A number of top tacticians have emerged victorious in the European competition multiple times.
The UEFA Europa League, formerly known as UEFA Cup, is a tough competition to navigate through. It is second-tier when it comes to European club competitions, following the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Having said that, it is by no means easy to win because the competition offers intense competition.
The Europa League is certainly more unpredictable and very few teams have consistently performed well in it. The inclusion of teams dropping down from the Champions League group stage makes the competition even tougher. An extra round of knockout matches is physically demanding. The scheduling makes it tough for clubs to juggle between their domestic leagues and the Europa League.
Therefore, guiding a team to glory is a difficult challenge and only the most competent managers are able to achieve it. Let’s take a look at the top five managers to have won the most UEFA Europa League trophies.
5. Diego Simeone (2)
The Atletico Madrid boss is one of the most respected managers in the world currently. Diego Simeone has managed the Madrid giants for the last decade and won many accolades along the way. One of his many achievements includes winning the UEFA Europa League twice with the Spanish club.
Simeone’s men won the UEFA Europa League in 2011-12 and 2017-18. In the first time, his side defeated Athletic Bilbao in an all-Spanish final. The second time around, Atletico Madrid defeated Olympique Marseille to lift the title. Overall, the Argentine has won eight trophies with the club.
Juande Ramos and Luis Molowny have also won the competition twice with Sevilla and Real Madrid respectively.
4. Jose Mourinho (2)
The Portuguese has also won the UEFA Europa League title on two occasions. Mourinho first won the trophy with FC Porto back in 2002-03 when the competition was known as the UEFA Cup. His team defeated Celtic in the final with a 3-2 score after extra time. The second win came with Premier League outfit Manchester United in 2016-17.
The Red Devils defeated Dutch outfit AFC Ajax in the final, courtesy of a 2-0 score line. Mourinho has also won UEFA Champions League on two occasions, once with FC Porto and the second time with Inter Milan.
3. Rafael Benitez (2)
One of the few managers who has won the UEFA Europa League twice and with different clubs. His first trophy win came with Valencia CF back during the 2003-04 season after defeating Olympique Marseille in the final. He also won the Spanish league with the club twice in 2001-02 and 2003-04. The second UEL triumph came while managing Chelsea in England.
The Blues won the 2012-13 edition by beating SL Benfica 2-1 in the final. The Spaniard tactician has also won the UEFA Super Cup with Liverpool after winning the UCL with them in 2004-05. He is currently managing Everton in the Premier League.
2. Giovanni Trapattoni (3)
A legendary name among Italian managers, Giovanni Trapattoni won the competition a total of three times. All three of his triumphs came back when the competition was called the UEFA Super Cup. He won the 1976-77 edition, one of the earliest ones by helping Juventus win against Athletic Bilbao in the final.
The second UEFA Cup win came with Inter Milan in 1990-91 when the Nerazzurri beat AS Roma in the final. Trapattoni won the competition for the third time again with the Old Lady by overcoming Borussia Dortmund. He has also won the UCL with Juventus in 1984-85. The tactician also won the Serie A seven times.
1. Unai Emery (4)
Unai Emery is the all-time leading manager with most UEFA Europa League wins. He has won the competition four times, thrice with Sevilla FC and once with Villarreal CF. Emery guided Sevilla to three consecutive UEL wins in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 by defeating Benfica, Dnipro and Liverpool respectively.
The Spaniard won the trophy fourth time with Villareal CF, by beating Manchester United in the final. The contest was decided on penalties. Emery’s men won the match by 12-11, the final with the longest shootout in the history of the tournament.