The 5 longest-serving managers in European football currently￼
Managers are the bedrock of any successful club and the last decade in world football has proven the same. To be a manager of a European club is a very tough job at present, with both the owners and the fans expecting them to not only win trophies but also play an exciting brand of football.
Every club that has won their respective leagues or the Champions League in recent seasons has done so, mainly, due to their manager’s tactics rather than an individual player’s quality.
In doing so, multiple managers have been with one club for a long time. This has led to certain teams playing with a unique sense of identity which represents the football the manager wants them to play. So, it is no surprise that clubs are starting to give more time to their managers for producing results, rather than expecting immediate gains.
Here, we take a look at five of the longest-serving managers in Europe –
#5 Pep Guardiola (Manchester City: July 2016 – Present)
Pep Guardiola is arguably the most successful manager of his generation and few have generated as big an impact as he has in English football. Few believed that the Spaniard could have his side play tiki-taka football in the Premier League, but Manchester City has crushed those doubts. Over the last six seasons, the Citizens have won the Premier League four times.
Hence, it is no coincidence that Guardiola has been at the Etihad since 2016. However, his contract runs down in 2023 and there is no certainty that he will stay longer in the blue half of Manchester.
#4 Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta: June 2016 – Present)
Known as one of the best tactical managers in the world, Gian Piero Gasperini has turned Atalanta from a club with the goal of avoiding relegation to the Serie B into a team fighting for Serie A dominance and constantly participating in European competitions since his appointment in June 2016.
To put the 64-year-old’s importance in perspective, Atalanta finished 13th in the Serie A in the season before his arrival. Since then, they have achieved three top-four finishes and have never finished below 10th in the league table.
They have also done well in Europe as they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2020. A truly beloved coach, Gasperini extended his contract at the club at the end of last year and is expected to stay until 2024. While he is yet to win a trophy with the club, such is his brilliance that he was named Serie A coach of the year in 2019 and 2020.
#3 Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) 2015 October – Present
Widely considered to be one the greatest managers in the history of the sport, Jurgen Klopp has been a revelation at Liverpool and is worshipped by fans at Anfield. To add to their joy, Klopp recently signed a contract extension until 2026, courtesy of which the club could gain more silverware in the coming years.
The German coach arrived at Anfield in October 2015 after a stellar spell at Borussia Dortmund. Not many expected him to succeed in such a massive way with Liverpool. But he has defied expectations through astute tactics and smart transfers.
He delivered the club’s first title in the Premier League era in 2020, while also winning the Champions League in 2019. The Reds have already won the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup this year and are scheduled to play the Champions League Final against Real Madrid on Saturday, 28th.
#2 Christian Streich (Freiburg: December 2011 – Present)
Christian Streich may not have broken ground with SC Freiburg over the last 10 years, but he has done an awful lot for the club during this decade. He spent four years between 2007 to 2011 as an assistant coach at Freiburg before eventually being named as the senior coach soon after.
In Streich’s tenure, the club has only been relegated once and has spent 10 seasons in the Bundesliga. During this period, they have managed to finish in the top half of the table on four occasions while also avoiding relegation four times.
Their current campaign is certainly their most successful season under Streich as they have sealed a qualification spot for UEFA Europa League. They finished sixth in the points table and this happens to be their best performance in the Bundesliga since their fifth-place finish in the 2012/13 season.
#1 Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid: December 2011 – Present)
On top of the list is one of the best and most widely respected coaches in the world is Diego Simeone, with the Argentinian joining Atletico Madrid in December 2011. The 51-year-old who also had a highly decorated career as a player, completely transformed the fortunes of the club, ensuring that they have become one of the most difficult sides to play against.
Finishing in the top-four was only a pipe dream for the club before the Argentinian took over, but he has turned those dreams into realities. Over the last 11 seasons, he has won the Europa League title twice while also lifting the La Liga title on two occasions. In fact, Atletico has even won the Spanish Cup and has been the UEFA Champions League finalist twice in the past decade.