Assistant managers who went on to become successful managers

5) Roberto Di Matteo

The former Chelsea player was the assistant during Andre Vilas Boas’ short-lived tenure at Chelsea; wherein the Portuguese head coach was sacked after a string of poor results and falling out with the senior players. Di Matteo was named as the interim manager for the Blues to revive their falling campaign and he did just that. A fine result against Napoli incensed Chelsea’s revival as the blues went on to defeat Barcelona in the semi-final, before defeating Bayern on penalties in Munich. He wrote his name in Chelsea’s history books becoming the only manager ever to lead them to a European glory. However, like many before him, Di Matteo soon faced Abramovich’s wrath as he was sacked just six months after winning the Champions League. Since then, Di Matteo has had a couple of unsuccessful spells in charge of Aston Villa and Schalke. He is also currently on the lookout for a new opportunity to rectify his image as a fine young manager.


4) Aime Jacquet

Jacquet, initially started out as was the assistant manager under Gerard Houllier and was named as the head coach in 1994. A distinguished figure in French football, Jacquet was a top-notch manager, leading Bordeaux to several honours during a four-year spell. Despite several criticisms, Jacquet will always be remembered for his managerial stint with Les Blues, leading France to historic World Cup and European Championships triumph in 1998 and 2000 respectively.


3) Tito Vilanova

The late Spaniard was Pep Guardiola’s assistant during Barcelona’s unprecedented success in the late 2000s. Despite never featuring for Barca in his playing days, Vilanova worked in the youth academy for several years educating young talents like Messi and Fabregas. Pep Guardiola appointed him as his assistant before Vilanova eventually replaced Guardiola at the helm in 2012. He grappled with health problems during his term at Barca, resigning after just one year. He died in April 2014 at the age of 45. A Catalan through and through, Vilanova will always be remembered as a fine human being and manager.


2) Joachim Low

After several years of mediocre spells as manager in the Bundesliga, Joachim Low teamed up with Jurgen Klinsmann as his assistant in the World Cup’06 in Germany. Low eventually replaced the departed German, who cited Low as the perfect replacement. Despite inheriting a relatively inexperienced squad, Low guided Germany to a third-place finish in the World Cup’10, playing some of the most enthralling football on their way. He continued with the national team and after coming close several times in the major tournament, Germany finally won the World Cup in Brazil, courtesy of Mario Gotze’s goal against Argentina in the 114th minute. He guided Germany to the Confederations Cup title this summer, despite fielding a ‘B team’ in the tournament. While many claim that he has inherited a raft of talents, Low deserves praise for the way he has maintained harmony in the dressing room full of big names. The likes of Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Muller all speak of him in glaring terms for his supreme man-management skills.


1) Jose Mourinho

The Self proclaimed Special One was the assistant manager under Louis Van Gaal during the Dutchman’s spell at Barcelona. After several years of apprenticeship under the Dutchman, Mourinho landed his first job in his country with Benfica. He later joined Porto, wherein he guided the club to an unexpected Champions League title win in 2004, before joining Chelsea. At Chelsea, he was the face of the Blues’ rejuvenation under a billionaire Roman Abramovich, guiding them to consecutive league titles. Successful spells at Inter, Real Madrid followed before returning to Chelsea, wherein he claimed he was the happy one. After winning the league title with the Blues in his second year, he was sacked after failing to bring Chelsea’s title defence back on the rail. Now at Manchester United, Mourinho has brought the mojo back to Old Trafford. The Red Devils look like their old self, and the credit goes to the Portuguese tactician.