With UEFA EURO 2016 qualification soon upon us, UEFA.com takes a look at the men in the dugout with the most experience of UEFA European Championship qualifying.
Giampaolo Mazza (San Marino)
2000–2012: four campaigns, 38 matches
My regret is that we never won a competitive game," said Mazza after leaving his post in October, "but the team have improved in recent years and also play with courage." A former midfielder and current physical education teacher, Mazza made his debut as San Marino coach in a UEFA EURO 2000 qualifier against Israel in 1998 but his only positive result in charge came in April 2001, a 1-1 draw with Latvia in the FIFA World Cup preliminaries.
However, results are not everything. Mazza recalled: "I have great memories, like a recent friendly against Italy – something we had been looking forward to – or the game against England in a temple of football like Wembley."
Berti Vogts (Germany, Scotland, Azerbaijan)
1992–2000, 2012: four campaigns, 36 matches
A one-club man with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach as a player, Vogts's achievements as a coach often go overlooked in his native Germany. He guided Die Mannschaft to two European final tournaments, including victory at EURO '96 in England – Germany's most recent silverware. An even more long-lasting feat was his involvement in reforming German youth development, a process which continues to reap rewards today.
Though he did not take Scotland or Azerbaijan to a EURO finals, Vogts did steer the Scots to a 1-1 draw against his home country in 2003 and a 1-0 success over the Netherlands later that year. Just two shy of Mazza's all-time record, Vogts looks certain to become the most experienced coach in UEFA European Championship qualifying history after signing a new deal with Azerbaijan in December.
Paul Philipp (Luxembourg)
1988–2000: four campaigns, 32 matches
A former player who represented R. Standard de Liège among others, Philipp was appointed national team coach soon after hanging up his boots; he won his last Luxembourg cap in 1982 and was in the dugout for his country three years later. He remained in situ for 16 years, overseeing two point-less European qualification campaigns – EURO '92 and UEFA EURO 2000 – while managing just a solitary draw in attempting to reach the 1988 finals.
The erstwhile midfielder's best performance came in EURO '96 qualifying when his team twice beat Malta 1-0, drew 0-0 with Belarus and secured a momentous 1-0 triumph over eventual group winners the Czech Republic. Philipp went on to become president of the Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF) in 2004.
Guus Hiddink (Netherlands, Russia, Turkey)
1996–2012: three campaigns, 31 matches
Hiddink's first international role began on 1 January 1995, when he took the helm of his native Netherlands. Though the Oranje lost to the Czech Republic and Belarus en route to EURO '96, they beat the Republic of Ireland in a play-off and subsequently made the last eight at the English final tournament.
'Guus Geluk' (Lucky Guus) lived up to his moniker in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008, getting Russia to the finals thanks to England's 3-2 home defeat by Croatia in their last fixture. Russia advanced to the semi-finals, knocking out the Dutch in the preceding round. "I would like to become the traitor of the Netherlands," Hiddink had said before the game. A third campaign followed with Turkey in the UEFA EURO 2012 preliminaries, where Hiddink's luck ran out with a play-off loss to Croatia.
Billy Bingham (Northern Ireland and Greece)
1968, 1972, 1984–1992: five campaigns, 29 matches
Bingham is an iconic figure of Northern Irish football. Though he had spells with Greece, Everton FC and other club sides, it was with his own national team that he made his name. Capped 56 times, he helped them progress to the 1958 World Cup quarter-finals as a player.
He was in the dugout between 1967 and 1971, and again from 1980 to 1993. Bingham led Northern Ireland to the World Cup finals in 1982 and 1986 and delivered British Championships in 1980 and 1984, missing out on the 1984 UEFA European Championship on goal difference alone. He was involved in five EURO qualifying campaigns, a total matched only by Guy Thys, in the Belgium hot seat between 1976 and 1991.
*Denmark's Morten Olsen (28) and Romania's Victor Pițurcă (26) were closest to catching these five at the start of UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.
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