Five Legendary Managers who Never Managed an English Club

In 2022, the most lucrative job in football is managing a Premier League club. COVID-19 pandemic showed just how powerful and wealthy English clubs are despite heavy financial losses. Although England invented the sport, it was not always the place to be for a football manager. Hence many a great managers ended their career without managing a club in England. In this article, we will take a look at five legendary managers who never managed an English club.


Honorable mentions – Johan Cruyff, Vicente Del Bosque, Helenio Herrera, Marcello Lippi

Note :- Managers who are still active have not been considered for this article


#5 Rinus Michels

A football manager’s career is often weighed by the number of trophies they have won but this is not the case with Michels. The way he revolutionized football in the 70’s alone deserves him a place on this list. Michel’s Dutch team heaped universal praise in the 1974 world cup for playing a brand of football never seen before.

Michels is often heralded as the “father of total football” and hugely influenced Johan Cruyff’s footballing philosophy. In his career, Michels managed in Spain, Germany and Netherland. He deserves a place among the legendary managers who never managed an English club as his philosophy is echoed in the Premier League even in 2022.

#4 Jupp Heynckes

Heynckes was the mastermind behind Bayern Munich’s continental treble in 2013 and has been the club’s pillar of support across decades. Heynckes’ first spell at Bayern Munich was from 1987 to 1991. In this period, he won two Bundesliga trophies and the DFL Super Cup. Throughout the 90’s, he managed clubs in Spain, Germany and Portugal. Most notably, he won the UEFA Champions League in 1998 as the manager of Real Madrid.


In April 2009, Heynckes came out of retirement to act as Bayern Munich’s caretake manager. From 2009 to 2011, he managed Bayer Leverkusen and earned them their first UCL spot since 2005.

#3 Arrigo Sacchi

Among all the great names in the list, Sacchi is the only one to have never played professional football. But he was always a keen student of the game and was the coach of the great AC Milan side of 1987 to 1991. Like Richels, the brand of football his AC Milan side captured the attention of fans across continents.

Sacchi’s Milan were structured to the core but they also found a way to construct fast and fluid attacking moves. In the 80’s, Serie A was the best league in the world and a nightmare for attackers due to defensive solidity of teams. Hence, Sacchi’s tactics took the footballing world by storm and is still implemented in different ways.


#2 Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello most famously coached the AC Milan side which won the league in 1992 without losing a single game. During his five seasons at the club, AC Milan won the league four times and the Champions League in 1994. As the manager of Roma, Capello won the 2001 Serie A sending the Italian capital into jubilation as it was their first league triumph since 1983. In addition, he has also won the La Liga twice with Real Madrid.

#1 Giovanni Trappatoni

Belovingly referred to as “Trap” in Italy, Trappatoni has won 10 league titles across four different European countries. This remarkable achievement is the reason why he tops the list of legendary managers who never managed an English club. Trappatoni is the only coach to have won the European Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He also emphasized on an ultra-defensive brand of football, famously quoting at Juventus “Our football is prose, not poetry”.



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