Football Manager 2018: Best rival managers

The world’s best managers also appear on Football Manager 2018 so expect some heated rivalries with some familiar faces.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

In Football Manager, it’s all about you right? Not necessarily. You still have to compete against the finest managers on the planet, and the pros on the game will know the particular tactics or mind games to play against certain rivals. We look at the best gaffers you will go head-to-head with on FM 18. 

Pep Guardiola (CA 180 – PA 187)

Age: 46

Managing: Manchester City

Nationality: Spain

Best attributes: 20 professionalism, 20 tactical knowledge, 20 squad rotation

The best manager in the world. Pep Guardiola has won three La Liga titles, three Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues, and the Spaniard looks on course to win a first Premier League trophy with Manchester City. At the age of 46, Guardiola has plenty of time left in the game, and he most likely be your biggest threat in Football Manager 18.

Massimiliano Allegri (CA 179 – PA 180)

Age: 49

Managing: Juventus

Nationality: Italy

Best attributes: 19 use of subs, 19 coaching mental, 18 tactical knowledge

A man who has risen up the managerial rankings, the 49-year-old Massimiliano Allegri has four Serie A titles to his name. With Juve facing a serious title challenge for the first time under his leadership this season, it is only now that we see what the manager is all about.

Carlo Ancelotti (CA 179 – PA 180)

Age: 58

Managing: Unemployed

Nationality: Italy

Best attributes: 20 man management, 20 coaching mental, 19 pressure

Currently without a job, but Carlo Ancelotti is still one of the best managers in the world. The Italian has enjoyed success wherever he has been, winning league titles in Italy, England, France and Germany along with three Champions Leagues. If any of the big clubs change manager, expect Ancelotti to be first on their shortlist.

Diego Simeone (CA 177 – PA 183)

Age: 47

Managing: Atletico Madrid

Nationality: Argentina

Best attributes: 20 loyalty, 20 adaptability, 20 professionalism

Diego Simeone has slowly built up his managerial CV, with his La Liga victory with Atletico Madrid in 2014 the shining light. The former Argentine international also has two league titles in his homeland to go with it, but you wonder what the next step is for him after forming a side in his image at Atletico.

Antonio Conte (CA 172 – PA 180)

Age: 48

Managing: Chelsea

Nationality: Italy

Best attributes: 20 ambition, 20 motivating, 19 coaching mental

No one knew what to expect from Antonio Conte when he took charge at Chelsea last season, but he motivated a damaged squad to romp home to the Premier League title. The Italian could head back to his homeland at the end of the season, having already lifted three Serie A titles with Juventus. 

Jose Mourinho (CA 170 – PA 193)

Age: 54

Managing: Manchester United

Nationality: Portugal

Best attributes: 20 controversy, 20 pressure, 20 ambition

This season looks to be the one that Jose Mourinho loses any claim of being the best manager in the world. The Portuguese dominated with Porto, Chelsea over two spells, Inter Milan but came slightly unstuck with Real Madrid and his current stint with Manchester United. He may have won the League Cup and Europa League last season, but he has faced plenty of criticism from fans and pundits.

Jurgen Klopp (CA 170 – PA 185)

Age: 50

Managing: Liverpool

Nationality: Germany

Best attributes: 20 man management, 20 motivating, 20 working with youngsters

Winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund brought Jurgen Klopp straight into the time-light. A character who suits the Premier League down to the ground, Klopp’s gung-ho style has caused plenty of excitement, but he has not managed to plug The Reds’ troubles at the back. Can he take Liverpool back to title contenders? It looks unlikely so far.

Arsene Wenger (CA 170 – PA 182)

Age: 67

Managing: Arsenal

Nationality: France

Best attributes: 20 loyalty, 20 adaptability, 20 ambition

At the age of the 67, the sun is starting to set for Arsene Wenger, certainly at Arsenal. The Frenchman has three PL titles to his name, including the 2003-04 season in which The Gunners went undefeated. 

Luciano Spalletti (CA 169 – PA 174)

Age: 58

Managing: Inter Milan

Nationality: Italy

Best attributes: 19 coaching tactical, 19 tactical knowledge, 18 coaching mental

Current Inter manager has experienced the managerial merry-go-round in Italy, managing seven clubs in the country. Two Italian Cups with Roma is the best he has managed in his homeland to go with two league titles in Russia, but he could claim his first Serie A crown with Inter currently leading the pack.

Jupp Heynckes (CA 168 – PA 171)

Age: 72

Managing: Bayern Munich

Nationality: Germany

Best attributes: 19 man management, 18 coaching mental, 18 pressure

He was retired just six months ago, but the 72-year-old Jupp Heynckes has returned for a fourth spell at Bayern Munich. The former West Germany international has won three league titles with Bayern, and has two Champions League victories, one with Real Madrid. Heynckes is likely only to manage until the end of the season, and whoever comes in will have big shoes to fill. 

More FM 18 Managers

Manager Age Managing CA/
Jose Pekerman 67 Colombia 165/
Luis Enrique 47 Unemployed 165/
Roberto Mancini 52 Zenit 165/
Joachim Low 57 Germany 165/
Jorge Jesus 63 Sporting Lisbon 161/
Fabio Capello 71 Jiangsu Suning 161/
Zinedine Zidane 45 Real Madrid 160/
Vladimir Weiss 52 Georgia 160/
Leonardo Jardim 43 Monaco 160/
Unai Emery 45 PSG 160/
Tite 56 Brazil 160/
Maurizio Sarri 58 Napoli 159/
Rafa Benitez 57 Newcastle 158/
Marcelino 51 Valencia 158/
Fernando Santos 62 Portugal 158/
Didier Deschamps 48 France 156/
Thomas Tuchel 43 Unemployed 155/
Mauricio Pochettino 45 Tottenham 155/
Jorge Sampaoli 56 Argentina 155/
Ernesto Valverde 53 Barcelona 155/
Giampiero Ventura 69 Italy 155/

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020