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Using the same criteria as in the latest column - that is major trophies won - could you say who are the most decorated managers in the world of football? Who won the most of managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, Arrigo Sacchi, Giovanni Trapattoni, Bill Shankly, Pep Guardiola, even the late Bobby Robson and Mario 'lobo' Zagalo of Brazil? Lanre Emmanuel asked.
To deal initially with the managers you have named and following the same criteria (no lower-division titles, no age-group titles, only World Cups, Olympics, Confederations Cup and continental championships for international teams) and the results are as follows - with a rather predictable name at the top of the leaderboard:
Sir Alex Ferguson (47) - three Scottish and 12 English league titles, four Scottish and five English FA Cups, one Scottish and four English League Cups, 10 Charity/Community Shields, two Champions Leagues, two Cup Winners' Cups, two European Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and one World Club Cup.
Jose Mourinho (18) - two Portuguese, two English and two Italian league titles, one Portuguese, one English, one Italian and one Spanish FA/main Cup, two English League Cups, one Portuguese and one Italian Super Cup, one Community Shield, two Champions Leagues and one UEFA Cup.
Fabio Capello (15) - seven Italian (two revoked due to Calciopoli) and two Spanish league titles, four Italian Super Cups, one Champions League and one European Super Cup.
Arrigo Sacchi (8) - one Italian league title, one Italian Super Cup, two European Cups, two European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups.
Giovanni Trapattoni (24) - seven Italian, one German, one Portuguese and one Austrian league titles, three Italian and one German Cups, one German League Cup, one Italian Super Cup, one European Cup, one Cup Winners' Cup, three UEFA Cups, one European Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.
Bill Shankly (10) - three English league titles, two FA Cups, one UEFA Cup and four Charity Shields.
Pep Guardiola (12) - three Spanish league titles, one Spanish Cup, three Spanish Super Cups, two Champions Leagues, two European Super Cups and one World Club Cup.
Bobby Robson (10) - two Dutch and two Portuguese titles, one English, Portuguese and Spanish Cup, one Spanish Super Cup, one Cup Winners' Cup and one UEFA Cup.
Mario Zagallo (8) - one World Cup, one Confederations Cup, one Copa America, one Taca Brazil, two Rio state Championships, two Guanabara Cups.
Outside those, many of the most successful managers were Ferguson's compatriots in Scotland. The Old Firm domination and long managerial reigns meant the following four had particularly impressive records:
Walter Smith (21) - 10 Scottish league titles, five Scottish Cups, six Scottish League Cups.
Jock Stein (26) - 10 Scottish league titles, nine Scottish Cups, six Scottish League Cups and one European Cup.
Wille Maley (30) - 16 league titles and 14 Scottish Cups.
Bill Struth (30) - 18 league titles, 10 Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups.
Maley, by the way, also won 33 lesser trophies and Struth 43, of which his seven (unofficial) wartime league titles have the strongest case to be deemed important. But away from his homeland, the closest anyone else gets to Ferguson is:
Valeri Lobanovsky (28) - eight Soviet and five Ukrainian titles, six Soviet and three Ukrainian Cups, three Soviet Super Cups, two Cup Winners' Cups and one European Super Cup.
And arguably (more of which below) his closest challenger in club football now is:
Mircea Lucescu (21) - two Romanian, two Turkish and five Ukrainian leagues, three Romanian and three Ukrainian Cups, one Turkish Super Cup, three Ukrainian Super Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, one UEFA Cup.
Among other distinguished managers, some of the successful are as follows: Ottmar Hitzfeld (24), Nils Arne Eggen (20), Bob Paisley (20), Louis van Gaal (19), Ernst Happel (17), Raymond Goethals (16), Helenio Herrera (16), Tomislav Ivic (16), Carlos Bianchi (15), Miguel Munoz (15), Arsene Wenger (15), Johan Cruyff (14), Guus Hiddink (14), Udo Lattek (14), Marcello Lippi (14), Rinus Michels (14), Karl Rappan (14), Dick Advocaat (13), Matt Busby (13), Artur Jorge (13), Stefan Kovacs (12), Albert Batteux (12), Otto Gloria (11).
In addition, and here some credentials can be questioned more because they include Brazilian state championships, which some may exclude, Wanderley Luxemburgo (22), Luiz Felipe Scolari (18) and Osvaldo Brandao (15).
There are several points to be made. The modern manager has an advantage with the advent of League Cups, Super Cups and various other comparatively new competitions, while club managers have greater opportunities to win trophies than their international counterparts.
Winning the Champions League now gives a chance of the European Super Cup and the World Club Cup, while it did not always in the past. Meanwhile, those employed in some countries - England, for one - are able to win more silverware than others. Also, the Charity Shield was long shared in the event of a draw (Ferguson's first Charity Shield was shared in 1990 although, given the size of his lead, it is rather irrelevant. Still, that has boosted the tallies of others who have managed in England).
Also, further to the last column, reader Clayton Freeman has been doing some research of his own to add to the list of players with large trophy cabinets. He unearthed one I should have spotted: Vitor Baia, the former Porto, Barcelona and Portugal goalkeeper, who has 31 pieces of significant silverware. Others he mentioned were Phil Neal (27), Julio Cesar, Bobby Lennox, Joao Pinto, Olexandr Shovkovsky, Dejan Stankovic and Edwin van der Sar (all 25), plus Alessandro Costacurta, Oliver Kahn, Lothar Matthaus, Peter Schmeichel and Paul Scholes (24). In several cases, they are team-mates of men I mentioned, meaning that, for all their trophies, they did not end up as the most successful player on their own team.
Julio Cesar's total, by the way, includes 10 Brazilian state championships. Clayton also pointed out that, were the Home Internationals to be counted - I chose not to, but it is a moot point - then Kenny Dalglish's total of trophies as a player would be increased to 32.