Uefa Champions League returns to action. The new UCL season kicks off tonight. UCL is the only competition in the world that brings excitement and anxiety to all. Be it players, managers, or fans. Excitement as such the new season begins, how to go about it. What to expect from this season. Anxiety as in what will happen if the team loses, how will I fare in UCL, etc.
UCL is always regarded as a more tactical and brain game than an actual physical one. We have seen UCL have won pure tactical masterclasses and geniuses quite often. Many mind games are played during UCL to keep your opponent guessing.
For all these mind games and tactical outlooks, you need a pure genius at your helms. Thus managers play a very important role in the UCL campaign. Managers and their tactics often decide how well your team will perform.
With the next UCL cycle starting tonight. We decided to take a look at the most successful managers in the history of this competition.
The 3 most successful managers in UCL
Don Carlo as he is famously known. He is one of the most successful managers in the history of UCL. Carlo Ancelotti has won the UEFA Champions League 4 times, the most by any manager in this tournament’s history.
Ancelotti began his coaching career back in 1995 with a Serie B side where he got them promoted within one season. Then he went to manage Parma and Juventus before joining AC Milan. With AC Milan he made history in the following seasons.
In 2003 Ancelotti managed to take Milan to the Uefa Champions League Title first of his career. Since then Milan was constantly performing under him. They reached 2 finals and one semi-final in the following seasons. Then in 2007, Carlo Ancelotti took Milan to another UCL trophy. Where they successfully avenged Liverpool for their 2005 loss in the finals by defeating this time and winning the champions league trophy.
Then in 2013, he was appointed the manager of Real Madrid and in that same year, Don Carlo managed to win his third Champions League this time with Madrid. Ancelotti became only the second manager after Liverpool’s Bob Paisley to win the competition on three occasions and the first man to win the Champions League twice as a player and three times as a manager to that day. Last year he returned as Real Madrid manager and then again took them to Champions League Title their 14th and thus he became the only manager to win UCL 4 times with 2 different teams.
Zinedine Zidane has a special connection with the Champions League. He has a unique record of his name regarding UCL. He is the only manager in the history of the Champions League to win it 3 back to back times in 3 back to back years.
Zidane started his coaching career back in 2014 with the Real Madrid B team. Then soon in 2016 after the dismissal of Rafa Benitez. Zinedine Zidane was appointed Real Madrid’s first team coach. After defeating Atlético Madrid 5-3 in a penalty shootout on May 28, Real Madrid earned their eleventh Champions League championship, a feat known as “La Undécima.”
Real Madrid became the first side to successfully defend its title in the UEFA Champions League era and the first to win consecutive championships in the tournament on June 3, 2017, when the club defeated Juventus in the Champions League final. Real Madrid then again in 2018 won the Champions League by defeating Liverpool. With this win, Real Madrid became the only team to complete a Champions League hat trick. Also with this win, Zinedine Zidane’s name got into record books as the only manager in the history of the game to win 3 UCL on the trot.
For that spot 3rd on your list, we had many candidates with all managers being equally great and talented. But we chose to go with Jose Mourinho. For choosing the “ Special One” there has to be a special reason. Jose Mourinho has won a champions league with Porto. Mourinho started their managerial career with Benfica in 2000 before being assistant to a few legends like Van Gaal. Mourinho had a pretty good first season as a first-team manager. Then in 2003, he was picked by Porto to be their coach.
In 2003, Mourinho won his first Primera Liga with a 27–5–2 record, 11 points clear of Benfica. Then that season Mourinho won the ultimate prize The Uefa Champions League defeating Monaco. That year Porto had eliminated Manchester United, Lyon, and Deportivo de La Coruña and their sole defeat of the competition came against Real Madrid in the group round. Winning a Champions League with Porto was a fantastic achievement. For his win, he was regarded as one of the greatest managers.
After major success at Chelsea, he moved to Italy where he was announced the coach of Inter Milan in 2008. In his first season, he won the Scudetto. But on the grand stage of Europe, it was regarded as disappointing. The next season, the 2009-10 season was outstanding in Europe. On 6 April 2010, José Mourinho became the first manager in history to take three different teams to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
José Mourinho made it to the Champions League final for the second time in his career on April 28, 2010. After Inter defeated UCL champions Barcelona 3-2 overall, despite Inter’s 1-0 loss at Camp Nou, which Mourinho dubbed “the most beautiful defeat of my life.” That year he won Serie A and also Copa Italia. On 22 May 2010, Inter won the 2010 Champions League after beating Bayern Munich 2–0, and in doing so became the first Italian club to complete the treble.
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