Pep Guardiola of Manchester City is arguably the best manager in the world, with 31 trophies in 14 years at different clubs. His style of play and the urge to succeed have made him an iconic football manager.
When Guardiola was asked in an interview whether he is the greatest manager of all time, he quickly rebuked the statement and made mention of Sir Alex Ferguson, Johan Cryuff, and Arrigo Sacchi.
When asked if he was the greatest manager in history, Pep Guardiola was quoted as saying: “Absolutely not. Of course not. I think the best managers change the culture. Arrigo Sacchi changed the culture in Italy, Johan Cruyff changed Ajax and Barcelona, Sir Alex Ferguson put Manchester United on another level.”
Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson put Manchester United on a different level and was regarded as the greatest British manager because of the amount of success he brought to the club.
Manchester United were regarded as a mid-table team when he was signed from Aberdeen. With few signings and his trust in young players, the Red Devils became a famous team in the world because of the dominance they enjoyed under him.
Aberdeen built a statue of Alex Ferguson because of how he changed the history of Scottish football. Pep Guardiola has clearly stated in many interviews that Sir Alex is his idol.
However, Guardiola has outclassed his mentor, Sir Alex Ferguson, on two different occasions in the Champions League. The first one happened in the 2009/10 season when Barcelona won by two goals to nil.
In the 2011/12 season, Barcelona repeated the same thing to stop Manchester United from winning the trophy.
In the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons, Ajax won the KNVB Cup. Cryuff was so successful at Ajax that the club used his style of play to win the Champions League in 1995.
He joined Barcelona in 1988 and won the La Liga trophy for four straight seasons. Guardiola played under Cryuff and he won the European Cup on May 20, 1992, when they defeated Sampdoria in the finals.
Before joining the Spanish side, they had only won two league titles in 28 years.
The Dutch manager changed the history of football with the introduction of tiki-taka.
Cryuff was a tactical genius, which other managers like Louis Van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard took inspiration from. He fell in love with a more offensive style of play to dominate matches.
Sacchi never played professional football, so when he was appointed by AC Milan, people doubted his ability as a manager. Sacchi brought in the 4-4-2 formation, which was very rare in Serie A.
Before his appointment in the 1980s, AC Milan had already been relegated twice. Sacchi’s Italy lost the World Cup Final against Brazil in 1994, but he won two Champions Leagues and one Scudetto as Milan coach.
His method also created an offside trap. Sacchi revealed that Guardiola once called him to resolve an issue with Manchester City’s style of play.