Football managers have it tough, don’t they? It’s a high-pressure job where one bad season can result in the sack. But there are a few popular football managers out there who have managed to avoid the bullet and maintain their positions despite all the challenges. Yes, we’re talking about the football managers who have never been sacked. These rare and precious gems of the game have somehow managed to keep their dressing room, fans, backroom staffs, and owners happy with their results and modern statistics on the pitch.
It’s almost like they’ve discovered the ultimate cheat code for football management. And while every other manager in the 21st century is getting sacked left, right, and center, these gentlemen are sitting pretty like the last slice of pizza at a party.
List of football managers who have never been sacked
So, let’s take a closer look at these legends of the game, explore their tactics, and see what makes them so special. And who knows, maybe we can learn a thing or two from them and avoid getting sacked in our own jobs too. The list of popular yet never been sacked football managers is of course small as you’ve guessed. So Let’s start!
5. Luis Enrique
Manager Nationality – Spanish
Team Managed – Barcelona B, Roma, Celta de Vigo, Barcelona and Spain National Team
Currently Managing – None
Meet Luis Enrique, one of the very few football managers who’s never been sacked by any team. He’s managed every kind of team you can think of, from youth squads to top-tier European clubs and even international teams.
But before he became a legendary coach, he was a versatile midfielder who scored a whopping 143 goals from a total of 553 appearances during his playing days which also included the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Not too bad, right?
After hanging up his boots, Luis wasted no time jumping into the wild world of football management. He started off at Barcelona B in 2008 and found success in his second season, helping the team return to Segunda División after an 11-year absence.
Next stop: Italy! Luis Enrique joined AS Roma as head coach in 2011 but chose to leave the club at the end of the season despite having two years left on his contract. And no, he wasn’t sacked! Enrique just couldn’t bear the thought of not qualifying for any European competition.
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But Luis couldn’t stay away from his home country Spain for too long. In 2013, he managed La Liga side RC Celta de Vigo. He led the team to a respectable ninth position in his first and only season before announcing his departure.
Fast forward to May 2014, Luis Enrique returned to his beloved Barcelona as a manager and made a name for himself with his impressive trophy haul. He spent three years at the club, winning nine trophies out of a possible thirteen which included a Club World Cup, a Champions League, two Spanish Super Cups, two league titles and three Copa del Rey trophies. He managed 181 games winning 138 of them with an impressive win percentage of 76.24%. But on March 1st, 2017, he announced that he wouldn’t continue as team manager after the expiration of his contract.
And then there’s his stint with Spain’s national team, which wasn’t without its fair share of drama. He took over in 2019 and promptly came under fire for not picking any Real Madrid players for the Euro 2020 squad. But hey, you can’t please everyone, right?
Unfortunately, his team’s performance at the 2022 World Cup was less than stellar. They were ousted in the round of 16 after a shootout with Morocco. In the wake of this disappointment, Luis Enrique decided to step down from his position.
List of trophies Luis Enrique has won as a manager
|1.||20014-2015||Barcelona||Laliga, Copa del Rey, Champions League|
|2.||20015-2016||Barcelona||Uefa Supercup, FIFA Club World Cup, Laliga, Copa del Rey|
|3.||2016-2017||Barcelona||Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup|
As of now, Luis Enrique is not managing any club or country, but he’s been a hot topic of conversation for various clubs looking for a top-notch manager. Fingers crossed we’ll soon see him back on the touchline without getting sacked.
4. Didier Deschamps
Manager Nationality – French
Team Managed – Monaco, Juventus, Marseille, and France National Team
Currently Managing – France National Team
Moving into another precious list of football managers who have never been sacked we have another manager with experience in managing both top clubs and the country. It’s none other than French football legend Didier Deschamps.
As a player, Deschamps was a defensive midfielder who racked up 103 national appearances with 4 goals for his national side, France. He also played for big-name clubs like Juventus, Chelsea, and Valencia, in fact, he made a total of 427 club appearances scoring 17 goals. But after hanging up his boots, Didier found a new calling in the world of football management.
In 2003, Didier Deschamps started off with Monaco in Ligue 1, leading them to a 2003 Coupe de la Ligue title and a 2004 Champions League final. He lost a final to Jose Mourinho’s Porto with a 0-3 scoreline. After a poor start to the season and a disagreement with the club’s president, he resigned on 19 September 2005. No sacking for Didier!
Deschamps then moved on to Italy managing Juventus in 2006. He managed to get them promoted to Serie A winning Serie B (second-highest division in the Italian football league). But after 47 games, he resigned – and once again, remember he wasn’t sacked.
But it was at Olympique de Marseille where Didier Deschamps really made a name for himself after being appointed as a manager on 5th May 2009. He led them to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years in his first season, winning a total of 82 out of 163 games. In total, he bagged 3 League Cup/Coupe de la Ligue, 2 French Super Cup, and a French League (Ligue 1) along the way.
Nevertheless, Deschamps left OL on July 2, 2012, by mutual consent, citing their disappointing 10th-place finish in the 2011–12 season, even though it is safe to say he enjoyed his time there overall.
After leaving Marseille, Didier took on a new challenge as the head coach of the French national football team on July 2012. Deschamps hasn’t looked back ever since. He’s been at the helm for over a decade now, managing more than 150 France’s games and winning the FIFA World Cup, and the Nations League, and finishing runners-up at Euro 2016.
List of trophies Didier Deschamps has won as a manager
|1.||2002-2003||AS Monaco||League Cup/Coupe de la Ligue|
|2.||2006-2007||Juventus FC||Serie B|
|3.||2009-2010||Marseille||French League (Ligue 1)|
|4.||2009-2010||Marseille||League Cup/Coupe de la Ligue|
|5.||2010||Marseille||French Super Cup|
|6.||2010-2011||Marseille||League Cup/Coupe de la Ligue|
|7.||2011||Marseille||French Super Cup|
|8.||2011-2012||Marseille||League Cup/Coupe de la Ligue|
|10.||2020-2021||France||UEFA Nations League|
And the good news is, he’s still going strong! In fact, he recently extended his contract with France until June 2026. There is still no retirement or sacking in sight for Didier Deschamps!
3. Zinedine Zidane
Manager Nationality – French
Team Managed – Real Madrid Castilla and Real Madrid
Currently Managing – None
Another on the list, we have Zinedine Zidane yes you heard it right! One of the best football players history has ever seen is fortunately also on the list of football managers who have never been sacked.
The magician with ball in the middle of the pitch played at the highest possible level for both his clubs and country. He played for top clubs like Juventus and Real Madrid, and scoring a total of 95 goals in 506 club appearances. He also had 17 goals in 49 appearances for France, and who could forget his iconic headbutt to Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final?
It won’t be enough about his playing days, so better let’s talk about Zinedine Zidane as a football manager. Before diving into it here is a fun fact, Zidane is the only manager on our list who has managed only one club, and that’s of course Real Madrid!
Zizou’s association with Real Madrid has been longer than a hobbit’s journey to Mordor. After hanging up his boots, he took on multiple roles at the club, including special adviser and sporting director, since 2010. Clearly, the guy can’t get enough of Los Blancos!
Zidane again worked his magic as an assistant coach at Real Madrid before being appointed as the coach of Real Madrid’s B team (Real Madrid Castilla ). He won 26 out of 57 games as the B team coach before being promoted to head coach of the main team in 2016.
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And boy did he deliver! With Cristiano Ronaldo leading the charge, Zidane won a La Liga title and three consecutive Champions League trophies – a feat that had never been achieved before. He also won a bunch of other trophies, including two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups, and a Spanish Super Cup until 2018.
Zidane dropped a bomb on Real Madrid on May 31, 2018, just five days after the Champions League final, when he announced his resignation as coach, explaining the club’s “need for change”.
Zizou’s success was so remarkable that the entire team struggled without him. So the headbutting hero returned in March 2019 to lead Real Madrid to another La Liga title and a Supercopa trophy. He was truly a The Guardian Angel of Real Madrid. Finally, the French legend again decided to leave The Whites on 27 May 2021, for the second time after going trophyless in the 2020-21 season.
List of trophies Zinedine Zidane has won as a manager
|1.||2016||Real Madrid||Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Champions League|
|2.||2016-2017||Real Madrid||La Liga, Champions League, Super Cup, Club World Cup, Spanish Super Cup.|
|3.||2017-2018||Real Madrid||UEFA Champions League|
|4.||2019-2020||Real Madrid||La Liga, Spanish Super Cup|
Currently, as of 2023 Zinedine Zidane is currently without a job, rumors are swirling that he may return to the touchline soon. Which club will be lucky enough to have him? Will Zidane ever be sacked? Only time will tell.
2. Jurgen Klopp
Manager Nationality – German
Team Managed – Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund, and Liverpool FC
Currently Managing – Liverpool FC
Coming in at number two on the list, we have the German legend, Jurgen Klopp. He’s managed three different clubs and has left a lasting impression wherever he goes. Fans just can’t get enough of him! And the best part? He’s never been sacked as a football manager. I guess his secret is to always keep his players on their toes with his wild celebrations!
Jurgen Klopp played his football back in the day in Germany and was of course not as popular as Zinedine Zidane as we previously discussed. However, Klopp played 325 club games and scored 52 goals. But let’s be real, his man-management skills and tactics are more impressive than his playing career.
After hanging up his boots, Klopp became Mainz 05’s manager on 27 February 2001 following the dismissal of Eckhard Krautzun. Jurgen won six out of his first seven games in charge. Talk about a great first impression!
Klopp managed 270 games with Mainz and won 109 of them. But eventually, he resigned at the end of the 2007–08 season after the club got relegated from Bundesliga.
In May 2008, Klopp then went on to manage Borussia Dortmund, which was always in the shadows of Bayern Munich. But he won 2 German Supercup, a DFL Pokal Cup, and two consecutive Bundesliga titles (2010-11 and 2012 seasons) snatching away from Bayern.
But Kloppo side Dortmund lost the 2013 UEFA Champions League final to arch-rival Bayern Munich with a 1-2 scoreline. In April of the 2014-15 season, Klopp made a heart-wrenching announcement that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season after a poor start. Fans were left shattered as they absolutely adored their manager.
But life moves on so did, Jurgen Klopp! He stepped out of his country and landed in Liverpool, England. On October 2015, he joined another big English sinking giant Liverpool FC replacing Brendan Rodgers who infamously bottled the chance to win the Premier League in 2014.
Klopp had a slow start to his life at Liverpool with a 0-0 away draw with Spurs. He also lost two finals, a League Cup Final at Wembley to Man City and a Europa League to Sevilla on 28 February 2016. But he never looked back ever since.
Jurgen Klopp went on to win 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 League Cup, 1 FA Cup and 1 Community Shield.
Jurgen Klopp’s greatest triumph came in the 2019-20 season when he led Liverpool to their first Premier League title in 30 long years. Klopp’s magical touch had finally ended Liverpool’s drought, cementing his place as a legend in the hearts of the club’s supporters.
Now, with over 430 games managed, Klopp is showing no signs of slowing down and is still managing Liverpool. Maybe he’s secretly a robot designed to manage football teams?
List of trophies Jurgen Klopp has won as a manager
|3.||2011-2012||Dortmund||Bundesliga, DFL Pokal Cup|
|4.||2013-2014||Dortmund||DFL Super Cup|
|5.||2014-2015||Dortmund||DFL Super Cup|
|6.||2018-2019||Liverpool||UEFA Champions League|
|7.||2019-2020||Liverpool||UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Premier League|
|8.||2021-2022||Liverpool||League Cup, FA Cup|
Finally, Jurgen Klopp is a manager who has a knack for winning over fans with his charisma and personality. He is also known for his ability to work within tight budget constraints and still create successful teams, which is a rare trait among other managers. That may be his secret formula for not getting sacked as a football manager in the 21st century.
1. Pep Guardiola
Manager Nationality – Spanish
Team Managed – Barcelona B, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City
Currently Managing – Manchester City
On top of the list of football managers who have never been sacked, it’s none other than magical Spanish tactician Pep Guardiola in full Josep “Pep” Guardiola Sala. Unlike his fellow rival manager Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola is no stranger to lavish spending, but one thing remains true: anything he lays his hands on turns to pure gold.
Back in his days, Pep was famous for playing with Barcelona in the midfield. He made a total of 398 club appearances scoring 21 goals. Similarly, he also played 47 games for Spain. But Guardiola’s managerial career totally outshines his playing career, that is certain.
Young Pep Guardiola was appointed as the coach of Barcelona B, with Tito Vilanova as his trusty sidekick. After an impressive start, he was promoted to the manager of the senior Barcelona squad by club President Joan Laporta. And boy, did he not disappoint!
After being appointed the manager on July 2008, in Guardiola’s first season, he led Barcelona to the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. And to top it off, he became the youngest manager to win the coveted European competition.
Pep Guardiola didn’t just win trophies at Barcelona, he also shipped off old stars like Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o, making way for fresh and fierce talents like Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, and more. Talk about having the guts to shake things up at such a big club! Young Pep Guardiola left the footballing world dazzled with his magic.
Pep Guardiola left Barcelona after winning everything possible in the 2011-12 season and took a year-long sabbatical in New York City. He probably took some time off to practice his shuffleboard skills!
But in 2013, he came back to the football management, joining German club Bayern Munich. Pep once again dominated Germany winning back-to-back three Bundesliga titles from 2013 to 2015. He also won DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup, making him feel like the king of Germany. He managed 161 games and won 121 games with a win percentage of 75.16%.
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Pep Guardiola bid farewell to Bayern Munich in 2016 as his contract expired, and Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins for the 2016-17 season.
In February 2016, Guardiola left Bayern Munich to join Manchester City, where he has been winning Premier League titles for fun. He has already won four of them!
He is also regularly winning and competing other domestic trophies in England including League Cup, FA Cup, and Community Shield. The guy is so good at winning that we are pretty sure he could win a game of rock-paper-scissors against himself.
Despite all the success, Pep is often criticized for not winning the Champions League for over a decade now. And only manages big clubs with big money to spend. But Pep has hit back at the criticism. After all, he’s already busy trying to figure out how to turn his trophy cabinet into a throne.
List of trophies Pep Guardiola has won as a manager
|1.||2008-2009||Barcelona||Copa del Rey, LaLiga, Champions League|
|2.||2009-2010||Barcelona||UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, Supercopa, LaLiga|
|3.||2010-2011||Barcelona||Supercopa, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League|
|4.||2011-2012||Barcelona||UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Supercopa, Club World Cup|
|5.||2013-2014||Bayern||Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup|
|8.||2017-2018||Man City||Premier League, EFL Cup|
|9.||2018- 2019||Man City||Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, Community Shield|
|10.||2019-2020||Man City||EFL Cup, Community Shield|
|11.||2020-2021||Man City||Premier League, EFL Cup|
|12.||2021-2022||Man City||Premier League|
Well, if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that Pep Guardiola has job security like no other. I mean, he’s been in the game for over two decades and he still hasn’t been sacked! It’s safe to say that Guardiola’s managerial career has been nothing short of legendary.
In conclusion, the world of football has seen some incredible managers who have achieved great success and made their mark on the game. While some managers have been sacked multiple times, there are a select few football managers who have never been sacked throughout their entire careers.
These managers include the likes of Luis Enrique, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, and the incomparable Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. They have all achieved incredible success with their respective clubs and are widely regarded as some of the best football managers of all time.
In the end, the achievements of these managers speak for themselves, and their legacy in the game will be remembered forever.
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