Skip to main content

Italian managers rule the European club football tournaments this season, Non-Europeans are out of the picture

All three European club tournaments are now at the same quarter-final stage. Last Friday was the draw for the upcoming quarter and semifinals in the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League. This prompted the team at SportingPedia to have an in-depth look into who has been leading these quarter-finalists from the dugout and where these managers were born.

The numbers show that six of the 24 teams (25%) have an Italian manager. Four of these six coaches will see their respective sides perform in the last eight stages of the highest European echelon – the Champions League. Next in line are the managers from the Netherlands, with 4 representatives, while there has been only one non-European manager who was able to lead his team to the quarterfinals in Europe. Unfortunately for him, as of Tuesday, Jorge Sampaoli is no longer at the helm of Sevilla.

Below, we have listed all nations with more than one manager in the quarter-final stages of the European Club Tournaments:

Italy – Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid); Simone Inzaghi (Inter); Stefano Pioli (Milan); Luciano Spalletti (Napoli); Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus); Vincenzo Italiano (Fiorentina)

Half of the eight teams left in the Champions League are led by Italians. Undoubtedly, Carlo Ancelotti is the most decorated manager on the list. He is the only manager to have won the Champions League four times and the only one to have won the championship in each of Europe’s top five leagues. Max Allegri and Luciano Spalleti are also seasoned managers in the European tournaments, while Simone Inzaghi, Stefano Pioli, and Vincenzo Italiano will make their debuts at such a late stage in Europe.

Netherlands – Manchester United (Erik Ten Hag); Feyenoord (Arne Slot); Lech Poznań (John van den Brom); AZ Alkmaar (Pascal Jansen)

The Dutch managers are represented by four names in Europe. Erik Ten Hag has so far successfully revolutionized Manchester United, and the Red Devils are the team with the most victories across the European top five leagues this term. Arne Slot lost the Europa League final with Feyenoord last season to Roma and will be eager to go one step further this campaign. John van den Brom, who now leads Lech Poznan, has never managed to progress past the group stage in eight attempts before. AZ’s Pascal Jansen has already bettered his best accomplishment in Europe, which was reaching the last-32 stage last campaign.

Germany – Julian Nagelsmann (Bayern Munich); Roger Schmidt (Benfica)

Julian Nagelsmann is the youngest of all managers who are in the quarterfinals in Europe. The 35-year-old will be in the round of 16 for the third time in his relatively short career, with his best achievement so far being reaching the semi-finals in the Champions League back in the 2019/20 season. Roger Schmidt made his debut in the European tournaments 10 years ago with Salzburg, and now with Benfica, the German is enjoying his best ever run.

Spain – Pep Guardiola (Manchester City); Xabi Alonso (Bayer Leverkusen)

Pep Guardiola has won everything in club football, but his last Champions League title came way back in 2011. Since then he has reached the final only once. The other Spaniard in the European tournaments is another ex-midfielder in the face of Xabi Alonso. He is enjoying his breakout season with Bayer Leverkusen and has successfully navigated them to the quarterfinals of the Europa League thus far.

Portugal – Jose Mourinho (Roma); Ruben Amorim (Sporting Lisbon)

There are no secrets in football for Jose Mourinho. The Special One became the first manager to have won all three different European tournaments after triumphing with Roma in the Europa League last season. Now he is leading the Wolves from Rome to glory in the Europa League. Ruben Amorim is in his third season with Sporting and has so far constantly managed to improve the team’s performances in Europe. In his debut campaign, he crashed out at the qualifying rounds of the Europa League; the following season, he reached the last-16 in the Champions League; and now, he will participate in his first ever quarter-final as a manager.

Belgium – Karel Geraerts (Royale Union SG); Hein Vanhaezebrouck (Gent)

Karel Garaerts and his Royale Union SG are enjoying quite the breakthrough season in Europe. Team and manager are participating for the very first time in an UEFA tournament. Hein Vanhaezebrouck has a lot more experience than his countryman and has led three different Belgian teams in Europe. His best achievement dates to last season, when he reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League, and now he has the chance to even better it.

Detailed lists by tournament

Champions League
NapoliLuciano SpallettiItalian
Real MadridCarlo AncelottiItalian
Manchester CityPep GuardiolaSpanish
Bayern MunichJulian NagelsmannGerman
InterSimone InzaghiItalian
MilanStefano PioliItalian
BenficaRoger SchmidtGerman
ChelseaGraham PotterEnglish
Europa League
JuventusMassimiliano AllegriItalian
Sporting LisbonRuben AmorimPortuguese
Manchester UnitedEric Ten HagDutch
SevillaJorge SampaoliArgentinian
FeyenoordArne SlotDutch
RomaJose MourinhoPortuguese
Bayer LeverkusenXabi AlonsoSpanish
Royale Union SGKarel GeraertsBelgian
Conference League
Lech PoznanJohn van den BromDutch
FiorentinaVincenzo ItalianoItalian
BaselHeiko VogelGerman
NiceDidier DigardFrench
GentHein VanhaezebrouckBelgian
West HamDavid MoyesScottish
AnderlechtBrian RiemerDane
AZ AlkmaarPascal JansenDutch