5 Best Managers in Paris Saint-Germain History
Being a football manager is a tough job, and you should probably never expect to stay with one club for more than just a couple of years. Because of this, it can be difficult to stick around long enough to make your mark on a club’s history, but there are some who are considered all-time greats with certain clubs.
Paris Saint-Germain has a rich history of success and there’s a long list of managers who have won titles with PSG. Out of those managers, though, which ones rank as the best? Here are our choices for the top five. Before we begin the list, some of the managers who just missed the cut include Christophe Galtier, Carlo Ancelotti, Ricardo, Artur George, and Robert Vicot.
Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino had a quarter-century-long professional paying career, which included two years with PSG following his longer tenures with Newell’s Old Boys and Espanyol. Pochettino finished out his playing days with Bordeaux and returned to Espanyol, becoming that club’s manager following his retirement in 2006. Pochettino then managed Southampton and Tottenham before his brief (but successful) time with Paris Saint-Germain.
Pochettino’s time with PSG may have been brief, but it was indeed prosperous. Pochettino was able to lead the club to three honors, including winning Ligue 1, the Coupe de France, and Trophee des Champions. Pochettino had a 65.48 winning percentage in his 84 matches, but the club decided to part ways with the manager after losing in the Champions League to Real Madrid.
Midfielder Luis Fernandez was already one of the more successful PSG players during the 1980s, spending much of his playing career with the club during that time. The Spaniard ended his career playing for RC Paris and Cannes, including being a player-manager for the latter during the early 1990s. His second managerial job was with Paris Saint-Germain, a job he held from 1994 to 1996.
Fernandez even came back for a second stint from December 2000 until May 2003. Though he might not have the best winning percentage in club history at 51.23%, Fernandez has the most matches under his belt for any PSG manager. Fernandez won five major honours, including becoming the only manager in PSG history to win the UEFA Winners’ Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Unlike the others on the list, German Thomas Tuchel didn’t have a long professional playing career. He made just 77 professional appearances with two clubs during the 1990s in lower levels, then went into a managerial role with FC Augsburg II in 2007. After stints with Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel was announced as the PSG manager in 2018 before departing in 2020 to lead Chelsea.
Tuchel is just one of two managers in PSG history to win Ligue 1 multiple times, doing so twice in back-to-back years (2019, 2020). Tuchel’s winning percentage (74.80%) is second all-time in club history behind just the number two manager on the list. Tuchel won a few other honors with PSG, too, including the Coupe de France and French League Cup.
Another Spaniard to make the list, Unai Emery played professionally from 1990 until 2004 with five different clubs, with his longest tenure coming at Toledo. In 2004, he retired from competition after playing for Lorca Deportiva and became the team’s manager. Emery had four more managerial stops including Spartak Moscow before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2016. After leaving PSG in 2018, he has since managed Arsenal, Villarreal, and Aston Villa.
Emery is second in PSG history in terms of major titles won with seven, including winning Ligue 1 in the 2017-18 season. Emergy also won a pair of Coupe de France, French League Cup, and Trophee des Champions titles. No other manager has a higher winning percentage, either, with Emery winning 76.32% of his 114 matches.
The top manager for Paris Saint-Germain just also happens to be the only one on the list that’s from France. Laurent Blanc was born in Ales in 1965 and spent 20 years playing professionally, with the bulk of his time being spent with Montpellier. Blanc also notably played for Inter Milan, Barcelona, and Manchester United then went into management in 2007 with Bordeaux. After managing the French National Team, Blanc became PSG’s manager from 2013 to 2016.
Blanc is third all-time in PSG history with 173 matches managed, and his winning percentage of 72.83% is insane for someone with that many matches. Blanc won 126 of his 173, and no other manager in club history has as many honors. Under Blanc, PSG won Ligue 1 three times (a club record) to go along with a trio of French League Cups and Trophee des Champions.