Top 10 European Championship Managers

As we continue our build-up for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 finals in Poland & Ukraine, we take a break from previewing the teams taking part in the competition and have a look at the top ten managers who have been successful at the European Championships.

10. Otto Rehhagel

Sometimes called King Otto and ‘Rehakles’, a wordplay referring to Heracles, son of Zues. Rehhagel guided a hugely unfancied, but highly motivated, Greece team to European glory in 2004, in what is regarded as one of the greatest ever sporting upsets. He is the first foreign coach of a national side to win the Championship

9. Roger Lemerre

After assisting Aime Jacquet in France’s FIFA World Cup victory on home soil in 1998, Lemmerre took over a supremely talented bunch of individuals, led by Zinedine Zidane. He made history by winning the European Championship in 2000, in Holland and Belgium. France becoming the first country to win the tournament straight after lifting the World Cup.

8. Terry Venables

Having failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA world Cup under Graham Taylor, El Tel galvanised the troops, leading England to the semis on home soil in 1996. Alan Shearer liked him: “Terry’s knowledge and tactical know-how were spot-on. We responded to him, believed in him and played some outstanding football in that tournament.”

7. Richard Moller Nielsen

Had famously made other plans for his summer before Denmark were invited to take part in 1992 after Yugoslavia’s disqualification. “I should have put in a new kitchen but then we were called away to ply in Sweden,” he said, after taking his side all the way to victory over Germany in the final.

6. Valeri Lobanovsky

Lobanovsky was the epitome of the Soviet school of football during the 70s and 80s, utilising a vast range of physiological and psychological test to determine his players’ potential and help them improve in his dynamic passing tactic. Took the USSR to the 1988 Championship final, which they narrowly lost to Rinus Michels’ Holland.

5. Rinus Michels

The Godfather of Total Football, revered for his deployment of its sumptuous aesthetic in the 1970s via players sich as Johan Cruyff. Ultimately unsuccessful with that batch of Dutch talent, he had to wait until 1988 for international honours, winning the European Championship. A ruthless disciplinarian, with an arduous work ethic, he changed the face of football.

4. Michel Hidalgo

Best remembered for his France team’s impeccable performances on home soil in 1984 and the nurturing of his captain Michel Platini and the revered Carre Magique (‘magic square’). “We must find ways to encourage audacious players and we must fight goalless games,” he once said. “It is goals that leave their mark on the memory.”

3. Jupp Derwall

After an eight-year-apprenticeship under Schön, Derwall moulded his West Germany to be more pragmatic, ruthless and efficient. In a largely forgettable Championship, his 1980 side gloriously beat the Dutch 3-2 in Naples, with one of Derwall’s newbies, Klaus Allofs, grabbing a hat-trick. They later beat Belgium 2-1 in the final.

2. Helmut Schön

The most famous German football manager. Under Schön’s stewardship the West Germany team were World Cup runners-up in 1966, third in 1970 FIFA World Cup, European champions in 1972, FIFA World Cup winners in 1974 and European Championship runners-up in 1976. He is only coach to have won a World Cup and a European Championship.

1. Jose Villalonga Llorente

Llorente, known as just Jose Villalonga, was the first manager to win the European Cup (later known as the Champions League) – with Real Madrid in 1956 – and, at 36 years and 184 days, remains the youngest to have done so. He was appointed as Spain manager in 1962 and led them to victory on home soil in the 1964 European Championship.


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