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6 legendary coaches whose revolutionary tactics changed football forever



In Nigeria, it is hard to choose which we love more: football or jollof rice! Indeed, football is a special Nigerian sporting delicacy, with millions readily professing their love for the game’s biggest clubs.

A typical blockbuster clash between Premier League giants like Manchester United and Arsenal attracts a Nigerian audience running into hundreds of thousands. What is more, punters relish such events for the incredible betting markets top bookmakers like Bet9ja offer.

For example, after learning how to get bet9ja old mobile, bettors can enjoy boosted odds on the Bet9ja app on different markets to win and players to score.

Indeed, football has enjoyed some tactical evolutions across the last decades. This metamorphosis has been engineered by some of the brightest minds in football.

This article discusses some of the best coaches that changed football.

Arrigo Sacchi

Arrigo Sacchi is an elite football coach who dominated European football in the 1980s. Over his managerial career, which lasted from 1973 – 2001, he was one to go against the traditional defensive formation that was dominant. 

He is one coach that liked a fluid attacking 4-4-2 formation, which was revolutionary in his time.

Although Arrigo Sacchi has coached thirteen football clubs, he is popularly known for being behind A.C. Milan’s great success in the late 80s and 90s. 

Because of his amazing coaching skills and direction, he has won many awards and honors across domestic football clubs, Italy’s national football team, and individual awards.

Pep Guardiola 

Known as one of the best Spanish defensive midfielders in history, Pep Guardiola has abundantly demonstrated his remarkable football intelligence. 

He is vastly known for his tiki-taka playing style, which thrives on players making quick passes and striving to possess the ball as much as possible to stress out their opponent and create a scoring opportunity. 

He started his managerial career in the famous Spanish football club Barcelona in 2007.

In managing three football clubs from 2007 to 2022, Pep Guardiola has acquired a long list of awards. He is also known as one coach with many winnings, like the 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 Bundesliga, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21, and 2021–22 Premier League, among many others.

Sir Alex Ferguson

The former Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, is one of the most successful coaches in history. The Scottish former forward player, Sir Alex Ferguson, started his managerial career in 1974 in a Scottish football club, East Stirlingshire. In the late 80s, he moved to Manchester United and coached the English club from 1986 to 2013. 

Sir Alex Ferguson is popular for coaching Manchester United. His coaching style can be seen in the attacking, aggressive, and systematic style the team plays. 

Sir Alex Ferguson was known to prepare Manchester United for winning. He had trained the club to change tactics if they needed to score a goal in the dying minute.

Regarding awards, Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the few coaches with over sixty managerial awards and titles that congratulates his excellent managerial deeds.

Giovanni Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni had a very successful managerial career when compared to his senior football career, which lasted from 1959 to 1972. Having coached over six Italian football clubs from 1972 to 2010, Giovanni Trapattoni has had the most wins.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s coaching style is considered to be direct and rigorous. He incorporates innovative tactics and improves the organizational ability of his team by each season. Compared to other coaches in the Italian leagues, Giovanni Trapattoni has garnered many trophies compared to any other coach in the Italian league. Plus, he has tons of awards to show for it.

Rinus Michels

The late Dutch coach, Rinus Michels, was known as one of the best coaches in history. He has coached over six football clubs spanning the European and Spanish leagues. 

Rinus Michels is popularly recognized for showing outstanding coaching skills at Ajax, Barcelona, and the Netherlands national football team.

Rinus Michels became popular for inventing the Total Football playing style. With the Total Football playing style, Rinus Michels employed a tactical system where an outfield player could take over the position of any player in the team.

In his managerial career, which lasted from 1953 to 1992, Rinus Michels stood as one of the highest award-winning coaches in both the Italian and European leagues.

Ernst Happel

Having coached over five football clubs from 1962 to 1992, the late Dutch coach, Ernst Happel, is known as one of the best coaches in history. He was known to dominate the European leagues. Also, he is one of the few earliest coaches that won the European Cup while coaching two clubs. 

Although Ernst Happel was known to be a man of little words, he liked to show examples and give illustrations. Because of his excellent performance, he achieved tons of awards for his managerial duties and individual conduct. 

Some of his notable awards include the European Coach of the Year—Sepp Herberger Award (1978, 1983), France Football 9th Greatest Manager of All Time (2019), and 1981–82, 1982–83 Bundesliga, among many others.


Of course, coaches deserve accolades for their hard work too. Although some of the coaches that changed football forever are no more, we will forever acknowledge their hard work and celebrate those who are still here setting new records.