Ranking the Best Soccer Managers in the World in 2022
Who is the best coach in soccer in 2022? That’s the question I’ll try to answer in this post. Considering their achievements and recent performances, I picked out ten soccer managers who deserve to be called the best in the world.
If you keep on reading, you will notice that there’s no Alex Ferguson on the list. Nor is there Johan Cruyff, Arrigo Sachi, or any other legendary gaffer from the olden soccer days.
The reason is that this is the list of best managers in 2022. Only those in charge of a professional soccer club have made it to this list at the time of writing.
#10 David Moyes (West Ham)
November 7, 2017 – that’s the day when West Ham appointed David Moyes as their manager. The Hammers were sitting in the relegation zone with just nine points after 11 league games when he inked the deal.
After a rough start, Moyes’ new team started winning more and more games, eventually finishing in the #13 place. But, for the Scottish coach, that was just the beginning.
Over the next three seasons, Moyes continued working hard to improve the team, which eventually paid off in the 2020-21 season of the Premier League. That’s when West Ham finished in the #6 position, their best finish since 1999.
By beating Southampton on the final day of the season, the Hammers also booked the ticket to the UEFA Europa League. Moyes’ boys did very well in the group stage of the continental competition – they finished at the top of Group H with a 4-1-1 record, thus qualifying for the playoffs.
#9 Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)
The odds on Diego Simeone getting sacked by Atletico Madrid are as long as +50000 at some soccer betting sites. This fact suggests that his job is as safe as it gets.
No surprise there, knowing that El Cholo has been in charge of Atleti for more than a decade. In his managerial career, he was the world’s highest-paid soccer manager. Considering how much he’s given to the club, paying nearly $50 million a year to Simeone is a wise investment.
With him in charge, Atletico won about 60% of all the games, getting ahold of some prestigious titles along the way. Some of the trophies Simeone put in Atletico’s collection include:
- 2x UEFA Europa League (2011-12, 2017-18)
- 2x UEFA Super Cup (2012, 2018)
- 2x La Liga (2013-14, 2020-21)
- Copa Del Rey (2012-13)
- Supercopa de Espana (2014)
On top of that, Simeone’s Atletico finished in second place in the UEFA Champions League on two occasions (2013-14, 2015-16). In 2022, Atletico Madrid is still competing in the Champions League, having advanced to the knockout stage.
#8 Luciano Spalletti (Napoli)
Currently the head coach of Napoli, Luciano Spalletti started his managerial career in 1994. Over the years, he led some real heavyweights of Italian soccer, including AS Roma and Inter Milan.
He also spent a couple of years in Russia, where he worked as the manager of Zenit Saint Petersburg. That’s where he won most of his trophies – two domestic titles and two cups.
Still, Spalletti’s best days were as the coach of AS Roma, from 2005 to 2009. While working in the Italian capital, he helped the development of Francesco Totti a.k.a. The Eighth King of Rome, who’s widely considered the greatest player ever to play for this club.
Famous for his creativity, as well as 28+ years of coaching experience, Spalletti caught the eyes of Napoli’s owner Aurelio De Laurentis, a member of the famous movie-producing family.
Soon after making Estadio Diego Armando Maradona his new home, Spalletti sparked Napoli’s resurgence. With no major soccer stars on the roster, he was still able to turn the Sky Blues into a team that’s more than the sum of its parts.
The result is that Napoli finished the first part of the season near the top of the Serie A table. With a few more months left until the end, they genuinely have a decent chance to get ahold of the title for the first time since 1987.
#7 Gian-Piero Gasperini (Atalanta)
Here’s a soccer manager who’s often flying under the radar. In his mid-60s, Gian Piero Gasperini has been at the helm of Atalanta since 2016. That’s pretty much when this team’s resurgence started.
One of the first things he did upon becoming the boss implemented a 3–4–3 formation, a high-paced tactic focused on attacking. At the time – and even in 2022 – not many teams used this strategy.
However, for Atalanta, Gasperini’s style has done wonders. This is evidence that Atalanta finished in the top 4 in the Italian Serie A four times in the previous five seasons, getting to the Champions League twice.
Not only did they qualify for the elite European championship, but the boys from Bergamo also left a great impression there. One of their finest moments in the Champions League (so far) happened in November 2020, when Gasperini’s crew defeated Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield.
#6 Julian Nagelsmann (Bayern Munich)
Being the boss of Bayern Munich is an honor bestowed upon only the finest coaches in the soccer universe. Proof of this is that two managers from this list used to hold that job, while one is currently in charge. The man in question is Julian Nagelsmann.
Born in 1987, Bayern’s manager is the youngest person on this list. That said, his trophy cabinet might not be too impressive. Still, in his relatively short managerial career, Nagelsmann has already achieved a lot.
As the manager of RB Leipzig (2019-21), he finished both seasons in the top 3 in the German Bundesliga, taking his team to the Champions League each time. In his first season in the Champions League, he led Leipzig to the semifinal, where they were stopped by Paris Saint-Germain.
His achievement on the continent was good enough of a recommendation for Bayern Munich to decide on signing him. To do that, the German powerhouse had to splash out nearly $30 million – the highest transfer fee for a manager in the game’s history.
#5 Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)
With Massimiliano Allegri at the helm, Juventus won Serie A each time from 2015 to 2019. That feat made him the only coach in the history of Italian soccer to win the title five times in a row.
One season after he left the club, Juve ended up empty-handed in the Italian top flight. Inter Milan put an end to Juventus’ dominance that started in the 2011-12 season. Another reason why that came as a big surprise is that, at the time, Cristiano Ronaldo was still in the club.
What did the Juventus board of directors do to solve the problem? They re-hired Allegri. From May 2021, he’s been their boss, and if everything goes according to the plan, he’ll stay in Turin until 2025.
Truth be told, his second stint at Juventus didn’t go as planned. However, Allegri & Co. still stands a chance to win some trophies in 2022. The Bianconeri now have a coach who knows how to win trophies, but do they have the manpower to make their dreams come true?
Dusan Vlahovic, like Cristiano Ronaldo (2020) and Omar Sivori (1961), has scored 33 Serie A goals in a single calendar year (2021). Only two players in the history of the league have done better: Juve's Felice Borel (41gls – 1933) & Milan's Gunnar Nordahl (36gls – 1950). #GdS pic.twitter.com/UC1VytIDcY— Tarek Khatib (@ADP1113) February 4, 2022
Starting February 2022, Allegri will have one ace up the sleeve in the form of Dusan Vlahovic. The former Fiorentina striker signed for Juventus during the winter transfer window for a reported fee of $85 million – the fourth-highest amount Juventus splashed out on a player in the club history.
#4 Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Here’s the man who guided Chelsea to the 2020-22 Champions League title. The fact itself seems enough to put Thomas Tuchel on the list of the best soccer managers in the world.
The same season, Tuchel’s team finished second in the FA Cup and fourth in the English Premier League. In the 2021-22 season, the London Blues have a chance to do even better. Although winning the Prem seems like a mission impossible, this team could finish as the runner-up.
#3 Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid)
The current boss of Real Madrid is the man with the most impressive trophy cabinet of all the managers on this list. As a soccer manager, which started in the early 1990s, Ancelotti has won more than 20 major titles. Some of those include:
- 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup with Juventus
- 2003-04 Serie A, 2x UEFA Champions League (2002–03, 2006–07) with AC Milan
- 2009-10 Premier League with Chelsea
- 2012-13 Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain
- 2016-17 Bundesliga with Bayern Munich
Furthermore, in his first stint as the Real Madrid manager, Ancelotti led Los Blancos to a Champions League title in the 2013-14 season.
Since returning to Real Madrid in June 2021, the Italian coach has already won one title – the Spanish Supercup. On top of that, his boys are on a very good road to getting ahold of the Spanish La Liga title. They even stand a good chance to win this year’s Champions League.
#2 Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Players love him, fans adore him. Not all fans, though. Those who don’t root for Liverpool may dislike Jurgen Klopp as he’s the man who led the Reds’ resurgence in the late 2010s.
In his first season as the boss of Liverpool, Klopp led the team to the final of the UEFA Champions League. The Reds failed to win it in 2018, but they didn’t miss their opportunity a year later.
Then, in the 2019-20 season, Klopp’s Liverpool won its first domestic title in the Premier League era, ending a 30-year drought.
#1 Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Same as the last year, Pep Guardiola has made it to the #1 place in my list of best soccer managers in the world.
In 2021, we saw Guardiola-led Manchester City win the Premier League. At the moment of writing, it looks almost certain that the Sky Blues will keep it in their possession for at least another season.
Guardiola also reached the final of the Champions League in 2021, but his team failed to beat Chelsea. Manchester City is still missing that trophy in its collection, but they will have another shot at it this year.
If you look at the odds, you’ll see that Guardiola’s team is the #1 favorite to win the 2022 Champions League. If the Sky Blues win it, Guardiola will get the upper hand in the managerial GOAT debate.