Professional rivalry among managers is one thing and then there’s outright hate. Managers can’t help but face-off against their opposite numbers but how do you explain two men hating each other as some of the managers on this list do? Not only have they hurled abuses at each other but also come to actual blows. And they’ve not always been for the sake of the team.
Call it conflicting personalities, philosophies or loyalties, the stories of these managers going at each other are iconic and go way beyond managerial rivalry. Here’s a look at 10 instances of managers who hated one another:
#10 Ronald Koeman and Louis van Gaal
Considering Louis van Gaal and Ronald Koeman had worked so well together at Barcelona, the former as manager and the latter as his assistant, it's hard to believe their relationship soured. However, it can be traced back to the time when Koeman was appointed as manager of Ajax in 2001 and was joined by his former colleague three years later as the club’s technical director.
Things came to a head when the former Manchester United manager sold a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic on transfer deadline day with no time to find a replacement and Koeman demanded he be fired.van Gaal handed in his resignation and was gone within a few months of joining the Dutch club. Koeman didn’t come out unscathed himself. He was fired from his job just four months later for poor results.
There are stories of the former Manchester United manager pulling up a chair and commenting on Ajax first team’s training and even boasting of building a holiday villa bigger than Koeman’s in Portugal. The last time these managers faced each other was in the Premier League in charge of Manchester United and Southampton respectively.
Speaking ahead of a Premier League clash in 2014, van Gaal said, “I don’t have to describe my relationship with the trainer of the opponent. That’s more private I think. We play against Southampton and we have to speak about Southampton and not the trainer-coach.”