Ranking the Top 6 Young Football Managers in the World, Including Alonso and Arteta

Ranking the Top 6 Young Football Managers in the World, Including Alonso and Arteta

Isaac Darko
updated at February 19, 2024 at 1:07 PM
In this article:
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X. Alonso
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M. Arteta
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  • There has been a notable surge in top-class young managers in football recently
  • The likes of Mikel Arteta and Xabi Alonso are overseeing top clubs around Europe
  • Sports Brief analyses the most exciting young managers in world football now

In today's football landscape, seasoned managers with extensive accomplishments are abundant.

However, a notable trend is the emergence of young managers ascending to the elite ranks.

Some climb the ladder by impressing in lower leagues, while others land prestigious roles early in their careers.

Xabi Alonso, Mikel Arteta, Julian Nagelsmann
The likes of Xabi Alonso, Mikel Arteta, and Julian Nagelsmann are among the names overseeing top clubs around Europe. Photos by Rene Nijhuis/Ryan Jenkinson/Sebastian El-Saqqa.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief has assessed the top young managers globally, factoring in major trophy wins but excluding minor titles like the Community Shield.

Rankings will consider career duration and the competitiveness of their respective leagues. The age threshold for inclusion is set at 45 years.

Best young football managers in the world

Ruben Amorim

Amorim embarked on his managerial journey at Braga, clinching the Portuguese League Cup in his sole season there (2019/20). Sporting Lisbon noticed his success, appointing him for the 2020/21 season.

His debut campaign with the league giants was remarkable, securing their first top flight title in 19 years and seeing them clinch the Portuguese League Cup for the second straight season.

In his brief managerial stint, Amorim has already amassed five trophies: three Portuguese League Cups, one league title, and one Portuguese Super Cup.

Julian Nagelsmann

Nagelsmann started managing at TSG Hoffenheim in 2016/17, guiding them to a notable fourth place, per the Guardian.

The German then moved to RB Leipzig, reaching the UEFA Champions League semis and earning a third-place finish in 2019/20.

He later joined Bayern Munich, winning the league and Super Cup in his first season.

However, he was sacked midway through his second season. In September 2023, Nagelsmann became Germany's manager, set to lead them to Euro 2024.

Mikel Arteta

Following a stint as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City, Arteta assumed the managerial role at Arsenal in December 2019, marking his debut in top-tier management.

Under his guidance, the Gunners' fortunes have significantly improved, shifting from mere top-four contenders to Premier League title challengers.

Their near miss in the 2022/23 season saw them finish second, just five points adrift of Guardiola's treble-winning Man City, marking Arsenal's highest league finish since 2015/16.

Currently, in the 2023/24 campaign, they remain in the title race, occupying third place, a mere two points behind Liverpool. Should Arteta lead Arsenal to victory, it would mark their first league triumph since their unbeaten season of 2003/04.

Edin Terzic (Borussia Dortmund)

Terzic amassed over 100 appearances in Germany's fourth-tier football before transitioning into scouting and assisting Borussia Dortmund's youth squad.

From 2012, he served as Slaven Bilic's assistant for Croatia, accompanying him to Besiktas and West Ham United.

Terzic rejoined Dortmund in 2018 as an assistant to head coach, Lucien Favre. Later, in December 2020, he assumed the role of interim manager following Favre's dismissal.

Following a close miss in the Bundesliga last season, Dortmund is facing tougher challenges in the 2023/24 campaign. Presently, they occupy fourth position, trailing Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, and leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Xabi Alonso (Bayern Leverkusen)

According to Sportskeeda, Alonso began his managerial journey as a youth coach at Real Madrid before overseeing Real Sociedad's B team.

His big break arrived when he took charge of Bayer Leverkusen in October 2022.

Despite joining mid-season, Alonso's tactical prowess shone through, guiding the team to a commendable sixth-place finish.

This season, Alonso has thrived, positioning Leverkusen for a potential first-ever Bundesliga title, marking their first trophy opportunity since 1993.

Vincent Kompany (Burnley)

The ex-Manchester City captain, having excelled at Anderlecht, was considered the ideal candidate to guide the club back to the Premier League after their relegation to the Championship in the 2021/22 season.

Kompany steered the club to the Championship title impressively, with Burnley losing only three games and surpassing 100 points, concluding the season on 101.

However, their return to the Premier League has been challenging. Currently in 19th place, the Clarets are facing a tough battle to avoid relegation, having secured only three wins thus far.

When Mourinho predicted Alonso’s future

Sports Brief previously reported on Jose Mourinho's prediction regarding Alonso's future as a manager while the midfielder was still an active player.

The veteran Portugese tactician attributed his positive forecast to the influence of many other renowned managers like Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)
Julian Nagelsmann