Which managers have won the most European trophies? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Some football managers have way more decorated trophy cabinets than others.
Following AS Roma’s 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the final of the first ever installment of the UEFA Europa Conference League, Jose Mourinho joined an exclusive list of managers who have won five or more European trophies.
The list of UEFA competitions includes the Champions League / European Cup, Europa League / UEFA Cup, Europa Conference League, Super Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup, Intertoto Cup and Intercontinental Cup. The latter three are now defunct but still count towards each manager’s tally.
Here are the 10 managers with the most European trophies:
T-1. Carlo Ancelotti, 7
Ancelotti is tied for the top spot. The first European trophy that entered his cabinet was the Intertoto Cup when Juventus FC won it in 1999. He then went a few miles east to manage AC Milan, where he added two UCL trophies and two Super Cup trophies. His last two European final wins came in 2014 when Real Madrid won the UCL and Super Cup.
He could soon be the king of the throne on this list. If Madrid beats Liverpool FC in the UCL final on May 28 followed by a win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Super Cup final on August 10, he would have nine European trophies under his belt.
T-1. Alex Ferguson, 7
Iconic Sir Alex Ferguson is also tied for No. 1. The legendary Manchester United manager secured his first two European final wins when he was the manager of Aberdeen FC in the Scottish Premiership. Aberdeen won the Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup in the 1982-1983 season.
The other five came as the manager of the Red Devils. There he won two Champions League finals along with a Cup Winners’ Cup, Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup. He retired after the 2012-13 campaign.
T-1. Giovanni Trapattoni, 7
Trapattoni rounds out the managers with seven European titles under their name. His hardware mostly stemmed from his time managing Juventus. There he won a European Cup (before it was called the Champions League), two UEFA Cups (before it was called the Europa League), one Cup Winners’ Cup, one Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.
His last European trophy came in the 1990-91 season when he led Inter Milan to the UEFA Cup title. Trapattoni went on to lead Bayern Munich (Germany), SL Benfica (Portugal) and Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) to league titles in their respective countries.
4. Arrigo Sacchi, 6
Sacchi holds the sole spot for six European championships. All of them came from his time as manager of AC Milan from 1987-1991. There he won two European Cups, two Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups.
T-5. Bob Paisley, 5
Paisley managed only one team throughout his nine-year managerial career: Liverpool. He helped them win three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one Super Cup. He had spent over 44 years with the club holding various roles before retiring after the 1983 campaign.
T-5. Zinedine Zidane, 5
Zidane is the youngest manager on this list, having had his first managerial role in 2014 with Real Madrid Castilla, Real Madrid’s B team. He became the main man for Los Blancos the following season and guided the strong squad to three consecutive UCL wins from 2015-2018, including two Super Cup wins. He has not managed a team since 2021.
T-5. Pep Guardiola, 5
Manchester City’s current boss makes an entry. Guardiola has managed some great historical teams since first becoming the FC Barcelona manager in 2008. He won two UCLs and two Super Cups with Barꞔa and won a Super Cup with Bayern Munich in 2013. Guardiola has had multiple dominant campaigns as manager of Manchester City, but none have yielded results in European competitions yet.
T-5. Nereo Rocco, 5
Rocco had a managerial career spanning 30 years from 1947 to 1977. He managed several smaller clubs early on before leading AC Milan to European glory on multiple occasions. Under Rocco, Milan won two European Cups, two Cup Winners’ Cups and one Intercontinental Cup.
T-5. Louis van Gaal, 5
Louis van Gaal’s most successful European runs came in his first managerial job with AFC Ajax in the Eredivisie. There he won a UEFA Cup, a Champions League, a Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup from 1991-1995. His last European trophy was the Super Cup in 1997 as manager of Barcelona.
T-5. Jose Mourinho, 5
As aforementioned, Mourinho is the newest addition to this list. He won a UEFA Cup and Champions League with FC Porto (2003 and 2004), a Champions League with Inter Milan (2018), a Europa League with Manchester United (2017) and now a Europa Conference League with Roma. He is 5-0 all-time in European finals.
Current managers with four European trophies
Unai Emery, Villareal: four Europa League wins
Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid: two Europa League wins and two Super Cups
Rafael Benitez, Everton *: two Europa League wins, one Champions League and one Super Cup
* Benitez was sacked mid-season in the 2021-22 campaign following Everton’s poor start in the Premier League. It is unclear when, and if, he will manage a new club.