We’re going to shine a spotlight on the 10 managers with the most Champions League games – starting with a throwback to some old-time favorites.
The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club competition in the world, featuring the top teams from across Europe. While players are the stars of the show, managers play a critical role in guiding their teams to success. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 managers with the most Champions League games and analyze their respective successes.
10. Rafael Benitez – 95 Games
Rafael Benitez has managed several teams in Europe throughout his career. He is a well-known figure in the football world and is currently joint-ninth on the list of managers with the most Champions League games at 95. Benitez has achieved great success in his career. He famously won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.
9. Louis Van Gaal – 95 Games
Louis Van Gaal is a retired Dutch football manager. He coached many teams across Europe, including Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United. He appears in the ninth spot on this list with 95 Champions League games managed. Known for his tactical prowess and ability to develop young talent, Van Gaal won the coveted UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995. The Dutchman also led Bayern Munich to the final in 2010.
8. Massimiliano Allegri – 100 Games
Massimiliano Allegri is an Italian football coach who has managed numerous teams in Italy. His current team is Juventus. The former midfielder has had a long and successful career. Although he has not yet won the UEFA Champions League, Allegri has come close several times. He has led Juventus to the final twice, in 2015 and 2017.
7. Jurgen Klopp – 100 Games
Jurgen Klopp has managed a total of 100 games, earning him a well-deserved place at number seven on the list of managers with the most Champions League games. The German won the competition with Liverpool in 2019. He also led Borussia Dortmund to the final in 2013, losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich at Wembley.
6. Mircea Lucescu – 115 Games
Mircea Lucescu is a well-known football coach who has managed several teams in Europe. He is currently sixth on this list of managers with 115 games managed, which is a significant accomplishment. The Romanian has never won the Champions League, but he has coached several teams in the competition. These include Dynamo Kyiv, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Inter Milan.
5. Jose Mourinho – 145 Games
Jose Mourinho has managed six different teams in the Champions League. These are FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur. With a total of 145 games managed, he stands fifth on the all-time list of managers with the most Champions League games. He has won the competition twice, once with Porto in 2004 and again with Inter Milan in 2010.
4. Pep Guardiola – 158 Games
Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful and renowned football managers of our time. The Catalan has managed three of the top football clubs in the world, namely Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. He has won the Champions League twice, with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, showcasing his ability to lead his team to victory on the biggest stage.
3. Arsene Wenger – 178 Games
Arsene Wenger is considered one of the most successful managers in the history of the English Premier League. The Frenchman managed Arsenal for 22 years, from 1996 to 2018, and oversaw the team through some of its most successful seasons. He won three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups, and seven Community Shields. He also made it to the Champions League final once, in 2006, where Arsenal lost to Barcelona in a tightly contested match in Paris.
2. Sir Alex Ferguson – 190 Games
Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed Manchester United for 26 years, from 1986 to 2013, is second on the list with 190 games managed. The Scot established a remarkable legacy at Old Trafford. He led the club to unprecedented levels of success, including 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, and 2 UEFA Champions League triumphs. His two European titles in Manchester came in 1999 and 2008.
1. Carlo Ancelotti – 191 Games
Carlo Ancelotti is without a doubt the clear leader in this category, having managed an impressive 191 games in the Champions League. His success in the competition is a testament to his dedication and hard work. As a manager, the Italian has won the competition four times, twice at AC Milan in 2003 and 2007 and a further two times with Real Madrid in 2014 and 2022.
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