Louis Van Gaal called him ‘the best in the business’ and he calls himself ‘The Special One’, but in 22 years of Champions League football Jose Mourinho is only the eighth most successful manager – just two places ahead of Rafa Benitez – according to a statistical study from bookmakers bwin.
Based on Champions League points per game, legendary German coach Jupp Heynckes is the Champions League’s best boss. Of his 37 fixtures in the competition, Heynckes has won 25 and drawn 6 providing an impressive 2.19 points per game and a win ratio of 68%. That aside, the German’s record is further bolstered by two Champions League titles with two different clubs – one for Real Madrid in 1998 and Bayern Munich in 2013.
The current Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola comes in second with 40 wins and 17 draws from 65 games giving 2.10 points per game and a win ratio of 62%, while his two Champions League titles with Barcelona adds extra gloss. Laurent Blanc is a comparative newcomer to the tournament, but with 29 games played he has won 19 and drawn 4 at 2.10 points per game. His points per game record is the third best, while his win ratio of 66% is the second highest in Champions League history, but a lack of silverware counts against him in the rankings.
Dutchmen Frank Rijkaard (2.07 points per game in his 41 games) and Louis Van Gaal (2.02 points per game in his 89 games) complete the top five and each have a Champions League title with Barcelona and Ajax respectively. Before he was winning World Cups for Spain, Vincent Del Bosque did the business for Real Madrid, winning two Champions League titles in 2000 and 2002. With 34 wins and 12 draws from 60 games, his average of 1.90 points per game puts him sixth in the all-time list.
Completing the top 10 Champions League are four managers with Premier League experience. Though he will point to his three Champions League titles to justify his legacy, Carlo Ancelotti has a comparatively modest average of 1.89 points per game from his 133 Champions League fixtures placing him seventh.
The current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho finds himself eighth with 66 wins and 30 draws from his 122 games – providing a win ratio of 54% at 1.87 points per game. Sir Alex Ferguson is in ninth with 102 wins and 51 draws at an average of 1.86 points per game.
Though Sir Alex may be disappointed to find himself behind Mourinho, he will delight in being ahead of a man he clashed with on several occasions – Rafa Benitez. The ex-Liverpool manager completes the top 10 with 48 wins and 20 draws providing 1.84 points per game.
Jay Dossetter from bwin said;
“These stats provide a fascinating take on who is the best in the business when it comes to Champions League management. While they by no means end the debate on who is the greatest, they should provide Jupp Heynckes’ many admirers with plenty of ‘staisfaction’.”
You can read about these and a wealth of other Champions League statistics by clicking here.
- The list is formed by calculating by the managers’ points per game ratio. (Includes games won on penalties/extra time).
- Jupp Heynckes is the best manager in Champions League history with 2.19 points per game from 37 fixtures in the competition.
- Pep Guardiola is in second place with 2.10 points per game from 65 games.
- Relative newcomer Laurent Blanc’s record of 2.10 points per game from 29 games (marked down for less games) puts him in third place.