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