Real Madrid managers and trophies: Who is the greatest Real Madrid manager?

Real Madrid managers and trophies: Who is the greatest Real Madrid manager?

Kenneth Mwenda
March 31, 2023 at 3:14 PM

Being a Real Madrid manager is a dream for every football coach. The club has long been regarded as one of the best in the world. As a result, it has had some incredible coaches who have preserved the Los Blancos treasure by leaving great marks on their great work.

Real Madrid managers and trophies: Who is the greatest Real Madrid manager?
Flags of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 20, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. Photo: David S. Bustamante
Source: Getty Images

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. This list comprises a timeline of all those who have held the position of manager of the first team since the start of the 21 century.

Real Madrid managers for the last 20 years

The soccer club is one of the biggest in the world. We bring you the best coaches for the Spanish and European giants since the start of the 21st century.

Carlo Ancelotti (2021 - present)

Real Madrid managers the last 20 years
Carlo Ancelotti during a press conference at Ciudad Deportiva, on October 15, 2022, in Valdebebas, Spain. Photo: Oscar J. Barroso
Source: Getty Images

Ancelotti signed a contract with the Los Blancos through 2024 before leaving Everton on June 1, 2021 (after Zidane resigned as manager). He won the La Liga, Supercopa de España and Champions League trophies during the season. At the beginning of the 2022–23 campaign, Ancelotti led his team to victories in the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

As of March 2023, Ancelotti is still the Real Madrid manager. He is one of the best Real Madrid managers since 2000 and one with the highest winning percentage at the club.

Zinedine Zidane (2019 - 2021)

Real Madrid managers win percentage
Zidane during the La Liga Santander match against Villarreal CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on May 22, 2021, in Spain. Photo: Diego Souto
Source: Getty Images

After some disappointing performances with the galacticos, he returned to the position on March 11, 2019, with a deal that would run through the summer of 2022. He once more led the group to victories in La Liga and the Supercopa de España.

However, after finishing the season without a trophy, he ended his contract in May 2021. He is, however, one of the top 10 Real Madrid managers of all time.

Santiago Solari (2018 - 2019)

Real Madrid managers timeline
Santiago Solari during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match against Ajax at Johan Cruyff Arena on February 13, 2019, in Amsterdam. Photo: TF-Images
Source: Getty Images

After Julen Lopetegui was fired on October 29, 2018, Solari was named the interim manager of the first team. Because no club was permitted to have a caretaker for longer than two weeks in Spain, he took on the position the following day and officially took over 14 days later.

During his tenure, he won the FIFA Club World Cup, prolonging Real's reign in the competition to three consecutive titles. Solari was fired on March 11, 2019.

Julen Lopetegui (2018 - 2018)

Real Madrid managers who won Champions League
Julen Lopetegui during the La Liga match against Getafe CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 19 2018. Photo: Diego Souto
Source: Getty Images

Lopetegui's first competitive game in charge took place on August 15 2018, in a 4–2 loss to rivals Atlético in the UEFA Super Cup after extra time.

Lopetegui thus became the second Real manager to begin his tenure by conceding four goals, after Englishman Michael Keeping, who began in 1948, being downed 4–1 by RC Celta de Vigo. Following a series of poor results and a 5–1 away defeat to Barcelona in El Clásico on October 28 2018, Lopetegui was dismissed a day later, being replaced by Santiago Solari.

Zinedine Zidane (2016 - 2018)

List of Real Madrid managers
Zinedine Zidane during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match against Bayern Muenchen at the Bernabeu on May 1, 2018. Photo: TF-Images
Source: Getty Images

Popularly known as Zizou, he is one of the most successful Real Madrid coaches. Zidane won the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga, a Supercopa de Espana, and made history by becoming the first coach to win the Champions League three times in a row during his first two and a half seasons in charge. Zidane announced his resignation as Los Blancos's head coach on May 31, 2018, five days after the Champions League final, citing the "need for change" as his justification.

Rafael Benítez (2015 - 2016)

Real Madrid managers of all time
Rafael Benitez during the La Liga match against SD Eibar at Ipurua Municipal Stadium on November 29, 2015, in Eibar, Spain. Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce
Source: Getty Images

Benitez joined Real Madrid's coaching staff at the age of 26, where he later served as the under-19 and reserve team coach and the senior team's assistant manager. However, he changed to Premier League clubs before taking the helm of Los Blancos on June 3, 2015, after agreeing to a three-year deal.

Bentez's contract was terminated on January 4, 2016, allegedly due to allegations of fan unpopularity, player discontent, and a lack of success against elite opposition. Real was third in La Liga at the time of his dismissal, two points behind arch-rival Barcelona and four points behind league leaders Atlético.

Carlo Ancelotti (2013 - 2015)

Real Madrid managers since 2000
Carlo Ancelotti poses for a portrait before the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2014 at the Park Hyatt hotel on January 12, 2015, in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein
Source: Getty Images

Ancelotti, known as Don Carlo, was appointed Real Madrid's manager on June 25, 2013, taking over for the departing José Mourinho. He signed a three-year deal. In his debut season, he guided the Los Blancos to their long-sought tenth Champions League title and La Décima. He also helped the team win the Copa del Rey.

However, on May 25, 2015, the Real Madrid board of directors decided to terminate Ancelotti's employment immediately, according to Florentino Pérez, the club's president. According to Pérez, the club's President, Ancelotti, had won the hearts of the board and the fans and would always hold a special place in the club's history.

José Mourinho (2010 - 2013)

Real Madrid Coach 2012
Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Champions League group D match against Manchester City FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 18, 2012, in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Jasper Juinen
Source: Getty Images

Mourinho's replacement for Manuel Pellegrini at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was officially announced on May 28, 2010, and he later signed a four-year contract. He was named first-team coach and sporting manager.

Real Madrid had struggled before the arrival of Mourinho despite paying record transfer fees for Galácticos like Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Mourinho won three trophies during his three seasons at Santiago Bernabeu from 2010 to 2013, including the Liga title, the Copa del Rey, and the Spanish Supercup.

Manuel Pellegrini (2009 - 2010)

Real Madrid coach 2009
Manuel Pellegrini during the La Liga match against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium on November 29, 2009, in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Jasper Juinen
Source: Getty Images

Pellegrini was hired as Real Madrid's coach on June 1, 2009, and he signed a two-year contract. The Chilean attracted some big names but failed to take home the expected trophies, and he was chased away.

Pellegrini's time was up when Mourinho became available, just days after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan, and the Chilean was fired at the beginning of what was meant to be a lengthy project. He had high expectations but sadly could not accomplish his goals in Santiago, citing that he was not given a voice or vote in Madrid.

Juande Ramos (2008 - 2009)

Real Madrid president
Juande Ramos during a training session at Valdebebas on May 21, 2009, in Madrid, Spain. Photo: David R. Anchuelo
Source: Getty Images

Ramos took over as Real Madrid's manager on December 9, 2008. He assumed control before their games against Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Champions League and FC Barcelona in the El Clásico.

Juande achieved 52 points out of a possible 54 in 18 straight games to help the team get back into the title race. However, the team lost four straight games and finished 9 points behind their rivals after falling to Barcelona 2-6 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Bernd Schuster (2007 - 2008)

Top 10 Real Madrid managers
Bernd Schuster during the Spanish League match against Atletico de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on August 25, 2007, in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Jasper Juinen
Source: Getty Images

Schuster was appointed coach of Real Madrid on July 9 2007. He had a good start as manager, leading Los Blancos to the top of the La Liga standings. Attacking football made a comeback at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, with the team having the best offence, having started the league unbeaten at home and defeating Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid won La Liga on May 4 with three games remaining under Schuster's leadership, giving them their 31st title. He also won the Supercopa de España. He was fired two days after the German coach publicly stated that his team had no chance of defeating Barcelona in December 2008.

Fabio Capello (2006 - 2007)

Worst Real Madrid managers
Fabio Capello watches during the Primera Liga match against Getafe at the Alfonso Perez stadium on October 14, 2006, in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Denis Doyle
Source: Getty Images

For his second stint in Madrid in 2006, Capello joined a team without a trophy for one of the longest stretches in their history. Due to his defensive playing style, he attracted the ire of Real's fervent fans quickly.

He was frequently referred to as "Don Fabio" in Spain. Despite winning La Liga, Capello was sacked on June 28 2007.

Juan Ramón López Caro (2005 - 2006)

Real Madrid managers since 2000
Juan Ramon Lopez Caro gestures during team training in Madrid, 10 December 2005. Photo: Pierre-Philippe
Source: Getty Images

Lopéz Caro signed a contract with the Los Blancos in the summer of 2001. He oversaw the reserve team at the third-level club and was promoted to Segunda División in 2005.

In December of that year, after Vanderlei Luxemburgo was fired, he was elevated to the first team. However, he was let go at the end of the campaign for lacking the necessary skills. He is one of the worst Real Madrid managers.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo (2004 - 2005)

Real Madrid managers the last 20 years
Luxemburgo during the Primera Liga match against Getafe on December 3 2005, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Denis Doyle
Source: Getty Images

Luxemburgo was appointed as Real Madrid's coach from Santos in the second half of the 2004/2005 season after Mariano García Remón was fired. The team was back in the title race after he guided them to seven straight victories in the league, but they ultimately lost it to FC Barcelona by four points. Calls for his resignation increased after a humiliating 0-3 home loss to longtime rivals Barcelona, and he was ultimately fired on December 5, 2005.

Mariano García Remón (2004 - 2004)

Real Madrid managers win percentage
Mariano Garcia Remon during Champions League first round match day two group B football match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid 28 September 2004. Photo: JAVIER SORIANO
Source: Getty Images

Remón, a 13-year teammate of Real Madrid's head coach José Antonio Camacho, was promoted to assistant coach for the 2004–05 season. On September 20, 2004, the former succeeded the latter, who had left his position only a few weeks earlier when the team was in eighth place.

Remón himself had been fired by Christmas due to perceived failure. His Real overall record was 12 wins, four draws, and four losses.

José Antonio Camacho (2004 - 2004)

Real Madrid managers timeline
Jose Antonio Camacho during a press conference in Madrid on 25 May 2004. Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE
Source: Getty Images

Carlos Queiroz was fired, and Camacho was brought back to Real Madrid on a two-year deal for the 2004–05 season. However, things quickly went wrong again in his second stint after a 3-0 loss at Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League and a 1-0 league loss at Espanyol four days later.

Carlos Queiroz (2003 - 2004)

Real Madrid managers who won the Champions League
Carlos Queiroz during a Champions League match on 24th February 2004. Photo: Martin Rose
Source: Getty Images

In the summer of 2003, Real Madrid sought to replace departing manager Vicente del Bosque and was attracted to Queiroz's position as assistant manager at Manchester United. Queiroz felt he had no choice but to accept the chance to work with Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, and Luis Figo.

He was hired on a two-year contract a week after Manchester United player David Beckham arrived. After ten months at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Queiroz's performance declined, and he was fired in May 2004.

Vicente del Bosque (1999 - 2003)

Best Real Madrid manager of all time
Vicente Del Bosque after the UEFA Champions League Final on 24 May 2000 in Paris. Photo: Mark Leech
Source: Getty Images

He is regarded as one of the greatest Real Madrid managers of all time. He is, to date, the only football manager to have won the World Cup, the Champions League, the European Championship and the Intercontinental Cup.

Del Bosque led the team through one of its most prosperous periods in recent memory during his four seasons in charge, leading them to two UEFA Champions League triumphs in 2000 and 2002, two La Liga championships in 2001 and 2003, a Supercopa de Espana in 2001, a UEFA Super Cup in 2002, the Intercontinental Cup in 2002, and a finish in the last four of the UEFA Champions League each year. In 2003, a week after signing David Beckham and just one day after he had brought the team its 29th Liga title, Real Madrid decided not to extend Del Bosque's contract.

Some Real Madrid managers have had two, three, or more spells in charge at the Bernabéu. This has been possible due to their great success and connection with the fans and club officials.

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