Football coaches are important to any football team. Without them, a team would lack direction and strategy on how to overcome their opponents. Coaches are usually thought of as old with grey hair and wrinkles on their brows gotten from years of learning and studying the beautiful game. These days, a younger crop of managers are emerging on the scene, showing that all it requires to be a successful manager is a great tactical mind. Here are some of the best young managers in football right now.
In our list of the top youngest coaches in football, we are focusing on coaches that have coached or are coaching a top football team, not an academy. Also, this list of the top youngest coaches in football is based on those aged 40 years and below.
1. Julian Nagelsmann (Bayern Munich) – 34
At 34, Julian is one of the youngest football managers in the game right now. Despite his relatively young age, the German tactician has distinguished himself since his emergence in 2016, when he was appointed as 1899 Hoffenheim coach, at just 28 years of age, making him the youngest manager in German Bundesliga history. Nagelsmann’s impressive work at Die Kraichgauer earned him a move to ambitious German side RB Leipzig where he guided them to an unlikely UEFA Champions League semifinal. Julian has also helped to maintain their positions in the top Bundesliga echelons, finishing an impressive 3rd in his season with RB Leipzig. Nagelsmann made a huge step up in his managerial career, as it was announced that defending league champions Bayern Munich signed Julian to a five-year deal.
2. Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspurs) – 30
Following the surprising sack of former Tottenham Hotspur FC manager Jose Mourinho Mason was put in temporary charge of the club until the end of the season. At just 30 years of age, the former Spurs player is the youngest manager in English Premier League history. Even after Antonio Conte was named as Head Coach of Tottenham, Mason was promoted to the role of First Team Coach after he impressed Antonio Conte during his handling of leading training all week.
3. Florian Kohfeldt (Wolfsburg) – 39
Florian is the second German on this list. The Werder Bremen coach at just 38 years is one of the youngest coaches in the Bundesliga. Kohfeldt helped them avoid relegation in the 2019/2020 season. However, he was sacked as coach of Werder Bremen on May 16th, 2021. However, in October, Kohfeldt was named as manager of VfL Wolfsburg, signing a two-year contract.
4. Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa) – 40
The 41-year-old had a remarkable spell as coach of Rangers FC and has continued to build his reputation as one of the best young coaches in the game. Gerrard, last season finally broke the Scottish Premier League monopoly toppling Celtic FC to win the league title. Gerrard is currently the head coach at Premier League club Aston Villa.
5. Luka Elsner (Standard Liège) – 39
The 38-year-old Slovenian football coach is currently the manager of the Belgian team Standard Liège. He began coaching in 2013 and has gone on to manage seven football clubs since then.
6. Wayne Rooney (Derby County) – 36
Wayne Rooney is an English football legend who recently retired and became a football coach. He has the potential to become one of the top youngest coaches in football in a few years. He currently manages EFL Championship club Derby County, after he previously served as interim player-manager.
7. Domenico Tedesco (RB Leipzig) – 36
Although he is aged only 36, Tedesco has managed a handful of clubs in Europe. The German-Italian football manager began coaching when he was 23 as the assistant coach of the Stuttgart under-17 team. Domenico has since then managed Erzgebirge Aue, Schalke 04, Spartak Moscow, and is currently head coach of RB Leipzig.
8. Carlos Corberán (Huddersfield Town) — 38
Corberán started out as a fitness coach but later transitioned into football coaching. He managed Doxa and Ermis in the Cypriot First Division before he made joined Leeds United, where he has held roles as first-team assistant coach and was the manager of their under-23s side. In 2020, the 38-year-old was appointed as the head coach of EFL Championship club Huddersfield Town.
Honourable mentions include Luis Zubeldía (40), former coach of Atlético Lanús, and Hannes Wolf (40), former caretaker of Bayer Leverkusen.