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Soccer Coaches in European Top Leagues

A recent article analyzed the national origins of soccer coaches/managers in the five largest European soccer leagues. Here is what was found:

English Premier League: UK coaches – 7 (35%), Foreign coaches – 13 (65%)

German Bundesliga: German coaches – 11 (61%), Foreign coaches – 7 (39%)

Spanish La Liga: Spanish coaches – 14 (70%), Foreign coaches – 6 (30%)

French League 1: French coaches – 16 (80%), Foreign coaches – 4 (20%)

Italian Serie A: Italian coaches – 17 (85%), Foreign coaches -3 (15%)

The corresponding statistic is which country supplies the most coaches to the four leagues other than their own. The results are:

  1. Italy – 5
  2. Argentina – 5
  3. France – 3
  4. Spain – 3
  5. Many countries 1-3
  6. Germany – 1
  7. K. – 0

The conclusion seems to be that Italian, French, and Spanish coaches are most respected and in demand. Surprisingly Germany doesn’t export many coaches within Europe despite successful performances of club teams in European competitions and the national team in general , but does supply coaches globally, particularly for national teams. The reason may be that Germany has a reputation for developing good tournament teams. Even the best German Bundesliga team, Bayern Munich, has been relying on two foreign coaches (Guardiola, Ancelotti) at the club level. England seems to struggle with producing top level coaches, supplying only seven for the top five leagues, all of them employed in England. The last UK coach to win a Premier League championship was Sir Alex Ferguson and other than him it was Howard Wilkinson with Leeds United in 1992. England has recognized a lag in coaching development and spent 120 million € on a program starting with St. George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent. It will take years before graduates from the program will enter the top leagues. All other top European countries, as well as emerging countries, have well-structured and established coach development programs.

So having a top notch player development AND coach development structure with a vision and a strategic plan will breed success.

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