Football is not a binary sport. You don’t necessarily win when you have a good squad. You need someone to manage a club’s players, and some of the best teams in the history of the game have had legendary managers.
I grew up in an era where football managers would often deflect questions and hesitate before telling the truth. It’s great to watch the managers of today being confident and concise – it speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their own ability and understanding of their players.
When it comes to football on a world stage, it isn’t easy to classify achievements. There are managers across different continents who are doing an excellent job. When we look at world football, however, it’s quite clear that European football represents the top level, both domestically and internationally.
I’m going to focus more on domestic club managers in this particular column, because international football is a completely different monster. All the managers on this list have either achieved sustained success or have had a profound influence on world football.
Here is my take on the five best managers in world football at the moment.
#5 Jose Mourinho
With 23 trophies to his name, Jose Mourinho is one of the most decorated managers in the game's history. He’s won everything there is to win in European football, and the fact that he hasn’t won anything with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur doesn’t undermine his greatness – it only speaks about the quality of the other managers in domestic football today.
Jose Mourinho’s challenge at Roma will be even greater than his previous stints. He’s on borrowed time at the moment, and if you ask me to make a similar list in 18 months, I could very well be of the opinion that he used to be one of the best.
Mourinho cannot be omitted from a conversation about the greatest managers in world football. I’ve spoken to some of his players and they all speak so highly of him. There’s many a manager who’s been given a talented squad and has achieved nothing, but you can’t say that about Jose Mourinho.
#4 Thomas Tuchel
It wasn’t easy to choose between my third and fourth choices on this list, because Thomas Tuchel has just won the UEFA Champions League and has excelled at Chelsea. He doesn’t have a massive amount of success when you compare him to someone like Mourinho, but he could potentially become one of the greatest managers of all-time in the future.
Tuchel is a manager who’s capable of getting very good results from a good team. He’s changed the way his Chelsea players think and speak about football. As a commentator, it’s quite refreshing to watch a manager who isn’t afraid of speaking his mind.
Thomas Tuchel has tasted success in a relatively short period of time at Chelsea, but he will have to add more trophies to his cabinet to top this list. Tuchel has done a brilliant job at Stamford Bridge and is definitely one to keep an eye on at the moment.