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The Best FIFA Men's Coach

The Candidates

Massimiliano ALLEGRI
  • Massimiliano ALLEGRI

  • ITA
    Italy
  • The Juventus hotseat threatened to be a poisoned chalice following Antonio Conte's departure in 2014, but Allegri has more than risen to the challenge since taking over. He has built a healthy habit of winning the league and Coppa Italia in tandem, guiding the Turin outfit to the double in the last three campaigns, and the most recent of these made history, with I Bianconeri becoming the first club to clinch a Coppa 'three-peat' and to claim the Serie A crown six years in a row. He also oversaw another run to the UEFA Champions League final last season, only for his side to come a cropper against Real Madrid in an encounter billed as the battle of the BBCs (Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini against Bale, Benzema and Cristiano). "You can't just be great. You have to be special," the experienced tactician sagely stated when recently reflecting on what it takes to triumph in Europe's premier club competition. 
Carlo ANCELOTTI
  • Carlo ANCELOTTI

  • ITA
    Italy
  • The Italian got off to the perfect start with Bayern Munich at the beginning of the 2016/17 season by winning his first seven competitive matches in charge, a feat no coach had ever previously achieved at the club. By the end of the campaign the 58-year-old had won the German league title, thereby becoming the first manager to win the domestic crown in four of Europe's five big leagues – Germany, France, England and Italy. Only Spain’s La Liga eludes him. However, Bayern missed out when it came to last season's cup competitions, losing to eventual UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, and suffering defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the last four of the DFB-Pokal.
Antonio CONTE
  • Antonio CONTE

  • ITA
    Italy
  • In his first season managing in the English top flight, Antonio Conte led Chelsea to the title in impressive fashion, setting a new Premier League record of 30 wins in a single season. The 2016/17 English Premier League Manager of the Season showed tactical versatility as a player and that has translated into his career in management. During The Blues’ run to lifting the domestic league title, Conte switched the side’s formation to a 3-4-2-1, which proved a masterstroke. Along with his high tactical understanding of the game, Conte’s infectious energy and enthusiasm on the touchline affects every team he coaches. The Italian’s latest challenge is to get Chelsea competing on multiple fronts as they return to European competition.
LUIS ENRIQUE
  • LUIS ENRIQUE

  • ESP
    Spain
  • Luis Enrique concluded his spell as Barcelona coach by lifting the Copa del Rey and overseeing a challenge for silverware on two other fronts: his charges pushed Real Madrid all the way in the La Liga title race, which was not settled until the final matchday, and reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, in which they were beaten by Juventus. It was the Spaniard's decision to call it quits following three years at the helm, during which his team won nine out of a possible 13 trophies. Besides this haul, he will be remembered for his excellent stewardship of a dressing room packed with stars and for the way in which he diversified Barça's style of play.
Pep GUARDIOLA
  • Pep GUARDIOLA

  • ESP
    Spain
  • Long renowned as one of the world’s leading coaches, Pep Guardiola is currently in the midst of bringing his much-celebrated brand of football to a third country and third major club. Although last season was, by his own high standards, arguably the Catalan’s least successful since beginning his career in the dugout, he did begin making his mark on Manchester City and English football. In leading City to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, Guardiola also reached a century of European matches as coach. In addition, he arrived at that landmark with a better record than anyone before him, having won 61 and drawn 23 of those one hundred matches.
Leonardo JARDIM
  • Leonardo JARDIM

  • POR
    Portugal
  •   After two seasons settling in at Monaco, Leonardo Jardim upset the odds by masterminding a spectacular campaign for the principality club in 2016/17. Renowned for his ability to outwit higher-profile teams, the Portuguese lived up to his reputation by leading Monaco to their first Ligue 1 title in 16 years, preventing Paris Saint-Germain from clinching their fifth consecutive French crown. Despite that feat, Jardim's most notable successes arguably came in Europe, with Monaco topping their UEFA Champions League group and knocking out both Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund before Juventus halted their run in the semi-finals. Those achievements were all the more remarkable considering that Jardim oversaw a young and inexperienced squad. Able to get the best out of his promising charges, he helped the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko announce their talents to the world.
Joachim LOEW
  • Joachim LOEW

  • GER
    Germany
  • The German Football Association (DFB) has a long, illustrious and trophy-filled history, and in 2017 current head coach Joachim Low achieved something none of his predecessors ever could: win the FIFA Confederations Cup. The 57-year-old Black Forest native took a gamble by going to the tournament in Russia without a number of his first-team regulars – and it paid off. Following Germany's triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and the departures of a number world-class talents, including captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and the World Cup's all-time top scorer Miroslav Klose, the cunning tactician and meticulous coach oversaw a seamless transition to a side full of hungry youngsters. Low's team will once again be among the title favourites at Russia 2018.
Jose MOURINHO
  • Jose MOURINHO

  • POR
    Portugal
  • Jose Mourinho’s first full season at Manchester United had its challenges, but even so the charismatic Portuguese claimed three pieces of silverware for the club’s bulging trophy cabinet. A Community Shield win in his opener at the club was followed by a League Cup victory in February, thus becoming the first Manchester United manager to earn a major piece of silverware in his debut season. Three months later Mourinho led United to a UEFA Europa League triumph, taking his record in European finals to four wins from as many attempts. A run of draws resulted in a modest sixth-place finish in the Premier League for United, but victory in the Europa League ensured qualification for the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Mauricio POCHETTINO
  • Mauricio POCHETTINO

  • ARG
    Argentina
  • Argentinian coach Mauricio Pochettino has further enhanced his reputation as one of world football’s elite new breed of coaches. In his third season at the helm of Tottenham Hotspur, Pochettino guided the club to second in the English top flight, losing just four games over the course of the 38-match campaign. It was the club’s highest position since the creation of the English Premier League in the early 1990s and saw Spurs finish above North London rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1994/95. Pochettino continued to put his faith in the club's young brigade playing a modern brand of attractive, bold and effective football. 
Diego SIMEONE
  • Diego SIMEONE

  • ARG
    Argentina
  • In his sixth season in charge of Atletico Madrid, the longest-serving coach in La Liga once again coaxed commendable performances out of his team. Nevertheless, on this occasion, Simeone's outstanding work – both fitness-wise and tactically – did not yield any trophies. Los Rojiblancos were once more foiled by arch-rivals Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, this time in the semi-finals, and fell at the same stage in the Copa del Rey. Meanwhile, despite registering the division's best defensive record, they finished third in the league, some distance behind the top two. 
TITE
  • TITE

  • BRA
    Brazil
  • To establish Tite’s credentials for this award, all it takes is a look back to where Brazil were before his appointment. Back then, in June 2016, A Seleção were languishing sixth in South America’s FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers and had just endured a first-round exit at the Copa America Centenario. It would have seemed unthinkable at that stage that the Brazilians, on the back of seven straight wins at the start of Tite’s reign, would become the first side to join the hosts at Russia 2018, and be back on top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Yet by restoring team spirit, establishing a settled formation, putting faith in youngsters such as Gabriel Jesus and Marquinhos, and bringing the best from the likes of Paulinho and Casemiro, the former Corinthians coach has inspired a spectacular turnaround.
Zinedine ZIDANE
  • Zinedine ZIDANE

  • FRA
    France
  • A year on from making the three-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Coach 2016 award, Zinedine Zidane is once again a serious candidate for this prestigious honour thanks to a season teeming with trophies and records. The Frenchman steered Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League title in 2016 after just a few months in the job, and he kept them at the European pinnacle in memorable fashion last term, securing a 4-1 triumph against Juventus in the final. That came after Los Merengues also reclaimed the Liga crown for the first time in five years. Zidane likewise oversaw victory in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, extending his unblemished record in finals to five wins from five since he took the helm.