When evaluating the managerial landscape in European football, it becomes apparent that numerous coaches deserve significant recognition for their accomplishments in the past year. As the curtains draw to a close on yet another grueling season, managers who have steered their teams to successful campaigns can take a moment to appreciate their achievements, while others remain focused on the silverware within their reach in the upcoming weeks.
Throughout the continent, captivating storylines have unfolded, leaving an indelible mark on club folklore and etching moments in history. However, it is crucial to identify and commend the standout coaches of the 2022-23 season who have displayed exceptional prowess. This article ranks and highlights these remarkable individuals who have left an indelible imprint on European football.
1. Marco Rose (RB Leipzig)
Marco Rose’s journey with RB Leipzig was far from easy, yet he admirably steered the ship and guided the Roten Bullen to a commendable third-place finish in the league. Taking charge in September with the club languishing in 11th place, Rose orchestrated a turnaround that also saw RB Leipzig reach the DFB-Pokal final and progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
2. Raffaele Palladino (Monza)
Raffaele Palladino’s ascent at newly-promoted Monza has been nothing short of a revelation. Promoted from youth team manager in September, the 39-year-old tactician led the club to a respectable mid-table finish in Serie A. Along the way, Monza secured victories over prestigious opponents such as Juventus, Inter Milan, and reigning champions Napoli. Palladino’s astute leadership witnessed two significant unbeaten streaks that propelled his team with immense momentum.
3. Gary O’Neil (Bournemouth)
When Bournemouth started the season, they were widely predicted to face relegation from the Premier League. However, Gary O’Neil’s appointment as caretaker manager raised eyebrows. Despite skepticism, his impressive performance secured him the position on a full-time basis. Although the Cherries experienced a slump and seemed destined for relegation, a late-season resurgence led by O’Neil’s guidance lifted them clear of the danger zone.
4. Jagoba Arrasate (Osasuna)
Osasuna’s campaign in the 2022-23 season has already been marked as a memorable one. With a squad predominantly comprised of academy products, they reached the Copa del Rey final, showcasing the prowess of manager Jagoba Arrasate. Since their promotion back to La Liga in 2019, Arrasate has consistently guided the team to mid-table finishes. This season, Osasuna is on the verge of securing a Europa Conference League spot, adding to their achievements.
5. Christian Streich (Freiburg)
Freiburg’s steady progress since their 2016 promotion is a testament to Christian Streich’s managerial acumen. While narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification, Streich steered the Bundesliga side to secure a second consecutive Europa League spot. Freiburg’s journey also included a semi-final run in the DFB-Pokal, showcasing Streich’s ability to inspire and lead his team.
6. Jose Luis Mendilibar (Sevilla)
Sevilla found themselves in a precarious position before the arrival of the unassuming Jose Luis Mendilibar in March. Over a span of just two months, he orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, guiding the club clear of relegation woes. Notably, despite domestic struggles, Sevilla remarkably clinched another Europa League title. Mendilibar’s strategic half-time substitutions in the final led his team to a penalty. Shootout victory over AC Milan, solidifying his reputation as a master tactician.
7. Julian Nagelsmann (Bayern Munich)
Taking over the reins at Bayern Munich was no small task for Julian Nagelsmann, but the young German manager proved his worth. Despite the weight of expectations, Nagelsmann successfully guided Bayern to another Bundesliga title, displaying his tactical acumen and ability to handle a star-studded squad. His innovative approach and emphasis on attacking football earned plaudits from fans and pundits alike.
8. Simone Inzaghi (Inter Milan)
Simone Inzaghi faced the daunting challenge of succeeding Antonio Conte at Inter Milan, but he stepped up to the plate admirably. Inzaghi’s tactical flexibility and man-management skills allowed him to seamlessly continue the success of his predecessor. Inter Milan clinched another Serie A title under his guidance, showcasing Inzaghi’s ability to maintain a winning culture and harness the talents of his players.
9. Erik ten Hag (Ajax)
Erik ten Hag continued to work wonders at Ajax, leading them to domestic dominance once again. Ajax claimed their fifth consecutive Eredivisie title under Ten Hag’s tutelage, playing an attractive brand of attacking football. His ability to develop young talent and implement an effective playing style has garnered attention from top clubs across Europe.
10. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)
Brendan Rodgers has firmly established himself as one of the top managers in English football, and the 2022-23 season was no exception. Despite facing fierce competition in the Premier League, Rodgers guided Leicester City to a top-four finish and secured Champions League qualification. His tactical astuteness and ability to extract the best from his players have cemented his reputation as a managerial heavyweight.
11. Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)
Zinedine Zidane returned to Real Madrid amidst high expectations, and he did not disappoint. Despite the challenges of managing a star-studded squad and fierce competition from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, Zidane led Real Madrid to a La Liga title. His calm demeanor and ability to motivate his players were instrumental in the team’s success.
12. Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Thomas Tuchel’s impact at Chelsea was immediate and profound. Taking charge mid-season, he revitalized the team and led them to an impressive second-place finish in the Premier League. Tuchel also guided Chelsea to the UEFA Champions League final, narrowly missing out on the title in a closely contested match. His tactical acumen and ability to foster a strong team spirit have made him highly regarded in the managerial ranks.
13. Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid continued to be a force to be reckoned with in the 2022-23 season. Despite the departure of key players, Simeone molded a resilient and tenacious team that secured a top-three finish in La Liga. His defensive organization and ability to instill a winning mentality have been the hallmark of Atletico’s success under his leadership.
14. Ralph Hasenhüttl (Southampton)
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s tenure at Southampton has been marked by steady progress and improvement. In the 2022-23 season, he led the team to a commendable eighth-place finish in the Premier League. Hasenhüttl’s emphasis on high-intensity pressing and attacking football has made Southampton an exciting team to watch.
15. Lucien Favre (Nice)
Lucien Favre’s return to management at Nice proved to be a fruitful one. The Swiss manager guided Nice to a strong fifth-place finish in Ligue 1, securing European qualification for the club. Favre’s tactical expertise and ability to extract the best from his players were evident throughout the season.
These are just a few of the many talented and successful football managers in the world. Each manager brings their unique style, tactics, and leadership qualities to the table, contributing to the beautiful game in their own way.
16. Unai Emery (Villarreal)
Unai Emery continued to excel at Villarreal, guiding them to a strong campaign in the 2022-23 season. Under his stewardship, Villarreal secured a top-four finish in La Liga, ensuring Champions League qualification for the club. Emery’s meticulous approach to tactics and his ability to nurture a cohesive team have been instrumental in Villarreal’s success.
17. Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United continued to impress with their high-intensity, attacking style of play. In the Premier League, Leeds United secured a top-half finish, showcasing their progress under Bielsa’s guidance. Known for his innovative tactics and ability to develop young talent, Bielsa has earned admiration for his impact on the team.
18. Marco Rose (Borussia Dortmund)
In his debut season at Borussia Dortmund, Marco Rose showcased his tactical acumen and ability to foster an attacking mindset. Despite strong competition in the Bundesliga, Dortmund secured a top-four finish and Champions League qualification. Rose’s emphasis on fast-paced, attacking football and his ability to integrate young talents into the team have been key to Dortmund’s success.
19. Jesse Marsch (RB Leipzig)
Jesse Marsch made an impressive start to his tenure at RB Leipzig in the 2022-23 season. Known for his high-energy, pressing style of play, Marsch led Leipzig to a top-three finish in the Bundesliga and secured Champions League qualification. His emphasis on youth development and attacking football has earned plaudits and attention from the footballing world.