Ranked! The 11 finest managers by no means to win the Champions League
The Champions League is an excellent trophy to raise aloft, some managers getting fortunate sufficient to get their mitts on Large Ears a number of instances, whereas for others it has confirmed ever elusive of their quest for European domination.
For housekeeping functions, every of the managers featured has participated within the post-1992 Champions League – purely because it’s unfair to contain gaffers who’ve by no means even had a crack at successful it.
So, no place for World Cup winner Joachim Löw, who’s picked many issues, however by no means a line-up for a Champions League sport; nor Liverpool legend Invoice Shankly, who predates our timespan. Received it? Proper…
11. Antonio Conte (Juventus, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Tottenham)
Conte is rightly considered as one of many continent’s finest managers, but the relatively giant blot on his copybook is a poor report in Europe. A 2012/13 quarter-final with Juventus is the furthest he’s ever taken a membership within the Champions League, regardless of Conte’s home trophy tally being as wealthy and plentiful as his lustrous hair.
After successful Serie B with Bari, Conte kick-started the present Juventus dominance of Serie A with a hat-trick of league titles. A robust spell as Italy supervisor was adopted by a Premier League title and an FA Cup with Chelsea, earlier than heading again to Italy with Inter Milan.
Ending Juventus’ run of 9 consecutive titles, Conte’s Inter facet stormed to Serie A – however he was quickly leaving the membership after disagreements with the board. Being at Tottenham hasn’t helped his probabilities of Champions League glory, although, which can probably all the time be a speaking level till he makes his mark within the competitors.
10. Unai Emery (Spartak Moscow, Valencia, Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal, Villarreal)
Whereas Emery’s European report in Paris was outstanding for the mistaken causes (supply: Barcelona 6-1 PSG), the Spanish gaffer has executed effectively in Europe elsewhere, most notably at Sevilla and Villarreal.
At Sevilla, Emery received the Europa League 3 times in succession, besting Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in 2016 to finish his hat-trick. Beforehand he’d taken a financially struggling Valencia to Champions League qualification on three events. Struggling to make an imprint at PSG ensured he did not final lengthy, whereas he all the time confronted an uphill battle changing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
The Spaniard discovered his ft as soon as once more at Villarreal, although, successful the Europa League in 2021 earlier than taking the Yellow Submarine to the Champions League semi-finals, beating Juventus and Bayern Munich en route. Whereas his facet misplaced to Liverpool, it was actually a compelling efficiency.
9. Didier Deschamps (Monaco, Marseille)
Some declare that France received the 2018 World Cup as a result of sheer depth of their expertise relatively than any tactical brilliance on their supervisor’s half. However far be it from us to disregard the top of worldwide glory on a supervisor’s CV, plus – 14 years beforehand – Deschamps did do one thing particular within the Champions League.
It obtained misplaced within the story of Jose Mourinho successful the competitors with Porto – due to course it did – however Monaco additionally had an excellent run in 2003/04. Deschamps’ overachievers knocked out Actual Madrid and Chelsea to make up the Champions League’s very unlikely ultimate. Monaco misplaced 3-0 to Porto, however a World Cup win and an against-the-odds Champions League runners-up spot takes ‘the water provider’ into our high 10.
8. Otto Rehhagel (Werder Bremen, Kaiserslautern)
King Otto’s Champions League report isn’t actually the stuff of royalty, the sum whole being an excellent run to the quarter-finals with unfancied Kaiserslautern in 1998/99. But the German’s report elsewhere is the stuff of greatness.
His 14 years at Werder Bremen are considered because the membership’s golden age: Rehhagel reeled in two Bundesliga titles, a pair of DFB-Pokals, three German Supercups, plus European success with the 1992 Cup Winners’ Cup.
Rehhagel then pulled off the final word worldwide upset by managing Greece to Euro 2004 glory; a triumph we sincerely admire virtually as a lot as we sincerely by no means, ever, need to watch any of these matches once more.
7. Kenny Dalglish (Newcastle)
A 3-time European Cup winner as a participant, Dalglish’s managerial report on this competitors quantities to a modest six video games with Newcastle within the late Nineties. Nevertheless, the large asterisk is that Dalglish took an excellent Liverpool facet to a bunch of home honours within the late Eighties, whereas English golf equipment have been banned from Europe post-Heysel.
After main the membership by way of the Hillsborough catastrophe, and successful a league title in 1990, Dalglish abruptly resigned in 1991. He’d later rubber-stamp his greatness as a gaffer by successful the Premier League with Blackburn in 1994/95, turning into simply the fourth supervisor to overcome the English championship with two completely different golf equipment.
7. Mircea Lucescu (Galatasaray, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Besiktas, Speedy Bucharest, Dynamo Kiev)
Solely six managers have taken cost of a century of Champions League video games and Romania’s Lucescu is certainly one of that elite group. The truth that he’s by no means come near successful it – quarter-final spots with Galatasaray and Shakhtar Donetsk being his finest finishes – on no account displays his teaching potential.
Exterior of a quick spell with Inter in Italy, Lucescu hasn’t precisely managed the kind of golf equipment you anticipate to win this competitors. But he has had excellent success.
A league winner in a number of international locations with varied golf equipment, the 73-year-old Lucescu pulled off his biggest feat at Shakhtar. There he merged no-nonsense Ukrainian defenders and freezing Brazilian attackers right into a surprisingly cohesive unit, successful eight league titles, plus the membership’s first European trophy with the 2009 UEFA Cup.6. Max Allegri (Milan, Juventus)
6. Massimiliano Allegri (Milan, Juventus)
Allegri’s appointment was greeted with scratched heads – and even some chucked eggs – when he was given the Juventus job in 2014. In spite of everything, his spell at Milan had began with a Serie A win in 2011, however finally noticed him sacked with a disorganised membership in eleventh. But Allegri prolonged Juve’s home dominance whereas turning them right into a European pressure throughout his first spell in cost – fortunes have been barely completely different since returning in 2021.
He masterminded wins over the very best sides in Europe and led the Outdated Girl to 2 Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017, regardless of shedding key gamers similar to Paul Pogba. Regardless of the plethora of expertise Juve have had prior to now decade, although, Allegri hasn’t managed to take his title off this record and cement his place as certainly one of Europe’s finest fashionable managers.
4. Bobby Robson (Porto, Newcastle)
England’s biggest managerial export. The avuncular Robson took the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final and received a bunch of competitions in England, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands – all whereas not really realizing the primary names of any of his gamers.
His success in European competitors wasn’t to be sniffed at both. A UEFA Cup victory with Ipswich in 1981 was adopted by a 1997 Cup Winners’ Cup triumph by way of a Ronaldo-inspired Barcelona. There was a pleasant Indian summer time to his profession too, as Robson led his hometown membership Newcastle into the Champions League twice, again when Mike Ashley was nonetheless in his nappy power-drinking milk.
3. Valeriy Lobanovskyi (Dynamo Kiev)
“Lobanovskiy’s affect on me was so profound that I nonetheless usually see him in my desires,” stated Andriy Shevchenko, one of many Ukrainian grasp’s most well-known pupils. However you might fill a library with tributes to a coach who outlined that hackneyed phrase: he was forward of his time.
A believer in science, analytics and durations of high-pressing depth, Lobanovskiy managed the Soviet Union at two World Cups and took them to the runners-up spot at Euro ‘88. But it’s his three spells at Dynamo Kiev that outline him, involving 13 league titles, plus two Cup Winners’ Cups triumphs.
He’d in all probability high this record if he’d reached a European Cup/Champions League ultimate. Nevertheless, the closest Lobanovskiy obtained was in 1999 when he led a superb Kiev facet spearheaded by Shevchenko to the semi-finals, and an agonising, 4-3 mixture loss to Bayern Munich.
2. Arsene Wenger (Monaco, Arsenal)
Neglect the final decade of sluggish decline at Arsenal (albeit a stoop which concerned three FA Cup wins): Wenger had established his greatness by then. A trio of Premier League titles – two doubles plus an unbeaten season – have been achieved with dazzling elan, and on a relative price range that shamed a few of Europe’s greatest spenders.
Wenger helped modernise Arsenal, but his European report was curiously combined. There have been outstanding victories – a 5-1 destruction of Inter, a win over Actual Madrid on the Bernabeu – however by no means a triumphant marketing campaign.
Arsenal below Wenger reached the UEFA Cup ultimate in 2000 (a shootout loss to Galatasaray) and the membership’s first Champions League ultimate in 2006 (a 2-1 loss to Barcelona). Shut, however no cigar for a supervisor who’s racked up extra Champions League wins than anybody apart from Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti.
1. Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)
Simeone nonetheless has loads of time to outline his managerial legacy, however, judging strictly on which managers have come closest to a Champions League victory solely to have it snatched away, he tops this record at a canter.
Simeone was twice a hair’s breadth from successful Europe’s high prize (we don’t imply the music contest, though we wouldn’t put that previous this fearsome competitor). In 2014, Atletico have been 1-0 up over Actual Madrid till Sergio Ramos equalised three minutes into damage time. A knackered Atleti have been punished in further time.
Los Colchoneros got here even nearer two years later, shedding to Madrid on a penalty shootout. Agonising, but Simeone has proved he’s not only a almost man. He beat Actual within the 2013 Copa del Rey Last, then twice broke the Spanish duopoly with a La Liga victory in 2014 and 2021, respectively. A pair of Europa League wins (2011 and 2018) underline that he’s a particular coach, albeit one nonetheless missing a sure big-eared trophy for now.