Football is one of the richest sports in the world. Especially in Europe where the best of the talent is at display, there is massive amount of money invested. Whether it is fresh investment coming in the Gulf or a Billionaire Tycoon from Russia, the multimillion broadcast revenues or multimillion dollar sponsorship deals it has massive inflow of funds. With this amount of money coming in there is added pressure to get the desired results.
So here we try and focus on the man at the helm of affairs – the Manager of a Football team. With limited patience and massive bank accounts, this is supposedly the toughest job in world football. I would still like to feel that the Managers taking care of National Teams do get a longer rope but the pressure is there too nevertheless. Below we look at the top five managers from the year gone by.
If media reports are to be believed Carlo Ancelloti was the man identified as the successor to Alex Fergusson. As Ancelloti had already managed Chelsea with distinguished success and his trophy laden resume, it was a no brainer, but the wily Italian chose Real Madrid as his next destination. As a player he had represented top sides in Italy such as Parma, Roma and Milan however his managerial stint was destined to be even more spectacular. He has managed Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris St. Germain and now is the man in charge of Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelloti is a manager with no certain philosophy, stays away from the media glare but has the most number of European Trophies in his cabinet. He was brought to Santiago Bernabeu to deliver La Decima, and he did it in style in his first season at the club. To add to that he won the Copa Del Rey and now is on a record breaking winning run which was extended with winning the World Club Cup competition. At the age of 55 he still has another decade or so at the highest level, and if he wins La Liga with Real Madrid he will add his fourth different league title in his illustrious trophy cabinet.
Germany has been one of the most dominant forces in World Football with their consistent performances backed by trophies (4 World Cup Trophies only next to Brazil’s 5 World Cup triumph). On an average the Germans use to win a World Cup in one out of every fourth edition. However after winning the trophy in 1990 it was a low phase for German Football with only one UEFA European Championship in 1996. When Jurgen Klinsmann replaced Rudi Voller in 2004, he hired Joachim Low as his second in command and the attacking style of football was introduced throughout the country which trickled down from the National team setup.
Joachim Low played an important role in the third place finish of the German Team in 2006. Post Klinsman’s departure he was appointed the Head Coach and since then the team has gone from strength to strength in all competitions. With their flair and attacking style of Football they won the hearts of football faithful in Brazil. They were the team to beat and humbled the host Brazil in the semifinal. It will be right to believe Low has played a big role in delivering the first World Cup trophy for the mighty Germans in more than two decades and his continued stint at the helm augurs well for football in the country.
As a player Diego Simeone made over 500 appearances in seven different clubs in Argentina, Italy and Spain. His managerial stint started with Racing in 2006 and in 2011 was handed over the reins of Atletico Madrid.
In his spell with the club he has already won Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and to top it all the La Liga title last season. It is a fairy tale of sorts where Diego Simeone has started delivering from his first year on the job but was probably overshadowed by the two bigger clubs in Spain. With limited resources and fighting against the two best teams on the planet Simeone ensured that Atletico won the La Liga title in style. He even led his team to the Champions League final only to fall short off the mark against Real Madrid. He did let his marquee player Costa leave for Chelsea however with the squad available, Atletico will surely have another shot at La Liga this year.
Pep Guradiola wants to manage Manchester United one day, however for now he is managing the Bavarian Giants. A thorough professional, Guardiola answered all the questions in German to the surprise of the media present at his first press conference. His tactical genius in operation at Bayern has been clinical in them retaining the Bundesliga in 2013-14, in-fact they won the league with seven matches to spare which was the best in Bundesliga’s history. Under his leadership Bayern also made an impressive outing in Champions League only to be beaten by Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola’s allegiance to his tactics and the squad at his disposal will certainly make Bayern one of the top contenders of Champions League this year. They are already running away with the Bundesliga title and it will not be surprising if Pep makes another entry in the best managers list for 2015.
Is there a power shift in Manchester? Well the status quo does suggest the tide slightly in favor of the blue half of Manchester and we can attribute the same to Sir Alex’s exit from United and Manuel Pellegrini’s entry at the Etihad stadium. While Roberto MancinI had a big role to play in getting the current squad together it was Pellegrini who got the house in order since his arrival in 2013. His calm, cool and great management style ensured there was no nonsensical story coming out of City’s superstar loaded dressing room. His attacking style of play where City entertained and thrilled their supporter has also won him plaudits and made him the only Non-European manager to win a premier league title.
However as mentioned earlier, there is lack of patience in today’s world of football and if he fails in making Manchester City a force to reckon with in Europe, he might well be shown the door in the near future.
Image Source: Daily Telegraph