7 Best Up-and-Coming Managers In Football 2023

Rúben Amorim up-and-coming football coaches
(Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Many exceptional coaches have graced the beautiful game over the years. 

Greats like Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and so many others are some of the managers that have left an indelible mark on the game.

Today there are a new generation of talented tacticians looking to follow in the footsteps of the previous coaches, as mentioned above.

These new guys are looking to make a lasting impact. Here are some new up-and-coming football managers looking to make a name for themselves

1. Julien Stephan

Julien Stephan best up-and-coming football managers
(Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Stephan is the current manager of French Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg. 

The 42-year-old is regarded as one of the best young managers in France due to his exploits with former team Rennes.

While at Rennes, he led them to their first trophy in 48 years, beating favourites Paris Saint Germain 6-5 on penalties to clinch the Coupe de France for 2019.

Julien also qualified Rennes for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history after finishing 3rd in the 2019-2020 abridged Ligue 1 campaign.

At Strasbourg, the French man has continued to build his reputation, and it won’t be long before he gets an appointment with a bigger club.

2. Raúl González

Raúl González coach Real Madrid Castilla

Raúl González is no doubt one of the greatest Spanish strikers of all time. However, right now, he is one of the best up-and-coming young coaches in football.

He spent most of his playing career at the Bernabeu and could one day become a manager there.

After he retired from football in 2015, while playing for the New York Cosmos, Raul transitioned into coaching.

He is currently the coach of Real Madrid Castilla.

Raúl won the UEFA Youth League with Real Madrid’s Under-19 in the 2019/20 season.

3. Diego Martinez Penas

Diego Martinez

The Spanish manager is one of the brightest tactical minds in the game right now. 

Diego first made a name for himself with modest Spanish side Granada which he managed between 2018-2021. 

At the time of his appointment in 2019, Martinez was the youngest coach managing in La Liga. 

That same year he was awarded the Miguel Munoz Trophy, an award for the best manager in Spain, by Spanish newspaper Marca for helping the Nazaries gain promotion to La Liga. 

He would later lead them to an impressive 7th-place finish in the league and automatic qualification for the UEFA Europa League.

The 42-year-old currently manages another top-flight Spanish club Espanyol. 

4. Roberto De Zerbi 

Roberto De Zerbi
(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

The Italian tactician enjoyed a slow but steady rise in his coaching, starting off in the lower divisions of Italian football. 

At Sassuolo, Roberto began to turn heads with his progressive attacking style that endeared the modest Serie A side to fans and neutrals alike.

After three fruitful seasons in the Italian top flight, De Zerbi moved to Ukraine to coach Shakhtar Donetsk in 2021, where he won the Ukrainian Super Cup. 

The 43-year-old left Shakhtar due to the outbreak of the Russian-Ukraine war and was recently appointed manager of English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, where he has continued their impressive attacking style.

De Zerbi has the ability to become one of the top football coaches in the world.

5. Xabi Alonso  

Xabi Alonso
(Photo by Stefan Brauer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The former Spanish international is another player expected to make the transition from a great footballer to a great manager.

Alonso started out as a coach of the reserve team of La Liga side Real Sociedad.

The 41-year-old was recently appointed manager of German side Bayer Leverkusen. 

After a tough start to his coaching career, Alonso has settled with the Bundesliga side and are currently 12th on the log.

6. Rúben Amorim

Rúben Amorim up-and-coming football coaches
(Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Still only 37, Rúben Amorim is not just one of the top up-and-coming football managers, but one of the youngest football coaches at the moment.

Amorim has been impressive since he started his managerial career in 2020 with Portuguese side Braga.

This led to a big money move to Lisbon giants Sporting CP where he has transformed the club’s fortunes. 

In just his second season with Sporting Amorim led them to their first title in 19 years, winning the Portuguese Primeira Liga 2020-2021 trophy. 

Ruben also led them to this season’s UEFA Champions League group stages, where they finished 3rd, automatically qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

7. Kolo Touré

Kolo Touré
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Kolo Touré was recently appointed as the manager of Championship side Wigan Athletic.

Before that, the Ivorian served on the coaching staff at Celtic and Leicester City, as well as a member of the coaching staff for the Ivory Coast national team.

Kolo Touré has always loved coaching and ventured into coaching immediately after he retired from football in 2017.

He is one of the latest footballers that became coaches after retirement

Although there are not many black coaches in football, Kolo Touré shows the potential to reach the very top.

With his wealth of experience, the former Arsenal defender is on course to join the league of the best coaches in football.

Notable Mentions:

Other young up-and-coming football coaches include:

  • Vincent Kompany (Burnley)
  • Per Mertesacker (Arsenal Academy)
  • Robin van Persie (Assistant coach at Feyenoord)
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Michael Carrick (Middlesbrough)
  • Damien Duff (Shelbourne FC)
  • Carlos Corberán (West Bromwich Albion)
  • Rafael Márquez (Barcelona Atlétic)
  • Javier Mascherano (Argentina Under-20).
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