Monday, 22 Jul 2024

The Most Successful Coaches in Champions League History

coach with most champions league titles

Manchester City’s recent triumph in the Champions League final has once again highlighted the remarkable achievements of the world’s top football coaches. Pep Guardiola, with his third Champions League title, has now joined an elite group of coaches who have lifted the trophy. Let’s take a closer look at the coaches who have won the most Champions League titles in history.

Carlo Ancelotti: The Undisputed Leader

Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian maestro, has won the Champions League an astonishing four times. Ancelotti’s impressive record surpasses football legends such as Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane, both of whom have won the prestigious tournament three times. With his latest victory, Guardiola has also joined this exclusive club.

Ancelotti’s relationship with the European Cup goes beyond coaching. As a player for Roma, he had already tasted success by winning the Scudetto, the Italian league title. However, fate denied him the opportunity to play in the European Cup final against Liverpool in 1984, held in Rome, where his team lost in a penalty shootout.

Bob Paisley: A Liverpool Legend

Bob Paisley, a true Liverpool legend, is often regarded as one of the greatest coaches in football history. Born in Sunderland in 1919, Paisley had an illustrious career at Liverpool, spanning almost half a century. He started as a player, then became a physiotherapist and coach, and finally rose to the position of manager.

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Paisley’s legacy is synonymous with Liverpool’s most successful period. Between 1974 and 1983, he guided Liverpool to an astonishing six league titles, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup, three League Cups, six Community Shields, and one UEFA Super Cup. Paisley was also the first coach to win three European Cups with the same club, a feat later matched by Zidane with Real Madrid.

Other Notable Achievements

In addition to Ancelotti and Paisley, there are 16 other coaches who have won the Champions League twice. Furthermore, seven coaches have achieved the remarkable feat of winning the tournament both as players and as coaches. The names include football icons such as Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard, Guardiola, and Zidane. Among them, Muñoz and Ancelotti hold the record with five titles each, having won two as players and three as coaches.

Additionally, six coaches have etched their names in history by winning the Champions League with two different clubs: Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jose Mourinho, Jupp Heynckes, Ancelotti, and Guardiola. Their managerial prowess has transcended different teams and eras, showcasing their adaptability and tactical genius.


Q: Who is the most successful coach in Champions League history?

A: Carlo Ancelotti holds the record for the most Champions League titles won by a coach, with an impressive total of four.

Q: Are there any coaches who have won the Champions League both as players and as coaches?

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A: Yes, several coaches have achieved this remarkable feat, including Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, and Zinedine Zidane.

Q: Has any coach won the Champions League with two different clubs?

A: Yes, six coaches have managed to win the prestigious tournament with two different clubs: Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jose Mourinho, Jupp Heynckes, Carlo Ancelotti, and Pep Guardiola.


The Champions League has witnessed some truly remarkable coaching performances throughout its history. From Carlo Ancelotti’s unprecedented four titles to Bob Paisley’s legendary reign at Liverpool, these coaches have left an indelible mark on the world of football. Their accomplishments showcase their tactical brilliance, man-management skills, and ability to guide their teams to European glory. As football enthusiasts, we can only marvel at the achievements of these coaching icons and eagerly anticipate the next chapter of Champions League history.