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The Most Famous

COACHES from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Coaches. The pantheon dataset contains 328 Coaches, 35 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 2nd most number of Coaches.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Coaches of all time. This list of famous German Coaches is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Coaches.

Photo of Jupp Heynckes

1. Jupp Heynckes (1945 - )

With an HPI of 70.42, Jupp Heynckes is the most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages on wikipedia.

Josef "Jupp" Heynckes (German: [ˈjʊp ˈhaɪnkəs]; born 9 May 1945) is a German retired professional footballer and manager. The majority of his player career was as a striker for Borussia Mönchengladbach in its golden era of the 1960s and '70s, when they won many national championships and the DFB-Pokal, as well as the UEFA Cup. During this period the team played in its only European Cup final in 1977, losing to Liverpool. He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga, with 220 goals. He was a member of the West Germany national team that won the UEFA Euro 1972 and the 1974 FIFA World Cup titles. As manager, Heynckes won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich and two UEFA Champions Leagues; with Real Madrid in 1997–98 and Bayern in 2012–13.

Photo of Sepp Maier

2. Sepp Maier (1944 - )

With an HPI of 68.04, Sepp Maier is the 2nd most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Josef Dieter "Sepp" Maier (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈdiːtɐ ˈzɛp ˈmaɪ̯ɐ]; born 28 February 1944) is a German former professional football goalkeeper who played for Bayern Munich and the Germany national football team. Regarded as one of football's greatest goalkeepers, he was nicknamed "Die Katze von Anzing" ("the cat from Anzing") for his fast reflexes, agility, flexibility, speed, and consistency; in addition to his shot-stopping ability, Maier was also known for his ability to dominate his box, as well as his sense of humour and personality throughout his career, which made him a fan favourite. Regarding his playing style, he once quipped "a keeper should give off a sense of calm, and not fall asleep while doing so."

Photo of Joachim Löw

3. Joachim Löw (1960 - )

With an HPI of 67.65, Joachim Löw is the 3rd most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 73 different languages.

Joachim Löw (born 3 February 1960) is a German football coach and former player. He was the manager of the Germany national team from 2006 until 2021. During his tenure as manager, he led Germany to victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. In March 2021, Löw announced that he would resign from his position after the delayed Euro 2020.

Photo of Otto Rehhagel

4. Otto Rehhagel (1938 - )

With an HPI of 64.05, Otto Rehhagel is the 4th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Otto Rehhagel (German: [ˈɔtoː ˈʁeːhaːɡl̩]; born 9 August 1938) is a German former football coach and player. Rehhagel is one of only two people who, as player and manager combined, has participated in over 1,000 Bundesliga matches (the other being Jupp Heynckes). In the Bundesliga, he holds the records for the most victories (387), most draws (205), most losses (228), and his teams have scored the most goals (1,473) and conceded more (1,142) than any other. He served as the trainer of Werder Bremen between 1981 and 1995 and won twice the Bundesliga and in 1992 the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with them. After a rather unsuccessful intermezzo at Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga sensationally with the promoted team 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Internationally, Rehhagel coached the Greece national team from 2001 to 2010 in the their most successful footballing era – during that period, the Greece won the 2004 European Championship unexpectedly and qualified for the 2010 World Cup, their second World Cup finals appearance. A 2022 critically acclaimed film entitled, King Otto, was made on Otto Rehhagel's triumph with the Greece national team for the 2004 European Championships.

Photo of Jürgen Klopp

5. Jürgen Klopp (1967 - )

With an HPI of 64.03, Jürgen Klopp is the 5th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Jürgen Norbert Klopp (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏʁɡn̩ ˈklɔp] (listen); born 16 June 1967) is a German professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Premier League club Liverpool. He is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world.Klopp spent most of his playing career at Mainz 05. He was initially deployed as a striker, but was later moved to defence. Upon retiring in 2001, Klopp became the club's manager, and secured Bundesliga promotion in 2004. After suffering relegation in the 2006–07 season and unable to achieve promotion, Klopp resigned in 2008 as the club's longest-serving manager. He then became manager of Borussia Dortmund, guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2010–11, before winning Dortmund's first-ever domestic double during a record-breaking season. Klopp also guided Dortmund to a runner-up finish in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League before leaving in 2015 as their longest-serving manager. Klopp was appointed manager of Liverpool in 2015. He has guided the club to UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2022, and won the trophy in 2019 to secure his first – and Liverpool's sixth – title in the competition. Klopp's side finished second in the 2018–19 Premier League, registering 97 points; the then third-highest total in the history of the English top division, and the most by a team without winning the title. The following season, Klopp won the UEFA Super Cup and Liverpool's first FIFA Club World Cup, before delivering Liverpool's first Premier League title, amassing a club record 99 points and breaking a number of top-flight records. These achievements won him back-to-back FIFA Coach of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020. Klopp is a notable proponent of Gegenpressing, whereby the team, after losing possession, immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to regroup. He has described his sides as playing "heavy metal" football, in reference to their pressing and high attacking output. Klopp has cited his main influences as Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi, and former Mainz coach Wolfgang Frank. The importance of emotion is something Klopp has underlined throughout his managerial career, and he has gained both admiration and notoriety for his enthusiastic touchline celebrations.

Photo of Ottmar Hitzfeld

6. Ottmar Hitzfeld (1949 - )

With an HPI of 63.67, Ottmar Hitzfeld is the 6th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Ottmar Hitzfeld (German pronunciation: [ˈʔɔtmaːɐ̯ ˈhɪt͡sfɛlt]; born 12 January 1949) is a German former professional football player (striker) and manager. He accumulated a total of 18 major titles, mostly in his tenures with Grasshopper Club Zürich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. A trained mathematician and sports teacher, Hitzfeld is one of the most successful coaches of German and international football. He has been elected "World Coach of the Year" twice; he is one of only five managers to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League with two clubs, along with Ernst Happel, José Mourinho, Jupp Heynckes, and Carlo Ancelotti.

Photo of Bernd Schuster

7. Bernd Schuster (1959 - )

With an HPI of 62.28, Bernd Schuster is the 7th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Bernd Schuster (born 22 December 1959) is a German former professional footballer of the late 1970s through early 1990s, who won club titles playing for the Spanish sides FC Barcelona (1980–1987) and Real Madrid (1988–1990). He played as a midfielder and was nicknamed "der Blonde Engel" (the Blond Angel). After retiring as a player, he managed a number of European clubs, including Real Madrid, taking them to the league title in the 2007–08 season.

Photo of Ralf Rangnick

8. Ralf Rangnick (1958 - )

With an HPI of 61.42, Ralf Rangnick is the 8th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Ralf Rangnick (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaŋnɪk]; born 29 June 1958) is a German professional football coach, executive and former player who is currently the manager of the Austria national team. Rangnick began his coaching career in 1983, succeeding his career as a player, at age 25. In 1997, he was hired by former club Ulm 1846, with whom he won the Regionalliga Süd in his debut season. Rangnick was then appointed by Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2000, but was dismissed in 2001. He subsequently joined Hannover 96, winning the 2. Bundesliga, but was dismissed in 2004. After a brief period with Schalke 04, Rangnick joined 1899 Hoffenheim in 2006, and achieved successive promotions to the Bundesliga. He departed the club in 2011 and returned to Schalke 04, where he won the 2011 DFB-Pokal and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. He later served as head coach at RB Leipzig across two periods between 2015 and 2019. Rangnick joined Red Bull as director of football in 2012, helping oversee their expansion into European football, emphasising the recruitment of unproven players and developing youth systems with a worldwide scouting base and an attacking on-pitch philosophy across their clubs. As a result, Red Bull clubs rose in market value from €120 million to €1.2 billion during his tenure. Their clubs have also seen sustained domestic success and generated sizable profits with player transfers, which led to Rangnick's promotion to head of sport and development in 2019. He resigned from Red Bull in 2020 and joined Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow as manager of sports and development in 2021. Later that year, Rangnick was appointed as interim manager of Manchester United until the end of the 2021–22 season, following which he took charge of the Austria national team. Rangnick is credited with developing the Gegenpressing tactic, whereby the team, after losing possession, immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to regroup. His sides have been noted for their pressing and high attacking output, as well as for popularising zonal marking. He is credited for influencing Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann, Ralph Hasenhüttl and Jürgen Klopp, among others.

Photo of Hans-Dieter Flick

9. Hans-Dieter Flick (1965 - )

With an HPI of 59.75, Hans-Dieter Flick is the 9th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Hans-Dieter "Hansi" Flick (born 24 February 1965) is a German professional football coach and former player who is the manager of the Germany national team. From August 2006 to July 2014, he was the assistant coach of Germany under manager Joachim Löw. In August 2020, Flick won the UEFA Champions League as the manager of Bayern Munich, completing the club's second continental treble. In 2021, he also led the side to a FIFA Club World Cup and another Bundesliga title. Alongside Pep Guardiola, he is one of the only two managers to achieve a sextuple with their team. He took charge of the Germany national team in 2021, replacing Löw. Flick is regarded as one of the best managers in the world.

Photo of Matthias Sammer

10. Matthias Sammer (1967 - )

With an HPI of 57.41, Matthias Sammer is the 10th most famous German Coach.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a German football official and former player and coach. He played as a defensive midfielder and later in his career as a sweeper. With Borussia Dortmund as a player, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup in 1995, the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, and European Footballer of the Year in 1996, and the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. Germany won the UEFA Euro 1996 with Sammer as a player, where he was named the tournament's best player, and was subsequently awarded the Ballon d'Or later that year. Sammer retired with 74 total caps, 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side. With Sammer as a manager, Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 2002.

Pantheon has 35 people classified as coaches born between 1892 and 1988. Of these 35, 30 (85.71%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living coaches include Jupp Heynckes, Sepp Maier, and Joachim Löw. The most famous deceased coaches include Edmund Conen, Otto Nerz, and Rudi Gutendorf. As of April 2022, 4 new coaches have been added to Pantheon including Franco Foda, Wolfgang Sidka, and Matthias Jaissle.

Living Coaches

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Deceased Coaches

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Newly Added Coaches (2022)

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Which Coaches were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 5 most globally memorable Coaches since 1700.