Football is arguably one of the most complex sports in the world. Given the sheer number of possible formations and tactical predispositions that are available to football teams in the modern era, football has effectively evolved into a form of chess in motion. While the players usually hog the limelight, football managers are just as crucial to the success of a football club.
The beautiful game has experienced several phases of evolution over the years. Innovation in football is as old as the sport itself and managers and tacticians have spent decades honing their skills and fine-tuning their schools of thought. The best managers in the history of football are defined by their longevity and their transformative effect on the game.
Managers have also adapted to the changing needs of the game
Football as we know it today has been shaped by the most revolutionary minds that graced the sport. These visionaries were rebels in the truest sense of the word and went about their business with the intention of changing the way the sport is perceived by fans across the world.
While some great managers bank on their tactical genius to etch themselves into football history, the others achieve the same end by creating conditions that bring the absolute best out of their world-class players.
This list takes a look at the ten best managers in the history of football and while there are some notable absentees that have also created ripples with their renegade methods, the coaches on this list fully deserve the legendary aura that surrounds them today.
#10 Bill Shankly
Bill Shankly is arguably the most important figure in the history of Liverpool. The Anfield legend was singlehandedly responsible for reviving the fortunes of a club that was in the doldrums and putting Liverpool on their much-discussed pedestal.
The English superpower of today that is widely considered one of the biggest clubs in Europe found itself in the English Second Division after the 1953/54 season. Liverpool spent eight years outside the English top flight before Bill Shankly worked his magic and led his team to promotion in 1962.
What followed was a masterpiece in management from one of the greatest managers that Liverpool can call its own. Shankly won the English league title in 1964 and 1966 and put Liverpool and used his shrewd decision-making and man-management skills to put the Reds back on the European map.
While Bill Shankly may not have as many trophies as some of the other names on this list, the sheer magnitude of his impact on a struggling Liverpool side makes him one of the greatest managers of all time.
#9 Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni is widely considered to be one of the most successful coaches in Serie A history. The veteran manager spent most of his playing career at AC Milan where he honed his tactical understanding of the game under the legendary Nereo Rocco.
Trapattoni was a firm believer in Italy's traditionally defensive school of thought and moulded one of the best Juventus teams in history in the late 1970s. The Italian spent 10 years with the Bianoneri and set a record by winning every single UEFA club trophy on offer with the club.
At Juventus, Giovanni Trapattoni won an astonishing 6 Serie A titles and also won the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup. The great Italian transformed the careers of Michel Platini, Gaetano Scirea, Paolo Rossi, and Marco Tardelli and is arguably the greatest Juventus manager of all time.
Also Read: Top 10 Juventus players of all time