Sir Alex Ferguson, over the course of his legendary coaching career, won a whopping 49 titles, the most trophies by a manager in football.

The Scottish manager began his management career with East Stirling, at the age of 32. It was short-lived as he signed on his first full-time job with St Mirren in October 1974. It was during this time that he won his first title - Scottish Football League First Division in 1977.

Following his first and only managerial sack in 1978, Alex Ferguson joined Aberdeen. With three top-flight titles, four Scottish Cups, and triumphs in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup, the Scotsman built up a repertoire and soon enough English giants Manchester United came calling.

In 1986, Sir Alex Ferguson left Scotland to join United, replacing Ron Atkinson. Four years into his stint as MUFC boss, Ferguson won the FA Cup in 1990 and followed it up with a FA Charity/Community Shield (shared with Liverpool), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup (both in 1990-91).

Ferguson ended Manchester United’s 26-year wait for a top-flight title in the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/93, and went on to win a record 13 Premier League titles until his retirement at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.

In his trophy-laden career as Red Devils boss, Alex Ferguson won five FA Cups, four League Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles. He also won the season-opener Community Shield nine times.

Most trophies by a manager in football

Manager Manager career Trophies
Sir Alex Ferguson 1974-2013 49
Mircea Lucescu 1979-present 36
Pep Guardiola 2008-present 31
Valeriy Lobanovskyi 1969-2002 29
Jock Stein 1960-1985 26
Jose Mourinho 2000-present 26

Mircea Lucescu, 76, is the second-most manager in football history. The Romanian took his first steps into management as a player-coach of the now-dissolved FC Corvinul Hunedoara în 1979, and led them to the Liga II title in 1979–80.

His first major job as head coach was when he was appointed Romania’s manager in 1981. As Lucescu was in his final year in charge of the national team, he signed his first contract as a full-time club manager when he joined Dinamo București in 1985.

After winning three trophies (two Cupa României, one Divizia A), Mircea Lucescu won two trophies across two managerial spells in Italy (1990-1996, 1999).

On either side of his brief term as Inter Milan coach, Lucescu sat in the hot seat at Rapid București and won three trophies.

Mircea Lucescu would later spend his time as manager in Turkey, where he won the league title with Galatasaray and Beşiktaş. He also won the UEFA Super Cup with Galatasaray.

However, his most productive spell as a manager came after joining Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. In his 12 years at the helm, the Romanian won eight league titles, seven Super Cups, six Cups and the 2008-09 UEFA Cup before it would be rechristened as the UEFA Europa League.

After winning a trophy with Zenit Saint Petersburg and two years as Turkey national team coach, Mircea Lucescu joined Dynamo Kyiv in 2020 and has won three titles since.

Lucescu’s haul of 36 titles, however, is likely to be surpassed by current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola. One of the most successful coaches in the modern era, Guardiola is third on the list of most trophies won by a manager in football history with 31 titles.

The Spaniard’s trophy-laden spell began with his boyhood club Barcelona, where he won the Division trophy with Barcelona’s B team in June 2007. The following year he was thrust into senior management and quickly shot to stardom by winning the club’s first-ever treble - UEFA Champions League, LaLiga and Copa del Rey.

In four seasons as Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola won 14 trophies across six different competitions before signing as Bayern Munich’s coach after taking a break in the 2012-13 season.

At Bayern, Guardiola bagged three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

Currently at Manchester City, the Spanish manager has won ten trophies including three Premier League titles.

Valeriy Lobanovskyi (29 trophies) and Jock Stein (26 trophies) complete the top-five list for most trophies won by a manager in football.

Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti are the notable mentions for most trophies won by a manager in football. Ancelotti, with 22 titles, is the first manager to win a league title in each of the five major European Leagues (Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and La Liga). He recently led Real Madrid to their 35th La Liga title.

Mourinho, on the other hand, is the first football manager to win all three UEFA club competitions after his AS Roma team beat Feyenoord 1-0 to win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Portuguese manager, who began his coaching career with Benfica in 2000, has 26 trophies to his name.

Author: William Paul

Featured photo: AFP / ANDREW YATES