No matter how good a team is, it all falls apart without a good team strategy. Even if you had Neymar, Pepe, Messi, and Ibrahimovic together on the field, there is still no guarantee that the match would end with a win. This is due to the fact that soccer players have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own ideas regarding who should have the ball and score the goal. This is where coaches come into play.
Soccer coaches are sometimes former players. They know how the game works and what their players excel at. They always have several backup plans for when things go south and they are great at drawing out the best in the players. Here are some of the world’s best soccer coaches.
Luis Enrique Martinez Garcia is one of the aforementioned coaches who used to be players. He started his coaching career in Barcelona, where he used to play. He felt like he returned home. He put the team back in the big leagues and he even returned to coaching Barcelona after taking a swing at Roma and Celta.
What makes Enrique so great at his job is his strategy. He was always against ball possession for the sake of having the ball – it had to serve a purpose. He found that purpose relatively quickly, his tactics revolve around putting pressure on the opponents by having the ball in their part of the field. This usually makes them nervous and leads to them making mistakes. This is when Lucho’s team goes in for the kill.
Klopp used to play for Mainz 05, and then moved to manage the team. During his seven-year-long employment, he managed to get the team to play in Bundesliga for the first time ever. The following seven years were spent on Borussia Dortmund, where he suffered a bit of a drawback. In spite of this, his record remains impressive: he led the team to victory in the German Super Cup in the 2014/15 season. The peak of his managing career was reached with Liverpool, where he is still coaching.
His forte has been ‘gegenpressing’, a type of strategy where the team, after losing possession of the ball, immediately tries to get it back, rather than focusing on the defense. It is also the fact that he doesn’t pay special attention to football starts – playing as a team has always been more important to him.
Josep Guardiola Sala started his managerial career in 2007 in Barcelona with the B team. He started coaching the first team a year later, and he shocked the crowd by declaring that Ronaldinho and Deco were not in his plans for the season. He took a short sabbatical in 2013, before moving on to coach Bayern Munich. He is currently working with Manchester City. Overall, his coaching style landed him a winning rate of over 70%.
His tactics focus on pressure. Like Luis Enrique, he has always vocal against playing tiki-taka, where the players pass the ball to one another in an effort to stall for time. In spite of this, many critics have noticed a lot of passing in his style, which he justified by saying that, in the case of his teams, passing serves the purpose of wearing the opponent down. He also focuses his attention on high pressing.