The high pressure and high quality nature of a World Cup, twinned with the fact that it only comes along once every four years, makes it a very difficult trophy to win as a manager. Only one coach has ever won the Jules-RImet Trophy more than once, and that was Vittorio Pozzo way back in 1938.
The last 7 World Cup Winning Managers: Where are they now?
7. Joachim Low – Germany Manager
We start with the most recent manager to win the World Cup, for the next couple of weeks at least, in the form of Joachim Low. The 58-year-old former Fenerbahce boss has had an extraordinary record since taking the reigns as Germany boss in 2006. He reached the final of Euro 2008, the semi-finals at the 2010 World Cup, the semi-finals at Euro 2012, won the World Cup in 2014, reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and won the Confederations Cup. Five major tournaments and never failing to reach at least the semi-finals, well – until now. Germany bowed out of the World Cup 2018 in shocking and dramatic fashion as defending world champions in Russia, bringing Low’s outrageous consistency levels to an end. The former Freiburg attacking midfielder remains Germany manager, for now at least.
6. Vicente del Bosque – Retired
The first retired manager in this seven, I fear that that could become a bit of a theme, but lets see how it goes. Real Madrid legend Vicente del Bosque is one of the most decorated managers in the history of the game. The only manager to have won the World Cup, European Championships and the Champions League, del Bosque inherited a Spanish side which had just won the European Championships in 2008, playing an impressive possession-based style of football. Del Bosque adopted that approach – but took it even further – winning the World Cup in 2010 and the Euros in 2012, playing without a centre-forward in the second instance. Del Bosque’s dominance of the international game came to an end with Spain’s group stage exit at the World Cup four years ago, and he retired for good following Euro 2016.
5. Marcello Lippi – China Manager
Another all time managerial great, Marcello Lippi enjoyed great success over two seperate spells managing Juventus. He replaced Giovanni Trapattoni as manager of the Italian national team in 2004, and immediately transformed Italy into a really functional and creative outfit. Despite his good start, Italy and Lippi were rocked by the Calciopolli scandal, and with a cloud hanging over the Italian game, they were almost dismissed as potential candidates at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
Nothing changed though, and Lippi’s men flourished with Pirlo and Totti creating, Cannavaro marshalling the backline and the likes of De Rossi and Gattuso putting in the hard yards in midfield. Following that success, Lippi took two years out of the game before returning to the national team. In 2012, he accepted a lucrative deal to take charge of Guangzhou Evergrande, and now aged 70, he has been managing the Chinese national team since 2016.
4. Luiz Felipe Scolari – Unattached
Nicknamed ‘wooden leg’ during his playing days due to his limited talents as a footballer, Luiz Felipe Scolari has certainly made amends as a manager. A colourful character who has held more than 25 different appointments as a head coach, arguably his greatest success and greatest failure has come with the Brazilian national team. He was first handed the top job in 2001, with Brazil in danger of failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Scolari got them there and ultimately guided them to glory – although eight goals by Ronaldo helped too. He has since managed the likes of Portugal, Chelsea and had a less glorious second stint in charge of Brazil. Now aged 69, Scolari replaced fellow World Cup winning boss Marcello Lippi as Guangzhou Evergrande boss in 2015, but has been out of work since 2017.
3. Aime Jacquet – Retired
A little less well-known internationally than those who preceded him in this seven, perhaps, since Aime Jacquet never worked outside of France. A regular at Saint-Etienne during his playing days, unlike the nomad Scolari, Jacquet only managed five different teams – Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nancy and France. His managerial career ended in 1998, but boy did it end in style. France hosted the 1998 World Cup with a terrific blend of star players at their peak and emerging young talents. They won the tournament for the first – and to date the only time – with a 3-0 win against Brazil in the final. He resigned following that success, but worked as technical director of French football up until his retirement in 2016.
2. Carlos Alberto Parreira – Unattached
At the age of 75 and not having held a full managerial position since taking charge of South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, it might be fair to say Carlos Alberto Parreira has retired, but the man himself hasn’t said it yet, so we’re not going to retire him. Another managerial nomad from Brazil, Parreira’s World Cup glory came at the 1994 finals in America. Parreira holds the record of most World Cup appearances by a manager, having taken five teams to six World Cups. They are; Kuwait in 1982, the United Arab Emirates in 1990, Brazil in 1994 and 2006, Saudi Arabia in 1998 and South Africa in 2010. Parreira’s only role since 2010 was working as technical director for the Brazilian national team between 2012 and 2014.
1. Franz Beckenbauer – Retired
One of only two men to have won the World Cup as both a player and as a manager, Franz Beckenbauer is the final boss to feature in this seven. Der Kaiser, as he was known, is a titan of the German game, and football worldwide if truth be told. The finest sweeper in the history of the game, he managed West Germany, Marseille and Bayern Munich after ending his illustrious playing career. In his first World Cup as a manager, Beckenbauer took West Germany to the final, where they lost to Argentina. In the second one, they won it, beating Argentina in the final this time. Beckenbauer’s managerial career ended in 1996, but he subsequently held administrative roles as president of firstly Bayern Munich and then the German FA.