Skilled players are crucial to the success of any football club. However, a good manager is required to bring the squad members together so as to function as a cohesive and well-oiled unit.
Not surprisingly, the manager has become as crucial a component in the game of football as the players themselves. He is entrusted with getting the best out of the players that he has at his disposal.
The likes of Pep Guardiola, Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have earned widespread plaudits for their massive influence at the clubs they’ve managed. However, some managers have flown under the radar despite having impressive resumes.
Today, we rank the five most underrated managers in world football today:
#5 Vladimir Petkovic
Vladimir Petkovic has one of the most inspirational stories in the world of football, as he was a migrant and a social worker-turned football manager.
The Bosnian led the Swiss national team to the Euro 2020 quarterfinals, where they were knocked out by Spain in a penalty shootout. Petkovic also masterminded Switzerland’s unlikely triumph over World Cup champions France in the Round of 16. The event also marked a historic moment for Swiss football. For the first time since the 1954 World Cup, the country had made it to the quarterfinal stage of a major tournament.
During the press conference following Switzerland’s win against the world champions, Granit Xhaka gave his Man of the Match trophy to Petkovic. During his seven-year spell at the helm of the Swiss national team, Petkovic ensured Rossocrociati’s qualification to the finals of every competition it entered.
#4 Gian Piero Gasperini
Gian Piero Gasperini has played a critical role in Atalanta’s rise to prominence in Italian and European football. La Dea is now regarded as one of the most exciting and entertaining outfits on the continent. But things were drastically different when Gasperini arrived at the club in 2016.
Atalanta's main objective at the time of the Italian manager's arrival was to avoid the drop down to Serie B. They came nowhere near relegation during his debut season as they finished fourth in the table, ahead of Inter Milan and AC Milan. Since his appointment, Atalanta has finished in the top four on four occasions in his five seasons at the club.
The Goddess has also become a threat to the traditionally “bigger” teams in Europe. Gasperini led Atalanta to their first-ever appearance in Champions League and Europa League football.