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A year on from making the three-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Coach 2016 award, Zinedine Zidane has gone one better and claimed the prize this year. After steering Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League title in his inaugural season, after just a few months in the job, the French legend maintained his side’s spot at the pinnacle of European football with a 4-1 triumph against Juventus in the 2016/2017 final. This came after Los Blancos also reclaimed the Liga crown for the first time in five years. Zizou likewise oversaw victory in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, extending his perfect record in finals to five wins from five since he took charge.
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 becomingthe 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.
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.