Football managers seem to be getting younger right? Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Andre Vilas Boas both won major European titles before their 41st birthday while Brendan Rodgers is currently trying to revolutionise a stagnant Liverpool side with considerable success. A 19-year-old lad recently took charge of a senior side in Wales.
So who are the best young managers in Europe? Here is a pick of five under the age of 40.
Viktor Goncharenko - BATE Borisov
At 35-years-old he certainly fits the young criteria and the talented Belarusian has turned disappointment into success after a serious injury forced his retirement at just 25-years-old. Now with his former playing club BATE Borisov he has led the side to five successive Belarusian Premier League triumphs in his five years of management becoming the second side to achieve the feat after Dinamo Minsk and making BATE the most successful team in post-Soviet era Belarus.
While his domestic achievements are obviously impressive it is his record on a Continental level that have truly earned him his reputation as one of the best young managers in Europe. He guided BATE to their first ever Champions League Group Stage appearance after toppling Anderlecht and Levski Sofia in qualifying for the 08-09 edition. Since then he has guided them to the same stage on two more occasions which has included wins against Lille and Bayern Munich with draws coming against Juventus, AC Milan and Zenit Saint Petersburg. His natural progression will likely take him to the Russian League in the near future where he can truly demonstrate his worth.
Vincenzo Montella - Fiorentina
The former Roma and Fulham striker first gained notoriety during his spell at Catania where he guided the unfancied Sicilians to a respectable 11th place finish; notably above fierce rivals Palermo for the first occasion in eight years.
Now with Fiorentina he has transformed the side with his new revolutionary take on the 3-5-2 formation and they currently sit sixth in the table.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Molde FK
The former Manchester United striker has become one of the most highly rated young managers in Europe and with good reason to. His career cut short by injury he took up a role working with Manchester United’s reserves which led to unprecedented success.
He then took up the mantle at his first club Molde FK; leading them to their first ever Norwegian title and then repeating the feat in his second season in charge.
Roberto Martinez - Wigan Athletic
Depending on who you believe Roberto Martinez was the first choice for Brendan Rodger’s current job at Liverpool but as it stands he is currently with Wigan Athletic. He revolutionised Swansea into promotion candidates during his time in South Wales and now with Wigan he continues to confound critics by staving off relegation year after year. His tactical fluidity is also exemplary with his current 3-4-3 style beyond repetition anywhere in world football.
Andrea Stramaccioni - Inter Milan
After a knee injury cut his career short in 1995 he went on to manage several amateur teams before joining the coaching staff at Roma in 2005. In 2011 he became the boss of Inter Milan’s youth team and guided the NextGen Side to victory in the inaugural edition last year. When Claudio Ranieri was sacked in March he was appointed caretaker and after a dramatic upturn in fortunes was offered the job in the summer.
Despite not yet owning a UEFA Pro License he has lead Inter to second spot in Serie A in a season that included an impressive 3-1 away win over Juventus.
Who do you think is the best manager under 40-years-old?
image: © illarterate