Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez became the fifth foreign manager to secure promotion from the Championship, with Fulham and West Brom managers also sending their teams up to the top flight in the past.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez celebrates being promoted to the Premier League
Spaniard Rafa Benitez has successfully guided Newcastle United back to the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation last season.
The former Valencia, Liverpool and Real Madrid boss surprised many when he decided to stay at St James’ Park after failing to prevent Newcastle from dropping back into England’s second tier. However, he looks set to miss out on winning the league title as Brighton hold a four point advantage with just two games left to play.
We take a look at the other four managers not born in the British Isles that have also achieved the feat of Championship promotion.
Jean Tigana – Fulham
Tigana arrived at Craven Cottage with a big reputation as one of Europe’s brightest managerial prospects. The Frenchman guided Monaco to the 1997 Ligue 1 title. This success came during his first season in charge at the club. The very next season he took the club to the semi-finals of the 1998 Champions League.
After making the move to England in 2000, Tigana worked his instant magic once more as Fulham finished the season as champions, this is when the Championship was known as Division One. This marked the end of a 33-year spell spent outside of England’s top division.
Roberto Di Matteo – West Brom
After having a successful career as a professional footballer in with Chelsea, the Italian decided to try his hand at management in England.
His first spell in charge with Milton Keynes Dons was a productive one and he led the club to a third-place finish in League One narrowly missing out on promotion after losing in the play-off semi finals on penalties. This was enough to convince West Brom that Di Matteo was the right man to guide the Baggies back to the Premier League following their relegation in 2009.
Di Matteo did just that as in his fist full season in the Baggies dugout, he led them to a second place finish, finishing behind Champions Newcastle United.
Slavisa Jokanovic – Watford
Fulham boss Jokanovic is currently trying to secure promotion for the Cottagers this season as his side look set to secure a place in this season’s play-offs.
If he is successful, it will be the Serbian’s second success in the Championship as he won promotion with Watford in 2015. Before arriving at Vicarage Road, he was a relatively unknown entity. He had previously held managerial roles in his native Serbia, Thailand, Spain and Bulgaria.
Despite winning various titles in his previous roles, his appointment was on a short-term deal as he was given the task of saving the Hornet’s flailing season. He guided them to a runners-up spot. Despite this instant success, he left the club in the summer after failing to agree a new deal and has yet to test himself in the Premier League.
Aitor Karanka – Middlesbrough
The Spaniard arrived at the Riverside Stadium in 2013 following a three-year spell as Jose Mourinho’s assistant manager at Real Madrid. He had won three Champions League medals during an injury-hit spell as a player at the Bernabeu Stadium.
This was Karanka’s first spell in management and after he took over with the side languishing in the relegation places. After steering Boro clear of trouble, Karanka led Middlesbrough to the play-off final in his first full season in charge where they lost convincingly to Norwich City. He did not let the play-off heartbreak deter his side and they finished runners-up the following season, edging Brighton out on goal difference.
Karanka left the club last month following a baron spell in front of goal and without a win in 2017. He felt that he could take them no further. Things have not improved since his depature and Middlesbrough’s place in the Championship is all but confirmed for next season.