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Champions League-winning coaches: Carlo Ancelotti leads the way

Carlo Ancelotti extended his record as the most successful coach in European Cup history to five titles when he led Real Madrid to victory at Wembley against Dortmund.

Carlo Ancelotti celebrates with the Champions League trophy in 2014
Carlo Ancelotti celebrates with the Champions League trophy in 2014 AFP via Getty Images

Twenty coaches have lifted the European Cup/UEFA Champions League trophy more than once, but only four have done it more than twice and Carlo Ancelotti alone has managed the feat five times – at Wembley Stadium on 1 June, he earned a record-extending fifth when Real Madrid beat Dortmund 2-0.

Pep Guardiola, Bob Paisley and Zinédine Zidane are the Italian's nearest challengers, all three-time winners. Ancelotti is also among only six coaches to win the trophy with multiple teams, and one of just seven who have won as both players and coaches.

Meet the most successful coaches and managers in European Cup history – the oldest, youngest and those who won it first as players.

The most prolific European Cup-winning coaches

Carlo Ancelotti (ITA) – AC Milan 2003, 2007; Real Madrid 2014, 2022, 2024

A two-time winner with Milan as a cultured midfield general, Ancelotti seamlessly made the transition to coaching. He led the Rossoneri to victory in 2003 (vs Juventus) and 2007 (vs Liverpool), and it took the 2005 Miracle of Istanbul to deny him another. An extra-time triumph over Atlético de Madrid in 2014 took him to three titles, and in 2022 he became the first coach to lead sides in five finals, and the first to record four wins. Two years on, he extended both records.

2022 final highlights: Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid

Bob Paisley (ENG) – Liverpool 1977, 1978, 1981

Paisley assumed the reins from the lauded Bill Shankly in 1974, humbly announcing that he would do his best. Nine years later, he retired having led the Reds to six league titles, a UEFA Cup, three League Cups and three European Cups. After victories in 1977 (vs Mönchengladbach) and 1978 (vs Club Brugge), a 1-0 triumph over Real Madrid in Paris in 1981 made it three titles in five seasons.

Zinédine Zidane (FRA) – Real Madrid 2016, 2017, 2018

Perhaps the finest player of his generation, Zidane won the Champions League just once before he hung up his gilded boots, thanks in no small part to his majestic volley for Madrid against Leverkusen in the 2002 final. Assistant to Ancelotti in 2014, he eclipsed that tally in his first three seasons as head coach, becoming the first man to lead a side to three successive titles.

Pep Guardiola (ESP) – Barcelona 2009, 2011; Man City 2023

A European Cup-winner as a midfielder with Barcelona in 1992, Guardiola won two editions of the Champions League in his first tenure as a coach with his old club, before venturing abroad to take charge of Bayern and then City. He steered the English club to the final in 2021, but they lost out to Premier League rivals Chelsea. However, his side then beat Inter in the 2023 final in Istanbul to end his 12-year wait for a third Champions League success as a coach.

Champions League final records

Two-time European Cup-winning coaches

José Villalonga (ESP) – Real Madrid 1956, 1957
Luis Carniglia (ARG) – Real Madrid 1958, 1959
Béla Guttmann (HUN) – Benfica 1961, 1962
Helenio Herrera (ARG) – Inter 1964, 1965
Miguel Muñoz (ESP) – Real Madrid 1960, 1966
Nereo Rocco (ITA) – AC Milan 1963, 1969
Ștefan Kovács (ROU) – Ajax 1972, 1973
Dettmar Cramer (GER) – Bayern 1975, 1976
Brian Clough (ENG) – Nottingham Forest 1979, 1980
Ernst Happel (AUT) – Feyenoord 1970, Hamburg 1983
Arrigo Sacchi (ITA) – AC Milan 1989, 1990
Ottmar Hitzfeld (GER) – Dortmund 1997, Bayern 2001
Vicente del Bosque (ESP) – Real Madrid 2000, 2002
Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) – Man United 1999, 2008
José Mourinho (POR) – Porto 2004, Inter 2010  
Jupp Heynckes (GER) – Real Madrid 1998, Bayern 2013

Great Champions League final goals

European Cup winners with multiple teams

2 Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan 2003, 2007; Real Madrid 2014, 2022, 2024)
2 Ernst Happel (Feyenoord 1970, Hamburg 1983)
2 Jupp Heynckes (Real Madrid 1998, Bayern 2013)
2 Ottmar Hitzfeld (Dortmund 1997, Bayern 2001)
2 José Mourinho (Porto 2004, Inter 2010)
2 Pep Guardiola (Barcelona 2009, 2011; Man City 2023)

European Cup winners as player and coach

Carlo Ancelotti (player: AC Milan 1989, 1990; coach: AC Milan 2003, 2007, Real Madrid 2014, 2022, 2024)
Johan Cruyff (player: Ajax 1971, 1972, 1973; coach: Barcelona 1992)
Pep Guardiola (player: Barcelona 1992; coach: Barcelona 2009, 2011; Man City 2023)
Miguel Muñoz (player: Real Madrid 1956, 1957, 1958; coach: Real Madrid 1960, 1966)
Frank Rijkaard (player: Ajax 1995, AC Milan 1989, 1990; coach: Barcelona 2006)
Giovanni Trapattoni (player: AC Milan 1963, 1969; coach: Juventus 1985)
Zinédine Zidane (player: Real Madrid 2002; coach: Real Madrid 2016, 2017, 2018)

1972 final highlights: Ajax 2-0 Inter

European Cup and Champions League-winning coaches – oldest, youngest and more

Most final wins in a row
3 Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid 2016, 2017, 2018)

Oldest winning coach
71 Raymond Goethals (Marseille 1993)

Youngest winning coach
36 José Villalonga (Real Madrid 1956)

Longest gap between title wins
15 years Jupp Heynckes (Real Madrid 1998, Bayern 2013)

Winning coach by nation
13 Italy (7 different coaches)
11 Spain (6)
10 Germany (7)
7 England (4)
5 Netherlands (5)
4 Argentina (2)
4 Scotland (3)
3 France (1)
3 Portugal (2)
3 Romania (2)
2 Austria (1)
2 Hungary (1)
1 Belgium (1)
1 Yugoslavia (1)

Most final defeats
3 Marcello Lippi (1997, 1998, 2003)
3 Jürgen Klopp (2013, 2018, 2022)

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