Real Madrid has seen a lot of success in more than a century of play, including winning a long list of trophies while never being relegated from La Liga. With such a popular and valuable club, expectations are often high. Because of that, Real Madrid has gone through quite a few managers over the years, with some of them standing out as being the best of the best.
Today we’ll take a look at the five men who found the most success as Real Madrid managers with dozens of honours amongst them. Before we start the list, some of the managers who just missed the cut include Luis Molowny, Jose Villalonga, Miljan Miljanic, and Luis Carniglia.
As a player, Carlo Ancelotti enjoyed a fine career as a midfielder, splitting his time between Parma, Roma, and AC Milan. After his retirement in 1992, Ancelotti got into coaching where he became an assistant with the Italian National Team until taking over Reggiana in 1995. After several stints throughout Europe, Ancelotti made his way to Madrid for his first tenure which lasted from 2013 to 2015, then he returned in 2021.
Ancelotti had come from Paris Saint-Germain and posted a 74.79% winning rate while with Real Madrid. He also led the club to a UEFA Champions League title to go along with the Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA World Cup before departing for Bayern Munich.
Dutchman Leo Beenhakker has one of the lengthiest managerial resumes in football history. After his playing time ended in the early 1960s, Beenhakker took over several clubs in the subsequent decades including Ajax and Volendam. From 1986 to 1989, Beenhakker managed Real Madrid, and he came back for a second stint in 1992. During that time, Beenhakker was able to find success.
Beenhakker is fourth all-time in matches managed for Real Madrid with 169, and his squads won 107 of those. Beenhakker won La Liga on three occasions while also winning two Supercopa de Espanas and a Copa del Rey. Beenhakker then went on to manage Ajax and many other clubs before retiring in 2009.
Many know Zinedine Zidane from his fantastic playing days with Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid in the 1990s and 2000s. Zidane was also a staple of the French National Team, and after he retired from the sport in 2006, took several years off from football. In 2013, he became an assistant with Real Madrid then took over the B squad from 2014 to 2016. From 2016 to 2018 and 2019 to 2021, Zidane led the top squad.
Zidane’s Madrid clubs didn’t mess around in the UEFA Champions League as he won the title three times. Not only that, but Madrid won La Liga and Supercopa de Espana once each while adding two UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles. Overall, Zidane won more than 69 percent of his matches with Real Madrid.
Vincent del Bosque
A defensive mastermind as a player with Real Madrid, Vincent del Bosque was part of the squad from 1968 to 1984. After his retirement from the sport, del Bosque came back to the club that he knew and loved, becoming a caretaker during the 1990s. At the end of the decade, though, del Bosque became manager of the top squad and held the position until 2003.
Del Bosque doesn’t have the best winning percentage on the list, but he was able to win 54.51% of his matches while also winning several honours. Del Bosque won La Liga and the UEFA Champions League twice while also adding titles in the Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup, and Intercontinental Cup. At 233 matches, he’s second all-time in Madrid appearances.
The top spot on the list belongs to Miguel Munoz, who like del Bosque, spent most of his playing years with Real Madrid. Between 1948 and 1958, he netted 23 goals for the club and then took over as manager upon his retirement. Though he didn’t last for an entire year, Munoz would return to manage the club from 1960 until 1974 following his brief time with Plus Ultra. No other manager had a tenure of that length.
Munoz is far and away the most successful manager in Real Madrid history when it comes to honours won. Munoz won La Liga nine times, as well as a pair of Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League titles. Munoz also has more than twice as many matches as anyone else on the list, managing 595 times and winning 352 of those matches.