1. José Mourinho – Pep Guardiola
The Portuguese and the Catalan have seen each other on numerous occasions since Guardiola made the leap to the elite at FC Barcelona. Their first great duel was in the semifinals of the 2010 Champions League, when Inter de Mourinho eliminated Pep’s Barça. Later, with the Portuguese at Real Madrid, they were measured several times a season both on the pitch and at a press conference, forming a climate of tension never seen before in LaLiga.
2. José Mourinho – Arsène Wenger
The Setúbal coach had already earned his reputation for controversy both in Porto and in London, where he lived a bitter rivalry with the legendary Arsenal coach. The ‘blues’ and the ‘gunners’ were rivals from before, but Mourinho’s two stages at Stamford Bridge increased the tension between both sides.
3. José Mourinho – Rafa Benítez
The Portuguese has also had his pluses and minuses with the Spanish coach, and that his careers have been quite even. A few years ago, when Benítez was managing Real Madrid, they had several word crossings that even the women of both entered.
4. Alex Ferguson – Arsène Wenger
Leaving aside Mourinho, the undisputed protagonist on this list, one of his enemies also had his encounters with the ex-coach of Manchester United. The ‘red devils’ and the ‘gunners’ were the dominators of the Premier League at the beginning of the century and from the arrival of the Frenchman to the Arsenal bench in 1996 until the Scottish departure from Old Trafford the attacks followed one another.
5. Carlos Bilardo – César Menotti
Looking back, the most famous rivalry between two technicians was the one experienced by these two Argentines who led ‘Albiceleste’ to become world champion. There were more than 30 years of enmity that was based on his different way of understanding football: Bilardo was more practical, he sought victory regardless of the game, while Menotti bet on a more cheerful, combinative and offensive game. A clash that has led to two schools for a generation of coaches.
6. Fabio Capello – Arrigo Sacchi
The rivalry between two of the best Italian coaches in history is probably one of the strangest as they both compete to prove who was better on the AC Milan bench. Sacchi succeeded Capello at the ‘rossonero’ club and signed a great cycle before Capello returned after his first stint at Real Madrid.
7. Marcelo Gallardo – Guillermo Barros Schelotto
Back to the present day, in Argentina the confrontation par excellence has been the one maintained by the River Plate coach and the former Boca Juniors coach, now in LA Galaxy. Both faced each other in the fight for national titles, but also in the more controversial Copa Libertadores.
8. Jurgen Klopp – Pep Guardiola
The German and the Spanish began their rivalry in the Bundesliga when the former led Borussia Dortmund and the latter Bayern Munich. Two years in which Guardiola surpassed Klopp before emigrating to England, where the German would arrive a year earlier. Already in Liverpool and Manchester City the fight continues in the Premier League race every year.
9. Zinedine Zidane – Diego Pablo Simeone
The Frenchman and the Argentinean faced each other as footballers in both Italy and Spain, but later, as technicians for Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, they began a new rivalry. Zidane was already Ancelotti’s assistant in the Champions League that the Whites achieved in 2014 against the mattresses and two years later he was the one who, as a coach, ended the rojiblanco dream.
10. Quique Setién – José Bordalás
In LaLiga a rivalry has arisen in recent years, far from the big clubs that fight for the titles every year, between two totally opposite coaches. Setién, both at Real Betis and at FC Barcelona, bets on the game of touch and possession, while Bordalás tends to physical and practical soccer to adapt to the rival to attack his weak points. This has led them to establish a tense relationship that is seen in each confrontation between the two.