Trapattoni: Il Trap’s All-Time Best XI


4) Pep Guardiola 

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By Jude Summerfield

La Liga winner, Bundesliga winner, and Premier League winner. There aren’t many managers nowadays who can boast that record, but Pep Guardiola can. 

From learning from Johan Cruyff to playing a major role in the development of players like Lionel Messi, David Alaba and Raheem Sterling, Guardiola has proved it’s possible to both realise a club’s lofty ambitions while simultaneously improving a core group of players. His work has changed the managerial landscape in the modern era and his standard is the one to beat.

Pep Guardiola: The Maverick Who Strolled to League Titles in Spain, Germany and England

Pep Guardiola: The Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City Legend’s All-Time Best XI


3) Rinus Michels

Rinus Michels

By Wilf Dutton

The most influential football manager the world has ever seen, with the greatest moniker for a sporting style that persists today: Total Football. There’s no greater legacy to leave than that. A style of football that was, and is, so lauded, it is deemed to encompass everything that’s great 

about the game. It is the game in its purest, most charming form. And Rinus Michels was the man who packaged it into the European Cup-winning, European Championship-triumphing formula it became. He was its architect, and he has influenced every other sporting edifice that has come after him.

Rinus Michels: The Most Influential Manager There Ever Was & His Total Football Legacy

Rinus Michel: The Dutch Master’s All-Time Best XI


2) Arrigo Sacchi

FUSSBALL: EURO 1996 ITA

By Jack Gallagher

“Football is born in the brain, not in the body. Michelangelo said he painted with his mind, not with his hands. So, obviously, I need intelligent players. That was our philosophy at Milan. I didn’t want solo artists; I wanted an orchestra. The greatest compliment I received was when people said my football was like music.”

Arrigo Sacchi wanted his teams to play fluid football that made their adoring audiences gasp in awe of what they were witnessing; between 1987 and 1991, his team did just that.

The conductor of the single greatest club team the world has ever seen, Sacchi changed calcio forever by winning with beautiful football.

Arrigo Sacchi: The Game That Made the AC Milan Legend One of the Greatest Managers of All Time

Arrigo Sacchi: The AC Milan Legend’s All-Time Best XI


1) Sir Alex Ferguson

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By Jamie Spencer

Manchester United simply wouldn’t be Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson. His exemplary record of 28 major trophies in 27 years at Old Trafford speaks for itself, on top of 10 major trophies he had earlier delivered at Aberdeen.

It famously took Fergie a little while to see his work come to life at United, but he was responsible for refocusing a club that had become lost, realigning it with the blueprint laid out by Matt Busby and making it the undisputed giant of English football once more.

More than anything else, Ferguson’s longevity made him the greatest of all time, building team after team and continuing to win and win in a way that will never be repeated.

​Sir Alex Ferguson: The Serial Winner Whose Trophy Haul Rewrote Football History

​Sir Alex Ferguson: The Manchester United Legend’s All-Time Best XI


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Juventus Join Race for Neymar & Could Offer Paulo Dybala Plus Cash in Exchange

​Juventus are believed to have joined the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain winger Neymar, with both Real Madrid and Barcelona struggling to tempt the French side to sell this summer.

The two La Liga giants have been battling it out to sign the winger for what feels like an eternity, but PSG’s high asking price – close to €222m – has made talks incredibly complicated. Numerous player-plus-cash deals have been suggested, but no progress has been made.

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Now, with neither ​Real nor ​Barcelona closing in on a deal, ​AS claim that ​Juventus have made a late offer to sign him, with ​Paulo Dybala potentially heading to Paris as part of the deal.

PSG are believed to see ​Dybala as the perfect replacement for Neymar, and they wanted to reach out to Juventus to strike a completely separate deal for the Argentine. However, the Bianconeri have now expressed their interest in the Brazilian, and AS state someone close to ​Neymar‘s family has confirmed a bid of around €100m plus Dybala has been made.

To finance the deal, Juventus hope to sell Mario Mandzukic, Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani, whose departures are expected to raise close to the required €100m. If they need more money, then ​Gonzalo Higuain could be pushed towards the exit door at the Allianz Stadium.

PSG would likely be happy to do business with Juventus, given the lack of progress made with both Real and Barcelona.

A source close to Neymar’s family is quoted as saying: “Madrid have not got fully involved in the signing because Leonardo’s expectations are too high. And as it stands, Barcelona are totally out of the race.”

Zinedine Zidane

Los Blancos are believed to have been ​pursuing a swap deal of their own. PSG had requested to receive either ​Raphael Varane, Vinicius Junior or ​Thibaut Courtois but, with Real refusing to part ways with any of them, Keylor Navas emerged as a likely option.

However, given the Costa Rican goalkeeper is the least valuable out of the group, Real would need to offer more money alongside him, and their hesitance to do so appears to have opened the door for Juventus.

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Marcelo Claims Real Madrid Do Not Need Any More Summer Signings

​Real Madrid don’t need to make any more signings ahead of the 2019/20 season, according to Los Blancos defender Marcelo.

After a nightmare showing last term, the Spanish giants unleashed an enormous £300m war-chest over the summer in a bid to revitalise their ailing squad. 

Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo were all acquired during the off-season, with the latter – the cheapest of the quintet – arriving for £40m.

Eden Hazard

Hazard was the most expensive purchase, having been brought in from ​Chelsea for a fee that could potentially rise to £130m, though reports continue to circulate that ​Real are preparing a ​late move for Paul Pogba.

Asked by German news outlet ​Bild whether Madrid need the services of the Frenchman or any other players, Marcelo replied: “No, we have a good team.

It’ll be difficult, but if we each focus on our tasks then we can win everything. I have been taught to compete for all titles ever since I joined Real Madrid. It won’t be any different this year and we’ll fight for the league, the ​Champions League and the Copa del Rey.”

The left back also took the opportunity to discuss the challenges he faced last season after Los Blancos crashed out of Europe at the last 16 stage courtesy of a harrowing 4-1 home defeat to Ajax.

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That exit – combined with a semi final loss to ​Barcelona in the cup and a third place finish in ​La Liga – saw supporters turn on the coaching staff and players, with Marcelo receiving heavy abuse for his performances.

I have learned to live with criticism and to carry on doing my thing,” the 31-year-old explained. “I know better than anybody else when I’m doing good or when I’m doing bad. The criticism doesn’t bother me.”

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Casemiro & Thibaut Courtois Insist Gareth Bale Deserves to Play for Real Madrid This Season

​Real Madrid stars Casemiro and Thibaut Courtois have offered their support to teammate Gareth Bale, insisting that the Welshman deserves to play for the club this season.

Bale has been heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu this summer amid rumours that manager Zinedine Zidane isn’t exactly his biggest fan. A switch to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning ultimately collapsed, leaving Bale is somewhat of a limbo.

Speaking after Real’s 3-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday (via Goal), Casemiro insisted that Bale has been such an important player in the club’s history, and he deserves a place in the team as a result.

David Costas,Gareth Bale

He said: “He has given us titles, he’s scored in finals and he has a lot of respect from us all. He has to play. He’s a great player and is very important for us.”

Zidane surprised many by opting to start Bale against Celta Vigo, and the winger responded by putting in a stellar performance. He created ​Karim Benzema‘s opener and was hugely impressive throughout before being withdrawn late on.

On Bale, ​Courtois added: “He is an important player and played a great match. Everyone loves him and it is important that he plays for us. We are so happy with Bale.”

Zinedine Zidane

Courtois’ feelings were clearly echoed by Zidane, who also insisted that Bale will stay with the club for the upcoming season, and that his decision has nothing to do with the injuries to Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard.

Last season, the 30-year-old made 42 appearances in all competitions, racking up 14 goals and seven assists. However, his output dropped hugely following Zidane’s arrival, and Bale often found himself used as a late substitute in games.

Fortunately for Bale, after an impressive pre-season, he appears to have played his way back into Zidane’s team, and his good form on Saturday will likely help him stay there.

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9 Legendary Footballers Who Ended Their Career on a High

Football is a sport of intense highs and lows. Most never manage to achieve success at the very top of the game, and even fewer have the chance to go out in such fashion.

But every so often a legend has the opportunity to retire at the top of the mountain.

Here’s a look at nine legendary footballers who ended their career on a high…


David Beckham

Romeo Beckham,Cruz Beckham,Brooklyn Beckham,David Beckham

In the final six months of his 21-year career, David Beckham won the 2012 MLS Cup with LA Galaxy to further cement his legacy in North America after a truly seismic impact, as well as the 2012/13 Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain, the nouveau riche club’s first in 19 years.

The former England captain, who was donating his entre PSG salary to a local children’s charity, started the final game of the Ligue 1 season. He assisted a goal in the 3-1 win and was later substituted to a rapturous ovation as he broke down in tears.


Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso

Two-time Champions League winner Xabi Alonso announced his 2017 retirement en-route to winning the 17th trophy of his illustrious club and international career.

The Spanish midfielder, who had helped Real Madrid to the elusive Decima in 2014, won a third straight Bundesliga tile with Bayern Munich in his final season as a professional.


Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt

A Liverpool cult hero, Dirk Kuyt enjoyed a perfect end to his career when he rejoined former club Feyenoord in 2015 and steered the club to a first KNVB Cup in eight years and later a first Eredivisie title in 18 years, the latter in his final season as a professional.

Incredibly, it was Kuyt’s hat-trick on the last day of the season in a 3-1 win over Heracles Almelo that sealed the triumph ahead of Ajax. It was the Dutch forward’s very last act as a footballer, with the announcement of his retirement coming just three days later.


Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

The last ever game Patrick Vieira played in as a professional footballer was the 2011 FA Cup final in which Manchester City won a first major trophy in 35 years and kickstarted an era that has since seen the club capture four Premier League titles and five more domestic cups.

A veteran Vieira was not a regular in the Premier League that season, but did play in every round of the FA Cup, starting six of City’s eight games. He was only a late substitute in the FA Cup final, but it was his fourth triumph in the competition and 19th career trophy.


Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach

Legendary USWNT striker Abby Wambach ended her club career in 2014 with the sole focus of playing in and winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup. It was the only major honour that eluded her after winning two Olympic gold medals and setting a world record for international goals.

Wambach played at least some part of all seven games the United States played en-route to glory, including three starts earlier in the competition. After the 5-2 annihilation of Japan in the final, she jointly lifted the World Cup trophy with Christie Rampone, who was also retiring.


Philipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm

Bayern Munich and Germany legend Philipp Lahm ended his career on his terms at the age of just 33, confirming his intended retirement during the 2016/17 season and just three days after his milestone 500th appearances for Bayern.

Lahm finished as champion as Bayern secured a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title by an enormous winning margin of 25 points. Three years earlier Lahm had already retired from international football on the ultimate high, doing so just five days after lifting the World Cup.


Paul Scholes

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SCHOLES-FILES

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes actually retired twice and both times on a huge high.

Having emerged as one of ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ in the mid-1990s, Scholes’ first decided to hang up his boots in the summer of 2011 after United had captured a record breaking 19th English league title, overtaking fierce rivals Liverpool as the country’s most successful club.

A shock return followed six months later, with Scholes later going on to help United to a landmark 20th title in the 2012/13 season, the 11th Premier League triumph of his career.


Eric Cantona

FUSSBALL: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE/DORTMUND

Eric Cantona is adored at Manchester United to this day and is credited as the catalyst that made the club’s success in the 1990s and beyond possible, both for the talismanic match winning quality he brought and the crucial mentoring role he also performed.

The Frenchman’s sudden retirement in 1997 came as a huge shock. He was just 30 years of age and had been instrumental as United had secured a fourth Premier League title in five seasons only a few days earlier. But Cantona chose to go out at the top.


Johan Cruyff

Franz Beckenbauer of West Germany and Johan Cruyff of Holland

Johan Cruyff’s final season as a player was the ultimate in obstinance, having chosen to join Feyenoord from great rivals Ajax in 1983 after his boyhood club, who had just been crowned champions for a fourth time in five seasons, didn’t offer the 36-year-old a new contract.

The Dutch master proved he still had it, playing more games in a single league season than he’d managed since 1969/70, scoring 11 times, and steering Feyenoord to the 1983/84 Eredivisie title. It was the club’s only league title of the decade and the 10th of Cruyff’s career overall.


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Real Madrid to Launch Final £60m Bid for Christian Eriksen as He Refuses to Sign New Spurs Deal

​Real Madrid are set to launch a final £60m bid for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has made it very clear to the London club that he will not sign a new contract.

The 27-year-old has entered the final year of his contract and admitted earlier this summer that he was ready to leave Spurs for a ‘​new challenge’.

Kyle Walker,Christian Eriksen

​Real have long been keen on the Dane, but opted to prioritise negotiating a move for ​Manchester United’s ​Paul Pogba. However, with the Frenchman remaining at Old Trafford, ​The Sun claim Real are ready to reignite their interest in ​Eriksen.

Los Blancos are ready to wait until the last minute of the transfer window to make the offer, so as to pile the pressure on Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who may have no choice but to part ways with the midfielder.

Levy does not want to let Eriksen walk away for free next summer, and Real believe that he may be forced to accept a sizeable offer before the window closes on 2nd September, rather than watch Eriksen’s value fall drastically over the coming months.

Daniel Levy

For Spurs, the question is whether they are prepared to accept defeat in their attempts to convince Eriksen to sign a new contract. 

According to ​The Mirror, the club have offered Eriksen a wage of over £200,000 per week to remain at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but he is simply not interested.

He is said to have refused to even negotiate a new contract, as he has his heart set on a move to either Real, ​Barcelona or ​Juventus.

Christian Eriksen

As of yet, there has been no serious interest in Eriksen, and Spurs officials are believed to be incredibly confused as to why the midfielder would block talks over a new deal, given there has yet to be any real interest in him.

Should he maintain that stance, Eriksen would be free to negotiate a move overseas in January ahead of walking away for free next summer, so Real’s late bid might be enough to tempt Levy to sell.

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Real Madrid End 818-Day Hoodoo in La Liga With 3-1 Win Over Celta Vigo

​Yes, its the first round of La Liga fixtures. Yes, to begin judging the outcome of the next 37 matches based solely on the opening day is foolish.

However, Real Madrid won’t care tuppence after (briefly) putting an end to a rotten run in La Liga which has seen the gradually fall further behind the country’s leading side, Barcelona.


​La Liga kicked off on Friday as Athletic Club caused an early shock by beating La Blaugrana 1-0 courtesy of a stunning overhead kick by Aritz Aduriz. In falling to defeat on the opening day, an opportunity was presented to Zinedine Zidane’s side to do something they hadn’t done for 818 days. Move above ​Barcelona in the league table.

The stat comes via ​Marca, who note that you would have to go back to the end of the 2016/17 season to find the last time ​Los Blancos were sitting above the Catalan outfit in the table, as they secured the title for the 33rd time.

Since then, not for a single day have Madrid been able to look down the table for their fierce rivals instead of up it, with two years and nearly three months making for an agonisingly long time for their fans to have something to cheer about.


They have been matched for points during that run, but an inferior goals difference never saw them climb above.

Furthermore, the victory over Celta Vigo had added value as it is was first time since the 2007/08 season that Madrid have been above Barcelona after the first matchday. That year, Los Blancos went on to win the title.

It is, of course, only the first match of the season. But, it will potentially provide Zidane’s new-look side with a degree of confidence moving forward for the rest of the campaign.


Even with the added incentive of overtaking the champions, Madrid made hard work of the win. ​Karim Benzema got the ball rolling in the 12th minute, but a 56th minute red card to Luka Modric threatened to derail the early celebrations. Madrid were undeterred though, as goals from Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez ensured Iker Losada’s late consolation mattered little.

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Zinedine Zidane on Bale’s Future, Modric’s Red Card and Barcelona Losing Following Celta Vigo Win

​Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed winger Gareth Bale will stay at the club this summer, following Los Blancos’ dominant 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday. 

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real, following some wonderful trickery by Bale to skip away from opposition defenders. Luka Modric was then shown a straight red card in the second half for a late challenge on Denis Suarez, but Toni Kroos eased the nerves with a sensational drive from 25 yards. Lucas Vazquez then rounded off proceedings with a clever finish. 

Celta were able to grab a consolation, but Zidane was very pleased with his team’s performance. 

Here’s what the Frenchman had to say following the much needed victory…


Zidane on Gareth Bale’s future

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​Bale had an outstanding game upon his return to the team, creating the first goal. His performance drew numerous questions from reporters after the game, who were keen to know more about his future. Zidane told reporters per Marca: “He [Bale] is going to stay.

“Everyone we have helps us to think positively…you have to focus on the season, nothing more. [Eden] Hazard’s injury was bad luck for us, but it didn’t change the idea we had with Bale starting the game.

“Gareth, James…everyone here is going to defend the shirt the way it deserves to be.”

Bale’s future has been one of the hot topics of the summer, following his fallout with Zidane. It seemed as though it would finally end with the Welshman leaving the club, but Zidane has since performed a U-turn and now appears set to keep hold of the winger.


Zidane on How They Performed After Modric’s Red Card

Luka Modric

Modric was shown a straight red card, after he put in a late challenge on Suarez. While Zidane was coy over his stance on the decision to send Modric off, the Frenchman was willing to discuss how he felt ​Los Blancos reacted.

He added: “We played a very complete game from the start. And did so well with 10 players. We suffered to get the result…Vinicius and Gareth did well defensively, and did Lucas [Vazquez] and Isco later.

“In defence we were very good, and then we know what we can do when we have the ball. I’m happy after pre-season, which was complicated in terms of results, but was good in terms of work.”


Zidane on Barcelona Losing on Friday Night

Aritz Aduriz

Following their respective results, it’s the first time in 818 days that Real Madrid have been above rivals Barcelona in the La Liga table.

Barcelona lost away at Athletic Club thanks to Aritz Aduriz’s stunning overhead kick, but Zidane opted not to express joy over starting the season ahead of the club’s bitter rivals, instead directing the praise back to his players.

He said, via ​AS: “We’re focused on us. What’s important is picking up three points. The players deserve to be congratulated.”


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Erik ten Hag Confirms Real Madrid Target Donny van de Beek Will Stay at Ajax

​Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Dutch midfielder Donny Van de Beek is set to stay at the club, despite strong interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Van de Beek has been a key figure for Ajax, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. The 22-year-old has also made a flying start to the 2019/20 Eredivisie campaign, scoring twice and assisting twice in two matches. 

Donny van de Beek

The Dutch midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Los Blancos, as Zinedine Zidane searched for reinforcement in the centre of the park. However, in a report by ​De Telegraaf, Ajax manager Ten Hag revealed that the player will remain at the club.   

“Donny van de Beek is playing for Ajax this year,” claimed the manager. 

To add to this, Zidane has backed up Ten Hag’s claims by saying: “No one else comes.”

Zidane seemingly has his heart set on ​Paul Pogba, who he believes is the man ​Real Madrid need. However, following the close of the English transfer window, it now appears unlikely that ​Manchester United would be willing to let go of their star midfielder. 

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As a result, there is a belief that the Spanish side know what the asking price is for Van de Beek, and can therefore go back and land his signature if they wished to do so. But, Zidane is reluctant to splash the cash on a midfielder that isn’t Pogba. 

Ajax fans can now breathe a sigh of relief, having scraped through in a Champions League qualifier against PAOK. The club have already lost Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively, but it now appears as though Van de Beek will be staying put, for this season anyway. 

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Twitter Reacts as Gareth Bale Stars & Toni Kroos Scores Stunner in Real Madrid Win

Real Madrid put their pre-season disappointment behind them, as they comfortably swept aside Celta Vigo 3-1 in their opening fixture of the 2019/20 La Liga season.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring, before Toni Kroos scored with a stunning long-range strike and Lucas Vazquez put the icing on the cake for Los Blancos. It was just the start Zinedine Zidane would have wanted from his side. ​


​Real Madrid watched Barcelona fall to a shock defeat against Athletic Club, and knew they had the chance to put in a strong performance and lay down a marker for the rest of the season.

Before a ball had even been kicked, football fans from around the world were sent into utter disbelief when the team-sheets were released. Gareth Bale, a man who was seemingly disowned by his manager, was selected to start the game.



Meanwhile, some fans were still reminiscing about a certain former star. 

However, the football eventually got underway, and the match started at a frantic pace. It took Los Blancos just 11 minutes to break the deadlock, with Benzema firing home from close range. But, the goal was all about one man – that’s right, ​Gareth Bale. His pace, trickery and skill took him past a number of players, before finding Benzema free.


 




The game settled down after the goal, with neither side posing a real threat. However, Celta Vigo began to find their way into the game as the half wore on, and nearly found an equaliser but were denied by a brilliant piece of defending by Raphael Varane. Real then went straight down the other end and almost found a second through ​Luka Modric. 

In the final minute of the half, Alvaro Odriozola was robbed as he took an age to make up his mind. Unfortunately for Celta, Iago Aspas was a fraction offside when the ball came to him, and the goal was ruled out. But that didn’t stop people from voicing their opinions.



The away side had Luka Modric sent off early in the second half for a late tackle. He pled his innocence but ultimately, the referee’s decision was made. 


​​

Fans were very quick to forget the red card however, as a Toni Kroos screamer put Real 2-0 up. From 25-30 yards, he unleashed a wonder strike, which sent fans into meltdown. 

What. A. Beauty.






Real Madrid dictated the game from then – despite having lost a man – and rounded off the performance with a neat goal, finished off by Lucas Vasquez. 

Unfortunately for Zidane, Thibaut Courtois was unable to keep a clean sheet, as Vigo struck in the final minute. However, it was a strong showing from a team that was without a number of new signings, including mega-money star Eden Hazard.

Real Madrid will be hoping to maintain this form, as they go in search of reclaiming the title from rivals Barcelona. They next play host to Real Valladolid on Saturday.

Let’