The 10 Highest Paid Teenagers in World Football

A new report has emerged revealing the top ten highest paid teenagers in world football, with five entries from the Premier League featuring alongside four from La Liga.

In case you missed it, Jadon Sancho rose to the top of the list after ?agreeing a new £190k-per-week deal with Borussia Dortmund? that will see him more than double his earnings, as the Bundesliga club successfully fended off interest from European sides.

With just under £10m set to be heading Sancho’s way each year in Germany, the ?Mail listed all the current footballing prodigies aged 19 and under who are earning big-money to ply their trade, which makes for rather interesting reading.


10. Takefusa Kubo – Real Madrid (£17k-per-week)

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The Japanese sensation was was asked to join ?Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy back in 2011 and scored a frightening 74 goals in just 30 games during his debut season in Catalonia.

He was ineligible to join the latter stages of the youth academy after La Blaugrana had been found to have violated FIFA’s international transfer policy, therefore the youngster returned to his native Japan. Talent doesn’t stay hidden for long though, and in June this year Kubo signed with ?Real Madrid on a five-year deal worth £17k-per-week, placing the 18-year-old among the highest earning teenagers in world football.


9. Callum Hudson-Odoi – Chelsea (£22k-per-week)

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Its been widely documented that ?Bayern Munich were keen on signing the highly-rated ?Chelsea forward, which has prompted widespread talk of a bumper new deal for Hudson-Odoi.

Should that materialise as expected, then the 18-year-old will be seeing his name feature much higher up this list in the not too distant future, as ??rumours circulate of a staggering £200k-per-week deal at Stamford Bridge.

If that comes to fruition, then it will absolutely dwarf his current earnings of £22k-per-week which, even now, are pretty decent figures given the relative inexperience of the emerging talent.


=7. Reiss Nelson – Arsenal (£30k-per-week)

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Set to embark on a breakthrough season in north London, Reiss Nelson has entered the first-team fold under Unai Emery having spent last season on loan with Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim.

Ahead of his season-long move to the German club, Nelson put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with ?Arsenal that saw him receive earnings of £30k-per-week.

Now just 19 years old, the winger will be looking to impress for the Gunners in the upcoming season as he battles it out with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe for a starting berth.


=7. Phil Foden – Man City (£30k-per-week)

Phil Foden

Another player who looks set to feature more regularly for his side this season is ?Manchester City’s Phil Foden. The local lad has risen through the ranks with the Citizens to break into the first-team fold, with Pep Guardiola recently handing the 19-year-old more frequent action in his star-studded side.

Having emerged as one of England’s finest young talents, City acted quickly to tie Foden down to a new deal last December that saw him scoop earnings of £30k-per-week.

His stock looks set to continue rising after Guardiola recently said of the midfielder to the ?BBC: “I have said many times in press conferences, but maybe not said it in front of him, Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager.”


6. Moise Kean – Everton (53k-per-week)

Moise Kean

The ?Toffees spent big to lure the rising star of Italian football to Goodison Park this summer. Well, they deemed him a rising star, unlike ?Juventus, who felt they got a great deal by shipping out the 19-year-old to Merseyside for a deal that could rise to £37m.

In joining Everton the striker has become one of the world’s top earning teenagers, raking in somewhere around £53k-per-week.

He’s yet to get off the mark for Marco Silva’s side yet but they’ll be hoping for a decent return on a player who could end up becoming their record signing only behind Gylfi Sigurdsson.


5. Joao Felix – Atletico Madrid (£58k-per-week)

Joao Felix

One of the most sought after players in Europe this summer, the young Portuguese playmaker has been equally effective as a striker, which is why ?Atletico forked out a colossal £115m to bring the player to ?La Liga from Benfica.

A staggering fee no doubt, it was nevertheless expected for a player who notched no less than 15 goals and registered seven assists in the Primeira Liga last year, at only 19 years old.

Since earning his move to one of Europe’s finest, Felix is on a cool £58k-per-week, placing him in the top five earners of his age bracket.


4. Ryan Sessegnon – Tottenham (£70k-per-week)

?Spurs have been famously unwilling to pay their stars over the odds when it comes to weekly payments, with a strict wage structure having been instilled at the club for a number of years.

Their pursuit of Ryan Sessegnon had been rumbling on for some time, however, and there was no holding back in offering the 19-year-old a healthy salary of £70k-per-week to lure him to north London from Fulham this summer.

He tasted ?Premier League football for the first time last season with the Cottagers, but was unable to prevent them slipping back down into the second tier at the first time. Now he prepares for another crack at the top-flight.


3. Rodrygo – Real Madrid (£76k-per-week)

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All the way up in third on the list is 18-year-old Brazilian sensation Rodrygo, who made the seamless transition from Santos to Spain for around £40m in June this year.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Santos resident ?Neymar, Rodrygo instead went the way of Madrid where he now earns £76k-per-week having put pen to paper on a six-year contract.

The forward has some way to go before usurping Karim Benzema, and indeed Luka Jovic, from the striker role but has plenty of years ahead of him to justify Los Blancos’ faith.


=1. Vinicius Jr. – Real Madrid (190k-per-week)

Vinicius JR

A certain Englishman may be top of the pile, but he’s joined by a fellow forward who is already beginning to show glimpses of his unquestionable talent in the Spanish capital.

If faith was shown in Rodrygo, then there must have been absolute certainty among the Madrid board when they made Vinicius the highest paid teenager in world football, handing the winger £190k-per-week wages.

That has naturally placed a lot of pressure on the former Flamengo forward’s shoulders, but he has already demonstrated on occasion his raw ability, with four goals in his debut season.


=1. Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund (190k-per-week)

Jadon Sancho

Not to be undone by their Spanish counterparts, ?Dortmund too have sought pay exceptional money to one of their teenagers. Although, of the entire list, this is most certainly the most justified – even if it is the joint highest.

His previous contract, which ran to 2022, was believed to be worth around £75k-per-week, so a jump up to £190k-per-week isn’t something to be scoffed at. 

However, with 12 goals and 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga outings last season, and magic in his boots, that’s the price you pay to keep hold of exceptional talent.


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Transfer Rumours: Ivan Rakitic Juventus Swap, Spurs Duo Nearing Exit, Lemina to Monaco & More

?You’re not safe, none of us are. They’re still here and you can’t escape.

But it’s all good fun, of course it is, the wonderful world of transfer rumours!

That’s right, the #goss is back in all of its wonderful European glory. While on these shores we’re from guarded from the fear of our biggest rivals securing a big-name signing, the doubt still creeps in over whether some of our respective clubs’ main men may depart.

Or, there is a whole bunch of deadwood that may leave and nobody will bat an eyelid. Let’s find out!


Besiktas Reach an Agreement for Georges-Kévin Nkoudou

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou

Or at least, that’s what the translated version of ?TRT Spor suggests.

Something of a forgotten man for ?Tottenham (and that is putting it mildly), it appears as though French winger Nkoudou may be set for an exit from north London after three action packed seasons with the club.

Well, he actually only played 26 games for the club across four seasons, notching a solid one goal along the way, and spent last season on loan at Monaco where he made a stupendous three outings.

A player with ‘Turkey’ written all over him. And not because he’s traditional at Christmas or has a distinctive fleshy wattle or protuberance that hangs from the top of his beak.


Monaco & Southampton Edge Nearer Deal for Mario Lemina

Mario Lemina

A ‘desperate’ battle between Manchester United and Arsenal took place over the summer as both clubs (apparently) fought tooth and nail to secure ?Southampton‘s midfield dynamo Mario Lemina.

Make of that what you want, but it didn’t happen. Now, Monaco look increasingly likely to secure the former Juventus star on loan, after ?RMC Sport revealed the French side and Lemina had agreed on personal terms and salary demands to bring the midfielder to Ligue 1 on loan. 

All that remains now is for the Saints to green light the move, with a consensus on the amount of the mandatory purchase option not yet finalised, although a loan with an option to buy seems the likely conclusion of the gripping saga.


Eduardo Camavinga Wanted by European Elite

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You’ll have seen it. Everyone has seen it. You’ve at least seen the assist, right?

At just 16 years old Camavinga not only started for Rennes in their win over Paris Saint-Germain, he was their win. Operating in a holding midfield role, the youngster bossed the Ligue 1 side and looked as assured and comfortable as a player ten years his senior. Therefore, naturally, ?L’Equipe have revealed all the big European sides are on lookout.

The likes of ?Manchester City?Arsenal and Spurs have all scouted him, while the other big names in European football are all keeping tabs on the Angolan whizzkid. The French publication claim next summer will see an almighty scramble ensue, which feels faintly reminiscent of a certain Norwegian starlet…


Ivan Rakitic & Emre Can Swap ‘Close’

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Word coming out of Italy is that a straight swap deal between ?Barcelona and ?Juventus that would see Rakitic and Can trade places is moving closer completionafter officials from both clubs met at a summit.

A plethora of midfield talent has already walked through the door in northern Italy, but it seems as if the club are still looking to keep their numbers the same with this potential deal. It all comes from Tuttosport (via ?Mundo ?Deportivo) who state an agreement is in place between the two clubs.

That’s all well and good, but Rakitic has repeatedly spoken of his desire to stay in Catalonia and nothing has emerged from either camp to suggest this is the case. An interesting deal? Yes. A plausible one? No.


Club Brugge Looking to Raid Spurs for Victor Wanyama

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With the English window still open, the ?Express claimed that ?West Ham made a bid to sign Victor Wanyama on loan, only for the deal to fall through ahead of deadline day. As English clubs are now unable to make any further additions, the same publication state that has prompted Belgian footballing giants Club Brugge (as seen in In Bruges) to make a bid to secure the 28-year-old.

While Wanyama wants to move, the issue is surrounding his wages. Currently on £65k-per-week and with two years remaining on his deal, the Belgian side may be priced out of a move. However, they do have cash to splash on the £18m-rated star after selling some of their key men for big figures. Wanyama still has some quality, but maybe its best summed up by Colin Farrell.

“You weren’t really sh*t, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham.”


Paris Saint-Germain Boss Eyes Real Madrid Stopper

Keylor Navas

It has been a fairly quiet window for goalkeepers, with little to no movement in that department. Step forward Thomas Tuchel. That’s right, the PSG boss has apparently lost faith in current number one Alphonse Areola, thus in turn has shifted his attentions towards ?Madrid‘s number two Keylor Navas.

That’s the news emitting from RCM (via ?AS), who also state that the German boss has asked his club to keep tabs on ?AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, although the Costa Rican remains his main target.

Speaking after his side’s opening Ligue 1 defeat to Rennes, Tuchel said: “Will Alphonse come out? I cannot confirm it while the market is still open. Each player has to prove their quality, including Alphonse.”

Fairly worrying stuff for the French stopper.


Besiktas Set Sights on Huddersfield Striker Steve Mounie

Steve Mounie

It wouldn’t be an edition of the #goss if we didn’t include Huddersfield, would it?

Not content with just the aforementioned Nkoudou, the Super Lig club have serious interest in the Benin international forward, according to ?ExaminerLive.

Mounie has hardly justified his £11.5m price tag since joining the Terriers, notching a measly 11 goals in 63 outings, with his time in Yorkshire seemingly set for a swift exit. 

The 24-year-old really has ‘Turkey’ written all over him. And not because he’s traditional at Christmas or…Yeah let’s not go there again.


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Juventus Eyeing Shock Luis Suarez Swap With Paulo Dybala Heading to Barcelona

Juventus are lining up a surprise move for Luis Suarez that would see Paulo Dybala head in the other direction, as both clubs met face-to-face to discuss a variety of deals involving a number of fringe players.

Suarez’ name has barely been mentioned throughout the summer window, with the Uruguayan seemingly set to complete his sixth season in Catalonia and break the 200-goal mark for the club since joining in the summer of 2014.

However, it appears as though there could be some movement between ?Barcelona and Juventus as the window draws near a close, as Tuttosport (via Football Italia) claim the ?Serie A champions are mulling a sensational deal to bring the former Liverpool forward to the Bianconeri in a swap move with Dybala.

The news comes after ?Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici was in Spain for a summit with Blaugrana chiefs on Monday evening. Discussions took place over a variety of player deals, including the Italian side’s interest in Barça‘s Juan Miranda, a move in which the ?La Liga side rejected Daniele Rugani as makeweight but expressed an interest in Mario Mandzukic.

With the addition of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, some doubt has been cast over Suarez’s future, with the new centre-forward being forced to line up in a more unfamiliar wide position to accommodate the 32-year-old.

Furthermore, the ?never-ending transfer saga surrounding Neymar’s potential return to the club from PSG could spell the end for one of La Blaugrana’s wealth of forward options if completed, with the ageing Suarez the more likely candidate to leave the Camp Nou.

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That said though, given the obvious age gap between the two players, Juventus would surely be eyeing an added influx in cash for such a deal to materialise, despite their lack of a world-class striker.

Juventus have already made a remarkable bid to snatch Neymar from under the noses of their Spanish rivals – if the ?reports are to be believed – after offering Dybala plus €100m for the rebellious Brazilian.

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Barcelona Confirm Opening Date for New Johan Cruyff Stadium in First Stage of ‘Espai Barça’ Project

?Barcelona have confirmed that the newly built Johan Cruyff Stadium will open on August 27, setting the wheels in motion for their ‘Espai Barça’ project.

The La Liga champions are undergoing a major facelift across a number of different areas, including expanding the Camp Nou to over 100,000 fans as well as building a new sporting venue and developing the overall Barça campus.

The first part of their ‘Espai Barça’ project is the construction of the Johan Cruyff Stadium, which will replace their Miniestadi as the club’s home of Under-19 and women’s football.

Arsenal v Barcelona Women - Pre Season Friendly

With work on the ground first starting in 2017, it’s now officially set to be opened when Barcelona host Ajax’s Under-19 side on August 27. 

The Johan Cruyff Stadium is a Catagory 3 ground which means it qualifies to host UEFA Youth League and women’s Champions League matches.

With a capacity of 6,000, the Johan Cruyff Stadium is located less than 10km away from the Camp Nou and it will replace the Miniestadi, which is set to be demolished shortly after construction is completed.


Also part of their ‘Espai Barça’ project, Barcelona have a €360m budget with their plans to give the Camp Nou a facelift. On top of their plans to increase the overall capacity by 6,000, the ground will also include a new roof and some new internal services too.

It’s planed that works on the Camp Nou will go on until the 2021/22 season.

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Philippe Coutinho Opens Up on Joining Bayern & Wearing Arjen Robben’s Number 10 in Press Conference

Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho has discussed joining Bayern Munich for the rest of the season, his hopes and dreams in Germany, as well as the importance of the gesture to give him the number 10 shirt.

Coutinho has joined the Bavarian club on loan for a fee of around €8.5m, with his wages also taken care of, and the Bundesliga side have an option to buy fixed at €120m come the end of the season. 

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And, speaking to the press for the first time since this move, as quoted by the Independent, the Brazilian recognised the gravity of the shirt he had been handed, declaring:  “The jersey of FC Bayern and the number 10 is a big responsibility.

“It belonged to [Arjen] Robben, he was a great reference in football. I hope to be able to confirm expectations with good football on the pitch.”

It is understood that Robben himself signed off this, as chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained: “We planned to not award the 10 and seven this year as a gesture for Robben and [Franck] Ribery.

“We had a conversation with Robben and we wanted to give Philippe his number as a token of appreciation, and Hasan [Salihamidzic, Bayern’s sporting director] showed him the jersey at the first meeting.

“Arjen had no problems with that, he said Philippe was a worthy successor.”

Coutinho then continued: “I want to be ready to play as soon as possible and I cannot wait for tomorrow with the first meeting with my colleagues and the coaches.

“There are always big expectations at Bayern and of course the Champions League is a goal and I will do my best to win the Bundesliga, the cup [the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League with my colleagues.

“I have a big challenge here and I hope to stay here for a long time and win many titles.


“I was presented with an ambitious project, I’m an ambitious guy, and I talked to Thiago, Rafinha and Lucio, and I’ve heard a lot of good things, they really helped me a lot.

“I’m hardworking and ambitious, and every time I wear the Bayern jersey, I’ll do the best I can on the field to reach our goals.”

Rummenigge later added: “We are convinced that we have brought a very good player and I do not rule out that it can be a long-standing partnership.”

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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

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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

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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

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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

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SWANSEA

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


Let’

Barcelona Confirm Ousmane Dembele Is Set for Five Weeks Out With Hamstring Strain

?Barcelona have revealed Ousmane Dembele will be out for around five weeks after the France international suffered a strain to his left hamstring.

Dembele played a full 90 minutes as Barca were beaten 1-0 by Athletic Club on Friday night, Aritz Aduriz scoring an overhead kick in the 89th minute to win it for the hosts.

In the same game Luis Suarez was withdrawn with a calf complaint, while Lionel Messi was unavailable, also with a calf complaint.

?Barca have now confirmed the timespan Dembele will be on the sidelines for, revealing in a ?statement: “A medical examination on Ousmane Dembélé has diagnosed a strain of his left hamstring. The Frenchman is set to be out for approximately five weeks as a result.”

This latest news puts an awful lot of responsibility on the shoulders of new signing Antoine Griezmann, who produced an uninspiring performance on his competitive debut for the La Liga champions.

Ousmane Dembele

Rafinha was brought on for Suarez after the Uruguayan fell to injury, but how Barca will line up for their first game at Camp Nou this season against Osasuna remains to be seen. 

Young midfielder Carles Alena could be pushed into a more attacking role, with ?Messi still not in full training. The Argentine was expected to be involved on Monday but instead trained on his own, with ?AS confirming the lack of involvement with his teammates was not down to a setback in his recovery.

Let’

Barcelona Reveal Details of Philippe Coutinho Deal – Despite Bayern Saying Details Won’t Be Revealed

?Bayern Munich were made to look foolish after Barcelona released details regarding Philippe Coutinho’s loan move to Bavaria – despite the Bundesliga champions saying the details wouldn’t be revealed.

The Brazilian completed a season-long switch to Die Roten on Monday, though the Bundesliga side will have the chance to purchase the midfielder for €120m at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. Bayern were evidently under the impression that no financial figures would be disclosed to the public, but Barça have made them available for all to see.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-LEVANTE

In a ?club statement following the capture of Coutinho, the German champions said: “?FC Bayern possess an option to buy the 27-year-old following the expiry of his loan contract on 30 June 2020. All parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the agreement.”

That seems straightforward enough. The only people who need to know how much money exchanged hands are those involved, right? Wrong! ?Barcelona want the world to hear how much they got out of Munich for the most frustrating member of their squad.

La Blaugrana paid ?Liverpool an eye-watering £140m to land Coutinho in January 2018 and it has looked like terrible business from the Catalans ever since. As a result, it’s understandable that Barça want people to see they’ve recouped a sizeable chunk of that fee.

Announcing the playmaker’s departure, their official w?ebs?ite read: “FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Philippe Coutinho to the German club for the 2019/20 season.


“Bayern Munich will pay 8.5m and the player’s wages. The agreement also sees an option to buy for Bayern fixed at 120m.”

That looks a lot like someone disclosing the financial details of the agreement. The ?La Liga outfit don’t care; now everyone knows they’re not the only ones to pay over the odds for Coutinho!

Let’

Barcelona: Their 10 Worst Signings of the 21st Century

As one of the finest teams in the world, Barcelona have had more than their fair share of unreal talent. 

However, not all of their signings have been a success – evidenced recently by the dismal spell Philippe Coutinho has endured at the club. Expectations at Camp Nou are always high, but some have never looked capable of getting to grips with things from the moment they arrived.

Here, 90min look at Barcelona’s worst signings of the 21st century.


Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

When you’re signed for around €142m, you’re supposed to deliver time and time again. Unfortunately for Philippe Coutinho, that just didn’t happen following his move from ?Liverpool in 2018.

The Brazilian instantly looked a shadow of his former self at Camp Nou, and regularly attracted the criticism of fans who felt he was only getting into the team because of his high price tag.

He managed 21 goals in 76 appearances, before being offloaded to ?Bayern Munich on loan with a view to a permanent move.


Alex Song

Alex Song

Nothing about Alex Song’s £15m move from ?Arsenal to ?Barcelona made sense in 2012, and it makes even less sense looking back on it today.

?Signed as a versatile midfielder who could fill in at centre-back, it quickly became apparent that Song wasn’t good enough in either position, and his lack of mobility and vision often dragged the rest of his teammates down as well.

Unfortunately, he is remembered more for a video of Barcelona’s 2013 ?La Liga triumph, in which he thought he had been specifically chosen by captain Carles Puyol to lift the trophy, only to be brutally dismissed in favour of the legendary Eric Abidal. Ouch.


Emmanuel Petit

Arsenal v Barcelona

Emmanuel Petit spent three impressive years with Arsenal, so it was no surprise to see him make a £7m switch to Barcelona in 2000. However, what happened next certainly was surprising.

Manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer seemingly felt that the midfielder was actually better suited to play in defence, which was just painfully wrong. Understandably, Petit looked out of his depth at the back, and a string of debilitating injuries only made things worse.

He was quickly shipped off to ?Chelsea after just one season, allowing everyone to move on from this nightmare as quickly as possible. ?


Alexander Hleb

Alexander Hleb,Razvan Rat

What is it about Arsenal players that just doesn’t work for Barcelona?? The next unlucky man was Alexander Hleb, who sealed a €17m move to the club in 2008. With a €90m buyout clause in his contract, Barcelona expected big things of Hleb.

The winger simply couldn’t get into the team, and was bitterly disappointing on the rare occasions that he did. He was part of their treble-winning season, but could have hardly played a smaller role if he tried.

He began openly flirting with Bayern Munich, before being loaned out to Stuttgart, ?Birmingham City and Wolfsburg. When none of them wanted him permanently, Barcelona decided to cancel his contract in 2012.


Dmytro Chygrynskiy

Barcelona's Ukrainian defender Dmytro Ch

?Poor Dmytro Chygrynskiy. Barcelona tried so very hard to sign him from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2009, and it took weeks of failed bids and intense negotiations to convince the Ukrainian side to sell him for €25m. But then things went wrong. Really wrong.

Brought in for his supposed aerial prowess and ball-playing skills, Chygrynskiy never looked good enough to play for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, and the club decided to cut ties with him after just one season.

Guardiola actually wanted to keep him, but the club’s dire financial situation at the time saw Barcelona sell Chgrynskiy back to Shakhtar for just €15m.


Ibrahim Afellay

Ibrahim Afellay

Back in 2010, there were few young wingers who could generate excitement quite like Ibrahim Afellay. Almost certainly destined for greatness, the Dutchman sealed a €3m move to Barcelona, but that’s about as good as it got for him.

For reasons unknown, Afellay simply couldn’t force his way into the Barcelona side, and a number of injuries – including a serious ACL tear – prevented him from building up any momentum.

Loans with ?Schalke and Olympiacos followed, but Barcelona had already seen enough of Afellay. They released him in 2015, allowing him to seal a move to ?Stoke City – a real fall from grace.


Arda Turan

Arda Turan

Arda Turan’s €34m move from ?Atletico Madrid in 2015 could have hardly got off to a worse start. The Blaugrana were in the midst of a transfer ban, so Turan was not allowed to play for the club until January 2016.

Was he worth the wait? Not exactly. He was billed as the replacement for a declining Andres Iniesta, but the Spaniard decided he wasn’t ready to lie down just yet and actually outperformed Turan with ease. Imagine being replaced by the player you’re supposed to be replacing in the first place.

He’s still on the books at Camp Nou, but is out on a long-term loan with Istanbul Basaksehir, where he made his name by pushing an assistant referee and being hit with a huge ban. Something tells me his time at Barcelona is probably over.?


Andre Gomes

Andre Gomes

After realising Turan was not the man to replace Iniesta, Barcelona turned to Valencia playmaker ?Andre Gomes, shelling out around €35m to bring him to Camp Nou in 2016.

Yet again, it didn’t work out for the Portugal international, who was voted by ?Marca readers as the worst signing of the season.? In Gomes’ defence, he didn’t get too much time to prove himself, and he was even used as a right-back on occasion.

He managed two seasons at the club, before joining ?Everton on loan in the summer of 2018. He looked a completely different player at Goodison Park, and was recently rewarded with a permanent move.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Barcelona's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrah

?In 2009, Barcelona gave up everything to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They paid ?Inter £40m, on top of giving them Samuel Eto’o, so it’s safe to see that they were all-in on the nomadic Swede.

Almost instantly, Ibrahimovic looked like an awkward fit in Guardiola’s side. He wasn’t mobile enough, and the emergence of ?Lionel Messi as a central striker saw Ibrahimovic regularly dropped from the team, which didn’t sit well with him.

A memorable bust-up with Guardiola followed, before Ibrahimovic was ultimately sent out on loan to ?AC Milan after just one year. 


Philippe Christanval

Philippe Christanval

During his time with Monaco, young centre-back Philippe Christanval played like one of the most exciting youngsters around. Barcelona liked what they saw, and struck a £6.5m deal to sign him in 2001.

On the flight over, it seemed like Christianval lost his consistency, and he looked nothing like the promising youngster who had broken through at Monaco. He looked awkward on the ball, found himself out of position far too often, and just looked out of his depth.

He was released just two years later, before failing a trial with Arsenal in 2005. A move to ?Fulham followed, but life wasn’t much better for him there, and he retired in 2009 after failing to find a new club.


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Jordi Alba Hits Out at ‘Tiring’ Rumours Linking Neymar With Summer Camp Nou Return

?Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba described the never-ending transfer whirlwind surrounding former teammate Neymar as ‘tiring’, and wished Philippe Coutinho all the best ahead of his loan move to Bayern Munich. 

Neymar is determined to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer, and a possible return to Barcelona has been the main talking point of this transfer window. 

Although both clubs and the player are open to the move, a deal has yet to be reached and the Brazilian star’s future remains up in the air. 

FBL-CHN-FRA-CHAMPIONS-TROPHY-PSG-TRAINING

Speaking to ?Marca after his side’s surprise opening day defeat to Athletic Club, Jordi Alba gave his insight into the ?Neymar transfer saga, which continues to rumble on. 

“It’s already tiring,” he said. “We have to wait until the window closes. He’s a great player. It’s the club’s decision. If he comes, great, but we have to wait and everyday there’s talk of a different team.”

Whilst Neymar’s immediate future is still very uncertain, another Brazilian star has been shown the door from the Nou Camp following an underwhelming stint in Catalunya.

Coutinho has agreed to join German giants ?Bayern Munich on a season-long loan, with an option to buy at the end of the campaign. 

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-LIVERPOOL

The 27-year-old joined la Blaugrana in January 2018 in a deal worth up to £142m from Premier League side ?Liverpool, but he has failed to perform to the levels expected of him by the demanding Barcelona supporters. 

Alba was full of praise for his teammate, saying: “He’s a great player. He’s one of the most talented players in the world and I wish him well.”

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