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World Football

Top 10 best managers in world football in 2023: Ranked

Published at :December 27, 2023 at 12:35 AM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:34 AM
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Ashmit Sinha


Some of the top managers in world football currently

Despite players now seeming to be almost limitless in terms of talent, skill, work rate, and potential, all of it means next to nothing if they don’t have a well-adept manager on the touchline, being a non-combative general, being everything, from a drillmaster to a loving parent, to sometimes a downright cheerleader for their soldiers.

Football is still heavily coach-driven. With the “Gaffer” being both, their team’s philosophical preacher as well as their strategic master, they manage to look good while doing it too.

The following list captures the best managers of the 2023 calendar year, with reasoning as to why.

The following list includes managers with achievements in the 2023 calendar year; –

10. Eddie Howe – Newcastle.

Many might be surprised by Howe’s inclusion in the list and their surprise might even be excused, considering that Newcastle sit 7th in the Premier League and are out of the Champions League round of 16, while also missing out on a Europa League spot.

However, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle produced some unforgettable moments in the dying embers of the 2022-23 season. A fourth-place finish above Liverpool with a healthy five-point lead meant that they were back in the Champions League after 22 years.

Their comeback to the Champions League was not a forgettable one either. With the highest point in their campaign being upsetting eventual qualifiers PSG at St James’s Park.

Eddie Howe’s charge with Newcastle was simply to adrenaline-inducing to leave out.

9. Xavi Hernandez – Barcelona

Barcelona’s pride is back, thanks to Xavi. Barca won its first La Liga championship since 2019 in 2022–2023, and it was made possible by Xavi’s building of a strong, disciplined squad that finished 10 points clear of Real Madrid with just 20 goals allowed in 38 games. Not to mention managing the pandemonium off the field brought up by Barca’s precarious financial condition. After his playing career finished, everyone anticipated Xavi to become a shrewd coach, and he’s well on his way to doing just that.

The Spaniard’s campaign saw a blip when Barcelona lost 3 of their 6 Champions League games, and failed to make an impression in the Europa League either.

8. Xabi Alonso – Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso Bayer Leverkusen managers
Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen are Bundesliga title contenders in 2023-24

Bayer Leverkusen are at the top of the Bundesliga during the Christmas break, with them yet to lose a game in all competition.

Xabi Alonso has taken a tethering Leverkusen from the bottom of the table to Bundesliga toppers in under a season. Using veteran Granit Xhaka and Mousa Diaby, Alonso seems to have created a side which refuses to give up.

Although Bayern along with Harry Kane seem to be on track to win yet another Bundesliga, there is a big chance Alonso’s Leverkusen could play spoilsport.

7. Ange Postecoglou – Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham fans were frustrated by the seemingly boring football they saw their team play under Jose Mourinho Nuno Espirito Santo.

Enter Ange Postecoglou. –

Ange’s way of playing, or “Angeball” as it’s called, has seen the Hotspurs press like never before, although the former Celtic Manager may not have silverware to show for it, the possibility of what he can achieve with Tottenham this season is too enticing to leave him out of this list.

6. Marco Rose – RB Leipzig

Marco Rose has been overseeing an axis shift at RB Leipzig. He transformed RB Leipzig’s 2022-23 season, leading them back into the UEFA Champions League and delivering their second straight DFB Cup title with a record which will make many German giants envious.

In the ongoing season, RB Leipzig sits 4th in the Bundesliga table with only three losses in 16 games.

5. Michel – Girona

Girona are a name which has become very familiar with football fans since the start of the current season, which is a great achievement for a club which was promoted to the first division in Spain in 2021.

In the 2022-23 season, Girona managed a 10th position finish, above Sevilla, which is very impressive for a team in their first season in the LaLiga.

However, the new season has seen them defy all odds, Girona currently sits 2nd in the Laliga table, with only 1 loss in 18 games.

Míchel arrived at Girona in July 2021, when the club was in Spain’s Second Division, and wasted no time implementing his brand of brave, attacking football. His core playing principles have only strengthened in the top flight. After 13 games of the 2023/24 season, Girona averaged 52.45 per cent possession, 11.27 shots and 1.86 goals per game.

4. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal

Managers to win 4+ MOTM awards in single Premier League season  Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta led Arsenal to a second-place finish in Premier League 2022-23

Even though Arteta wasn’t satisfied with how the season ended, Arsenal nevertheless vastly outperformed predictions. He set out to reclaim his spot in the Champions League at the beginning of the season, and he succeeded admirably. The drawback was that Arsenal spent the majority of the season leading the Premier League and were poised to win for the first time since 2004, but Manchester City overtook them en route to winning the triple.

Arteta’s season came to an end with disappointment, but he ultimately allayed concerns about his ability to assemble a top club.

3. Simeone Inzaghi – Inter Milan

Although the former striker had an incredible couple of seasons with Inter Milan, it is evident that top-tier, attack-minded coaches should respect him. After scoring 84 goals in 38 games to lead Inter to a second-place finish in 2021–22, Inzaghi maintained the Nerazzurri’s competitiveness at home (winning the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia) and saved his finest play for the Champions League.

Inter advanced to their first Champions League final in 13 years thanks to a dedication to roster rotation—rarely did a game go by without Inzaghi utilizing all five substitutes—and a two-striker formation that paired a “big” (either Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku) with the elusive Lautaro Martinez.

 With a style of play based on rock-solid defending, Jose Mourinho led Inter to an unlikely title back then. Inzaghi’s higher-octane approach proved equally effective, as Inter finished above Barcelona in the group stage and defeated rivals AC Milan, Porto, and Benfica en route to a heroic 1-0 loss against Manchester City in the final.

Inzaghi is astute, modest, and unwavering in his adherence to his values. Such a focused goal and its consistent implementation could help a lot of teams.

2. Luciano Spalletti – Napoli & Italy

Luciano Spalletti Italy Top five favourites to win Best FIFA Men's Coach award 2023 managers
Spalletti led Napoli to the Serie A title

With the departure of their experienced core (forwards Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne, midfielder Fabian Ruiz, and defender Kalidou Koulibaly) prior to the season, Napoli achieved an incredible feat in 2022–2023: they won 21 of their first 25 Serie A games, making the title race all but a canter towards the end. A squad that has always prioritized id and “vibes” over structure and order was the ideal fit for Spalletti’s aggressive style of play, and the players agreed.

With 31 goals in all competitions, Victor Osimhen is still rising to the top of the striker ranks, and Khvicha “Kvaradona” Kvaratskhelia has shown a level of energy not seen in Naples since the days of Diego Maradona. Under Spalletti’s guidance, each new recruit hardly missed a beat. and it’s a tribute to him that Europe’s best teams have their sights set on the aforementioned duo as well as defender Kim Min-Jae. That’s coaching.

Napoli in 2022–2023 possessed bombast, heart, and an unwavering mentality, and Spalletti was the ideal strategist to help them over the finish line. They destroyed some of the biggest teams, defeating them 4-1 against Liverpool, 6-1 against Ajax in the Champions League, and 5-1 against Juventus in Serie A. They didn’t give a damn about their reputations. One of the highlights of the European season was their title win, which is difficult to see them doing without Spalletti on the sidelines.

1. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City

This time, there is no room for criticism, questions, or disagreements. Along with his team’s outstanding play throughout the season, Guardiola’s accomplishment of winning his second managerial triple at a completely different club than his first is exceptional.

Guardiola is responsible for John Stones’ metamorphosis, Erling Haaland’s record-breaking season, and Manuel Akanji’s comeback. Plus, there was so much more. He was the best manager of all time, according to some, even before this amazing season. He is currently regarded by many as being superior to Arrigo Sacchi, Johan Cruyff, Sir Alex Ferguson, Ancelotti, and everyone else. A truly special season for an exceptionally special manager.

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