The experts were divided over who should be recognised as the best manager of all time. In the end Sir Alex Ferguson shaded the vote, collecting 49 votes, just three more than Rinus Michels, with both men significantly clear of third placed Jose Mourinho. 

Ferguson may be retired but his reputation shows no sign of diminishing. He left the game this summer after a managerial career spanning five decades and during which he achieved success at every level.

The only trophy that eluded Ferguson as a manager was the UEFA Cup. With Aberdeen, he won the Scottish league, Cup and League Cup, as well as, most remarkably, the European Cup-winners Cup after beating Real Madrid in 1983 Final.

With Manchester United, the Champions League triumphs of 1999 and 2008 shine out from his resume, but there were also
13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, the 1991 Cup-winners Cup and two Club World Cups.

The most common observation at the time of Ferguson’s retirement in May was that we may never see the like of him again.
Across the globe, football management is now a collaborative business.

No future manager will be given the power and authority that Ferguson wielded at Old Trafford. But then again, no man is likely to achieve the sustained success that Ferguson enjoyed at United.


Alex Ferguson 49

Rinus Michels 46

Jose Mourinho 21

Helenio Herrera 19

Josep Guardiola 18

Arrigo Sacchi 15

Valery Lobanovskyi 14

Bob Paisley 12

Herbert Chapman 9

Bela Guttmann 9

Ernst Happel 9

Mario Zagallo 9

Vicente Del Bosque 8

Marcello Lippi 8

Vittorio Pozzo 8

Tele Santana 8

Brian Clough 7

Ottmar Hitzfeld 6

Sepp Herberger 5

Bill Shankly 5

Giovanni Trapattoni 5

Cesar Luis Menotti 4

Enzo Bearzot 3

Fabio Capello 3

Jimmy Hogan 3

Helmur Schon 3

Hennes Weisweiler 3

Franz Beckenbauer 2

Carlos Bilardo 2

Johan Cruyff 2

Vicente Feola 2

Alf Ramsey 2

Luiz Felipe Scolari 2

Gustav Sebes 2

Jock Stein 2

Luis Aragones 1

Leo Beenhakker 1

Rafael Benitez 1

Marcelo Bielsa 1

Bob Bradley 1

Matt Busby 1

Jack Charlton 1

Kazimierz Gorski 1

Jupp Heynckes 1

Gerard Houllier 1

Tomislav Ivic 1

Stefan Kovacs 1

Udo Lattek 1

Hugo Meisl 1

Otto Rehhagel 1

Carlos Alberto Parreira 1

Antoni Piechniczek 1

Nereo Rocco 1

Arpad Weisz 1

Arsene Wenger 1

Walter Winterbottom 1


  • Luke

    Where is Steve Kean?

  • Morons

    I welcome any of those Managers you cited to prove themselves with as many teams as Jose Mourinho did and in the same timeframe too. 3 different teams, 3 champions league finals (2 victories) and the domestic leagues for all their respective clubs.

    Argue all you like about him being egotistical and not caring about the long-term future of his club, and I will even go ahead and agree with you. But Mourinho is world-class and backs it up with his ability.

  • Trung

    Totally agreed with Tony. Mourinho should not be in the top 10. I don’t see De Bosque. Capello is way down in the list. Scolari has 2 votes where he lead Brazil to World Cup winner and Con Federation Cup? This is totally garbage.

  • Tony B

    This is a joke…just like the greatest XI, put together by people who have no idea what they’re talking about.
    If Mourinho should have a place in top 10 he should achieve the following feats:
    …like winning league, champion’s league and world cup as Lippi or Del Bosque
    …like dominating, making a mark with a team as Sebes, Capello, Sacchi, Kovacs, Michels, Guardiola, Pozzo, Herrera, Trappatoni
    …like educate, develop, teach, and live the sport as Ferguson, Cruyff, Santana, Ancelloti, Schon, Lattek, Wenger, Lobanovskyi, not the ego of being the first coach to win the trophy with 3 different clubs
    …like take a team from lower second division and create a legacy and ultimately win 2 consecutive European Cups as Clough
    …like I said Mourinho is an egomaniac poison but some panelist thing he’s the greatest…what a joke…