All-Time World XI

The Managerial Performance Evaluation

*Update for 2022 World Cup

I.  Introduction and Historical Literature Review                              
        The football managers have created the value on football history as a leadership of tactical invention and development, players’ skill development and strategical conduct that significantly impacted on their team history. In the early eras of football, the managers had a main role of tactical invention and their roles were limited during the game due to the rule of substitution prohibition. The followed amendment of the rule enabled manager to fully influence the team.          The 50 greatest managers of all-time[1][Miguel Delaney, 2011) rated managers performance based on trophies acquisition and statistical record with consideration of players’ resource case by case. However, the fluctuation of managerial performance level to acquire each trophy is existed and exclusion of managerial performance of trophyless could be highly biased for the title that is mainly achieved by player’s ability. The World Soccer greatest managers of all-time[2] [Jamie Rainbow, 2013] is a result of voting from football experts and the standard to give the vote is simply varied.

         Accordingly, the objective of this work is to study, integrally regulate and standardize the system of the entire historical managerial performance evaluation by designating criteria and related factors to distinguish individual managerial performance out of team performance approximately and implement procedures to conclude the status of all-time places for football managers.          
II. Methodology

*This methodology is summarized from full procedures in

  1) Performance Identification & Classification : The raw data of performance is considered by comparing to the previous club season based on the existed player resource. The gap of development/decline and state of performance are identified as the class.
        2) Performance Unit : Because football is primarily aimed to win the trophy not to achieve the record, the performance is rated between 3 main competition levels mutually by one season not separate competition levels as following ; Domestic League 50 % Domestic Cup 15 % International Club 35 %

The pre-international club era without cup competition : Domestic League 75 %
The pre-international club era, Domestic League 57.5 %, Domestic Cup 22.5 %

The non-participation in international club, Domestic League 55 %, Domestic Cup 20 %

The non-participation in international club without cup competition : Domestic League 62.5 %

3) Basic Calculation System : Arrange the performance value in ascending order and pair with the applied sequence partitioned weight respectively. 
 The percentage of coefficient reduction is directly varied to participating amount. 
One club season = 1 Partition
Dependent International Country : Qualifying round 0.5 Partition, Major Final Tournament 0.5 Partition.

Independent International Country Coefficient Table

                         International Country Partition Coefficient

Total Performance = Σ Partition Weight x Round Coeff. x Performance Class Coeff.
                                                   Total Partition

The formula is calculated separately between club and international country
Total Partition
           1)     Managers with absence of either competition level: 19
           2)     Managers with both club and international country appearances :
International Country part’s total partition = sum of independent international country
Dependent International Country + Club = 20;
If score of international country > score of club, total partition of international country remain the same value because they all are included in the part of total partition and is also considered as a higher level of competition. Total partition of club = 20 – DIC total partition
             If score of international country < score of club, the 20 total partition is shared proportionally. The share ratio is calculated as Club total participating partition : DIC total partition  
Then, DIC total partition is converted to IIC total partition based on its ratio.

Proportion of Competition Level

       1)  Club Managers without either of competitions appearance : 5 % give to the absent part without any point. The participation part is given by 95 %.
        2)    Managers with participation in both competitions : The ratio is calculated between participating partition between club and IIC. The maximum proportional criteria of international country part is limited at 50 %.

4) Bonus Definition and Calculation System

       4.1) Trophy     

       4.2 ) Time to Success : It is used in club competition only. 

       4.3) Continuity of Higher Class

       4.4) Adaptability

       4.5) Historical Impact

       4.6) Foundation

       4.7) Statistical Record


5) Conditional Margin 

      H1 : Independent Highest Performance : Combination of highest performance score in each competition level 

        Domestic League 50 % Domestic Club 15 % International 35 %

        (International includes both club and country)

        H2 : Club Mutual Highest Performance : Highest overall seasonal performance

L : Lower performance  : The amount of National Level and Regional Level against total amount based on competition level proportion. The deduction point is 1 and 2, respectively. 

     Lower Performance = Σ (Total Lower performance amount / Total participate Amount x Competition Level Ratio) (If total participate amount value in the system < 20, the deficit value is applied as the negative value minus to 100 % and then use this value multiple to above formula) 

Conditional Margin = ((H1*0.35)+(H2*0.15)+(L*0.5))/10

6) Total Point = Basic Score + Bonus Score + Conditional Margin

7) Decisive Factor : If the total point is not different > 0.2, Primary: Independent Highest Performance, Secondary : Basic Score, Third : Lower Performance

III. Implementation
      Selects the 52 potential candidates by consideration of trophy or team status achievement and consistency and rates managerial performance in both qualitative ( by considering gap between resources and team performance and quantitative by club season or tournament for each manager to acquire partition performance and applied partition weight to partition performance to obtain basic total score. Finally calculate applied bonus and conditional margin to finalize the scores. 

IV. Result

The 50 Greatest Managers of All-Time


Italy 7, Germany 6, England 5, Argentina 5, Scotland 4, France 4, Netherlands 4, Spain 4
Sweden 1, Portugal 1, Austria 1, Uruguay 1, Hungary 1, Ukraine 1

The 20 Greatest Domestic Managers of All-Time

The Greatest International Club Managers of All-Time

The Greatest International Country Managers of All-Time

V.  Discussion

        The methodological implementation allows the rankings to have represented the managers’ entire performances against related factors, most important player resource parameter. However, some inaccuracies of distinguish between managerial performance out of other factors by approximation is inevitable when player resource level could be unstable by unknown external circumstantial factors. Nevertheless, the comparison of performance between previous season to current season is helpful to identify the gap of performance well.            
        The significant weight applied to the managers has provided the equivalent level between peak and consistency. It reduces the disadvantage of the managers who is limited in opportunity of participation but markedly achieved competitive peak. In contrary, it also prevents the case of large amount of lower state of performance to get ahead of a short time of high peak automatically.
          The result shows Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest manager ever and beat Ernest Happel by a large margin although he is not the best in international club and international country competition because Ferguson performed an unprecedented phenomenon consistency of top level performance in domestic club career for both Aberdeen and Manchester United. 
          Although Rehagel didn't win many trophies like many other top legendary managers, he phenomenally performed during his peak year at Kaoserslautern and Greece allow him to get place in top 10 conveniently.   
          One of the most debatable issues is the best managers ever of Liverpool whose greatness is largely influenced by their manager’s leadership. The research result suggests that Bill Shankly is their greatest manager ever. He is highly creditable as a predecessor who originated the team foundation although his achievement against time spending is relatively low. Paisley greatly succeed to utilize and develop resource but he performed only nine seasons.
        The new generation likes Joseph Guardiola has already taken top ten place and his career routes is ascending to become the best manager of all-time in the future if not make his early retirement since the time to success factor is zero for him and his prime has been continued as the longest period among the legendary managers. 
       In the top 50, there are only six managers whose profile has no achievement in European club and a few non-European managers have made the list. The best of non-European manager is Helenio Herrera who is Argentinian but is still successful in European club football. The best managers who managed the club outside Europe is Luis Alfonso Perez who led Santos to achieve the highest peak in history of South American club football.
         As club performance is the major part of evaluation while national team is a minor because of its more limitation of player resource selection and much fewer in number of matches, Helmut Schoen, who is the greatest international country manager ever, failed to qualify for top 50 when his career almost entirely performed in national team part with a high level of players’ ability. 

The Player Performance Evaluation

*Update for 2022-2023 Season

The scorecards is an evaluation result of the systematic implementation project as specified in methodology and footballer evalution result (The Footballers Evaluation Result). This result is the last update version of Positional Hall of Fame (Major Hall). The main procedures of implementation is specified as following 
  1. Referenced/Determine Rating of player by competition and by season or tournament.
  2. Input the raw rating data into calculation system
  3. Calculate participation amount and loss ratio
  4. Determine the primary proportion of competition levels based on actual participation
  5. Final adjustment of proportion
  6. Calculate Bonus and Conditional Margin
  7. Review/Revise the evaluation result

However, the raw rating has never been completely available and surmise based on involved evidences is permitted. Here shows only final result since the database of calculation is too large and if anyone would like to check the database of calculation by competition level and by player, please contact me. The new evidence or support article is always welcome.

*Update for the end of 2016 -2017 season 

I : Striker

                                                                    II : Forward

III : Offensive Midfielder

IV : Central Midfielder

V : Offensive Lateral

VI : Defender

VII : Goalkeeper

INDEX : Historical Bonus Status of players

                   John Charles : He is one of few players in history to achieve world-class in both defender and striker role. He also had a great exceptional characteristic to influence his teammate.
                  Just Fontaine : He is the first African born player to achieve in international football with a phenomenon goal record in a single world cup.
                  Isidro Langara : The Spanish civil war largely interrupt his career for 3 years but he made a great return in another continent, South Americas.
                  Fritz Walter : He greatly returned from the World War II. From almost zero state, he notably led West Germany to acquire World Cup trophy.
                  Eric Cantona : He is known as a key player to turn history of Man Utd. The arrival of him salvage Alex Ferguson from a risk state to be sacked.
                  Bobby Charlton : Charlton was suffered from Munich Disaster in both physical and mental but he made a great come back and led Man Utd to win the biggest European trophy and also World Cup.
                  Valentino Mazzola : He was an pioneer of all-round midfielder in Europe.
                  Jose Leandro Andrade : He is a prototype of technical defensive player. He lost an eye but still managed to win the world cup.       
                  Stanley Matthews : He came back from the World War II and sustained his consistency and longevity phenomenally.
                 Billy Meredith : He was a pioneer of spectacular dribbler.
                 Milos Milutinovic : He had a long problem of lung and got surgery but still came back to achieve some good seasons.
                 David Beckham : His iconic personality much contributed to worldwide football popularity.
                 Obdulio Varela : His great leadership to activate Uruguayan players was a main reason of Uruguay's 1950 World Cup winner.
                 Bobby Moore : Moore is one of most iconic players ever for his great impact to his team.
                 Paul Janes : He was a prototype of world-class technical full-back in Europe. He also made a good return from WW II. The Paul Janes stadion is named for his honor.
                Ricardo Zamora : The Zamora trophy is named for his honor.
                Amadeo Carrizo : A pioneer of acrobatic keeping-sweeping style of play.
                Gyula Grosics : A pioneer of keeping-sweeping style of play.
                Jan Tomaszewski : His phenomenon contribution on Polish national team football history.


By Decades
By Nations
00s - 20s
Soviet Union
00s - 20s 
Egypt, Senegal

By Continents : Europe 266 , Americas 95, Africa 4

* There are 365 player's profiles within the Great Hall of Immortals

* Statistics includes honorable mentions and excludes Manager.
* None of Asian and North African players could make the lists.

Honorable Mentions

The honorable mentions is available in every position. They are named below top 50 players in a basic performance rating but they're considered to ever achieve world-class performance and was circumstantial effected to major disappearances of the career. 

Note that Honorable Mention is limited at three players for each position.

This is the honorable mention by position.

GK : Bert Truatmann : Never played in national team part
DF : Renzo De Vecchi : The best defender in amateur era but limited circumstance prevent him to the success.
DF : Branko Zebec : Played as DF in the late career and reached world-class
CM : Duncan Edwards : Passed Away since his early career
AM : Dragan Stojkovic  : Got injury and played only full 4 seasons in Europe.
AM : Larbi Benbarek : He has no chance to play in international tournament.
AM : Nicolae Dobrin  He has no chance to play in international tournament.
WG : Istvan Nyers  Caps just twice games due to playing aboard.
FW :  Eric Cantona : The hero of Man Utd who has been considered as the one who turned history of Man Utd
FW :  Milos Milutonovic : One of the most skillful wing-forwards ever but faced health problem  
FW : Eduard Streltsov : He disappeared the majority part of career due to be detained in the prison.
FW : Ernst Willimowski Top-Class Players whose his career was effected by World War II  
STK : Paolo Rossi : Got injury and disappear for a big part of club career
STK : Tommy Lawton : World War II effect his legend status since his early career.