The most iconic managers of Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A is widely regarded as one of the most competitive and entertaining leagues in world football. It has been home to some of the greatest players, teams and coaches in history. The world’s best managers have graced its touchlines throughout its illustrious past, inspiring their sides to glory with tactical masterclasses and iconic managerial decisions.

In this post, we’ll be taking a look back through Italian Serie A to identify some of the most iconic managers whose legacy still endures today. From Carlo Ancelotti and Fabio Capello to Marcello Lippi and Antonio Conte, these legendary figures left an indelible mark on the league that will never be forgotten!

Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri is one of the most iconic managers of Italian Serie A. Known for his tactical acumen and strong work ethic, Sarri has emerged as one of the most successful managers in the country. After helming Empoli in Serie B, Sarri moved to Napoli in 2015 and soon transformed them into one of the most feared teams in Italy.

Under his guidance, Napoli would finish as Serie A runners-up during the 2015-16 season and finished second and third respectively in the following two campaigns. Sarri’s style of play involves a style known as ‘Sarriball’, a high-pressing, attacking philosophy which he has been renowned for since taking charge of Napoli.

The Italian is known for his ability to get the best out of his players, often inspiring them to perform above their expected level. This has been particularly evident at his current club Chelsea, with players such as Eden Hazard excelling under Sarri’s tutelage.

Despite his success at Chelsea, it is his time at Napoli that Sarri is most fondly remembered for. His time with the club saw them become one of the top teams in the country, regularly competing for championships and Champions League qualification. They also recorded some impressive victories against some of Europe’s best sides such as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

In 2018, Maurizio Sarri left Napoli to join Chelsea and has enjoyed mixed success with the club so far. However, despite this mixed success, it is clear that he has established himself as one of the most influential managers in Italy.

He has been credited with a pioneering style of play that has been adopted by many clubs across Italy, bringing his tactics to the rest of Europe. Having achieved so much during his career so far, Sarri is certainly deserving of a place among Italy’s most iconic managers.

His tactical expertise and ability to motivate players have made him one of the most respected figures in Italian football and certainly a manager who will remain a key figure for years to come.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte is one of the most iconic managers of Italian Serie A. After playing as a midfielder for several Italian teams, Conte started his managerial career in 2006 with Arezzo in Serie C1 before moving to Bari in 2007 and then Atalanta in 2009. During his time at Atalanta, he managed some impressive results and earned the nickname “The Little General”.

Conte earned his biggest managerial breakthrough in 2011, when he managed to take Siena from Serie B to an impressive seventh-place finish in the top flight of Italian football. In 2011, Conte took charge of Juventus and immediately made his mark, leading them to the first of three consecutive Scudetto wins. His tactical acumen was evident from the start as he moved towards a 3-5-2 formation that saw Juventus dominate the league during his tenure.

During this time, Conte also created a winning mentality at Juventus and gave the team confidence, something that had been lacking in previous seasons. He was also able to get the most out of his players as he blended technical ability with mental strength.

Conte’s success with Juventus led him to be named manager of Italy’s national team in 2014, and he set about transforming the team into a well-drilled outfit capable of competing against the best teams in Europe. He achieved incredible success in this role, leading Italy to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Upon his return to club management with Chelsea in 2016, Conte established himself once again as one of the top managers in world football as he won his second Premier League title in 2017 and led Chelsea to an FA Cup final victory in 2018. His tactical prowess was once again highlighted as he implemented a back three system which saw Chelsea become one of the strongest teams in England.

Overall, Antonio Conte has made a huge impact on Italian football, both in terms of results and style of play. He has proven himself as one of the best managers in Europe and is sure to continue creating success stories with his new team, Inter Milan.

Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti is undoubtedly one of the most iconic managers in Italian Serie A. Born in Reggiolo, Italy, Ancelotti started his career as a professional footballer in 1975 with Parma before signing for AS Roma in 1979 – where he would stay until 1987. During this time he won three Serie A titles and a Coppa Italia title between his two spells at the club. Ancelotti’s managerial career began in 1995 when he was appointed coach of Reggiana.

He then moved on to manage Juventus between 1999 and 2001 – achieving a second place in Serie A during this time and confirming his reputation as one of the top Italian managers. In 2002-03 Ancelotti moved abroad for the first time in his career, taking up the position of head coach at AC Milan.

He achieved immediate success with back-to-back Champions League titles in 2003 and 2007 and four Serie A titles, becoming the second-most successful Italian manager in history behind Fabio Capello. Following his departure from Milan, Ancelotti returned to England where he managed Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

Returning to Italy, Ancelotti was appointed coach of Napoli in 2018 and achieved a second place finish in Serie A during his first season there, as well as leading them to the quarterfinals of the Champions League – only to be overcome by eventual winners Liverpool FC.

Ancelotti’s tactical acumen combined with his ability to bring out the best in players have seen him achieve unparalleled success throughout Europe, firmly cementing his place as one of the most iconic managers in Italian Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri is one of the most iconic managers of Italian Serie A. He has managed Juventus for five years, achieving an unprecedented level of success for the club. Under his leadership, Juventus won four consecutive Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies, and two Italian Super Cups.

In addition, Allegri guided Juventus to the Champions League final in 2015 and 2017. Allegri’s career at Juventus began with his appointment as head coach in 2014.

Following the departure of Antonio Conte, he was tasked with restoring the club to its former glory after a dismal 2013-14 season. Not only did he succeed in this mission, but he also built upon it by creating a dynasty that would dominate Italian and European football over the next five years.

On the tactical side of things, Allegri is a master tactician who has employed an array of different formations throughout his time at Juventus. Initially, he favoured a possession-based 4-3-1-2 system, but he has also used a 3-5-2 setup to great effect during certain periods.

His flexibility and ability to adjust tactics has been key to his success at Juve. As well as his tactical nous, Allegri has been praised for his man-management skills and his ability to get the best out of his players.

His team spirit has been paramount to Juve’s success over the years, with players forming a tight bond under his leadership. He is a demanding coach who is not afraid to make tough decisions when necessary, but he is also praised for his ability to bring out the best in individuals. In terms of his legacy at Juventus, Allegri’s impact will be felt long after he leaves the club.

He has left an indelible mark on how the club operates and their winning mentality will remain for years to come. He has established himself as one of the greatest managers in Juventus history and will certainly be remembered fondly by fans of the club for years to come.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho‘s time in Italian Serie A is one of the most iconic of any manager to have taken up an opportunity in the league. He arrived at Inter Milan in 2008 after a successful stint at Portuguese side Porto and quickly established himself as one of the greatest managers of the 21st century.

What marked Mourinho out as different to many other managers was his ability to instigate a winning culture within his team’s dressing room, something that had not been seen since the days of Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello.

His “Park the Bus” tactics were a sight to behold and resulted in a Champions League victory in 2010, as well as a treble-winning campaign that same season. The Portuguese tactician was able to get the best out of his players, and he cultivated a team spirit within Inter that had not been seen for generations.

His charisma, astute tactical mindset, and sheer force of will made him a giant of the Italian game, and it’s no wonder he was successfully courted by Real Madrid soon after. Jose Mourinho was more than just a coach during his time at Inter – he was a legend, and his managerial prowess will be remembered for many years to come.

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