Real Madrid has witnessed numerous great managers lead the club to glory. But who belongs in the Five Greatest Managers list in Los Blancos history?
Being a Real Madrid manager is one of the toughest jobs in world football. Many great managers helm the Santiago Bernabeu hot seat, but few make an impact big enough to suit the grandeur that is Real Madrid.
The Royal Whites are notorious for sacking head coaches at a whim. At the Bernabeu hot seat, winning matches is not enough, neither is winning trophies.
Fabio Capello is a prime example. The legendary manager will attest to how winning titles was not enough. The Italian led Los Blancos twice in 1996/97 and 2007/08 season. He won La Liga with the club both times, but he was sacked at the end of the season on both occasions.
At Madrid, managers need to win and win in style (and sometimes carry out the wishes of the club Presidents). However, if they succeed and do so in elegance, they are forever engraved in the history books. Here are the top five greatest managers in Real Madrid history.
5. Jose Mourinho
The former Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho joined Real Madrid in the 2010/11 season. Mourinho had just delivered a treble-winning season at Inter Milan. He was one of the biggest names in world football.
The Portuguese joined the club at the time when Barcelona was dominating in both domestic and European front. Los Merengues lost the league to their Catalan rivals for the past two seasons; they failed to qualify past the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League since 2004/05 season.
The team from Madrid needed a leader who will not only guide them back to winning ways but also bring a sense of competitiveness. They found that leader in Mourinho.
His first season had its ups and downs, but he had established the groundwork for success. The former Porto coach instilled the fight in the players that propelled them to reach the semi-final stage of Champions League for the first time six years. While they were eliminated by their arch-rivals Barcelona, Mourinho managed to get some revenge when they won the Copa del Rey (first Copa in 18 years) against the Catalan side.
2011/2012 season was one of the best the club has seen in the 21st century. The Portuguese manager guided Los Blancos through a record-breaking La Liga campaign – the first team to reach 100 points in a season, most league matches won at the time with 32 victories, and scoring 121 goals along the way, most scored by a team in a single La Liga season. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, and Karim Benzema contributed to 89 of them. They won the league in style and broke Barcelona’s domestic dominance.
While his third season did not go as planned as there was a rift between him and some senior players at the club, Jose Mourinho had laid the foundation for the success that was to come Real Madrid’s way.