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Twenty-four countries will compete to become the champions of Europe this summer, with a chance for a group of players to write themselves into folklore.
But on top of the players, there is a chance for one manager to also write himself into the history of the game.
Legendary managers like Vicente Del Bosque, Rinus Michels and Roger Lemerre are iconic amongst their fellow countrymen after leading their nations to victory.
Top managers are now seen at international level as well as club level and that will make for some incredible tactical battles throughout the competition, with bosses that have represented teams at the highest level involved.
With so many contenders for this summer’s tournament, as well as quality players throughout the 24 nations, let's take a look at each team’s manager ahead of Euro 2020.
Senol Günes – Turkey
Famed for leading his nation to a third-placed finish at the 2002 World Cup, Senol Gunes was brought back to the international fold in 2019.
A legendary figure in Turkey, Gunes has overseen two title winning campaigns as manager of Besiktas while a hugely successful playing career with Trabzonspor saw him win 15 trophies. The club hold him in such high esteem that their current home stadium is now named after him.
They conceded just three goals in qualifying, finishing second behind World champions France in their group to secure themselves a dark horse tag for the tournament.
Roberto Mancini – Italy
Known mostly for his days with Inter Milan and Manchester City, Roberto Mancini is now the man at international level with the Azzurri.
After taking over following Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Mancini has led Italy to on a 26-match unbeaten run which saw them achieve qualification for Euro 2020 with three games to spare.
He’ll be keen to add another trophy to his CV having won trophies with all of Fiorentina, Lazio, Inter, Manchester City and Galatasaray as a manager.
Who are your favourites to win Euro 2020 this summer? Let us know in the comments section.
Vladimir Petkovic – Switzerland
One of the managers in the tournament with a lesser CV than others, Petkovic is into his seventh year with the Swiss national team. After two years in charge of Serie A outfit Lazio, he was appointed in July 2014 following the World Cup.
Having been in charge during the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, he led his home nation to the round of 16 on both occasions and will be hoping to go a bit further this year with Benfica striker Haris Seferovic leading the line.
Rob Page – Wales
Page isn’t even officially the Wales manager, but he’ll be leading his nation into the Euro 2020 tournament this summer. Permanent manager Ryan Giggs is staying away from the squad as he awaits trial on criminal charges, so Page has stepped into the lead role.
He oversaw wins over Republic of Ireland and Finland to earn promotion from League B in the UEFA Nations League and will rely on the experience of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey as well as his defensive organisation to try and reach the semi-finals once again as they did in 2016.
Roberto Martinez – Belgium
Martinez made his name as manager of Swansea and Wigan, where he won an FA Cup, before moving on to become Everton boss. He then earned his big move to the Belgian national team back in 2016 after Marc Wilmots was removed.
Martinez has turned them into one of the best sides in the world, using a three-at-the-back system to get the most from his attacking talent further up the pitch. They are now one of the favourites in every tournament they enter and with their golden generation beginning to wind down, this could be their last chance.
Kasper Hjulmand – Denmark
The delayed tournament means that Denmark will have a different manager to what they actually expected to have. Hjulmand was ready to take over after the tournament last summer, only for it to get postponed.
But instead of waiting, Denmark chose to make the change anyway and since have only tasted defeat twice – both times to Belgium. In fact those defeats make up for six of the eight goals they have conceded under Hjulmand which means they will be tough to beat and will be hopeful a run into the knockout rounds to put that defence to the test.
Markku Kanerva – Finland
A former elementary school teacher, Kanerva has been brilliant for the Finnish national team. Since taking over back in 2016, Finland have been able to win their group in League C of the Nations League while also securing qualification for Euro 2020.
They finished in second place behind Italy after winning six of their ten games and with Norwich striker Teemu Pukki leading the line they have a real threat. The issue they have is the quality throughout the rest of the squad, but Kanerva will hope he can follow Iceland’s lead and pull off a miracle this summer.
Stanislav Cherchesov – Russia
After Euro 2016, Cherchesov was put in the Russia hot seat following a spell at Legia Warsaw.
Cherchesov became the second manager of the Russian national team to lead them to the knockout rounds in international competition by taking them to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
He will look to become the first coach to ever take them through in back-to-back competitions, hoping his relatively experienced squad can help him achieve that.
Franco Foda – Austria
Austria failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and Franco Foda was hired to lead them into the European Championships qualifiers. He did so very successfully, racking up 19 points to finish behind only Poland in their group.
Foda was previously manager of Sturm Graz and FC Kaiserslauten after a successful playing career in the Bundesliga saw him earn caps for the West Germany national team. He’ll look to lean on that experience along with top players like David Alaba and Marcel Sabitzer to get out of the group stages for the first time ever.
Frank De Boer – Netherlands
One of the footballing heavyweights in Europe especially, the Netherlands have really struggled in recent years to match their historic fellow countrymen.
The burden this year falls on former defender Frank De Boer, who was hired after Ronald Koeman left the job to become Barcelona boss. He has struggled himself since leaving Ajax, failing miserably at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace but the quality of player he has at his disposal should see the Dutch do relatively well this summer.
Igor Angelovski – North Macedonia
The minnows of the tournament are without a doubt North Macedonia, who qualified for their first ever tournament thanks to a progressing through path D of the process.
Wins over Kosovo and Georgia were enough to secure their qualification, and star man Goran Pandev is still playing well into his thirties. Angelovski won’t be expected to do much with his squad and even scoring a goal will likely be hugely celebrated.
Andriy Shevchenko – Ukraine
The legendary former AC Milan and Chelsea striker has made the move into management with his home nation Ukraine.
He has done a fantastic job since taking the role back in 2016 and while they didn’t qualify for the World Cup in 2018 they won their Euro 2020 qualifying group, ahead of current European champions Portugal.
Shevchenko has developed a great team spirit within the camp and they will be dark horses heading into the tournament.
Zlatko Dalic – Croatia
Croatia’s golden generation was running the risk of not quite achieving anything until Dalic’s side reached the World Cup final in 2018. While they were beaten, they showed great quality and have now really established themselves as one of Europe’s better sides.
He spent most of his career in the middle east developing his skills and their football teams but he’ll now look to lead Croatia one step further than before with a first ever international triumph.
Jaroslav Silvahy – Czech Republic
Another team of relative minnows in the group stages are the Czech Republic, managed by former international defender Jaroslav Silvahy.
He earned four caps for the Czechoslovakia national team between 1990-91 and has managed several teams in his home nation over a long career. He’s won the Czech league title twice, once with Slovan Liberec in 2012 and then most recently with Slavia Prague in 2017 and will try to use their underdog tag in their favour in a tough group.
Gareth Southgate – England
A former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender, Gareth Southgate is the man tasked with bringing football home this summer.
He fell into the job in 2016 after Sam Allardyce was sacked, being promoted from the Under-21 role and has done a great job including taking England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018. With an abundance of attacking talent at his disposal, Southgate has been tactically flexible during his reign and it’ll be interesting to see how he uses the experience gained over recent years to improve.
Steve Clarke – Scotland
Clarke made his name in the coaching world as an assistant coach to Jose Mourinho during his first spell at Chelsea and with Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish. He got his own break with West Brom, Reading and Kilmarnock before taking the Scotland job.
After an initial tough start, Clarke has finally found a great balance for his squad and has got them really hard to beat. A lack of goals in the squad could hinder them but his performance as coach has got the whole country believing they could do something special.
Paulo Sousa – Poland
Portugal have got a lot of top managers in the world right now, and one of them manages the Polish national team. Paulo Sousa took the job this past January after Jerzy Brzeczek was dismissed despite achieving qualification to Euro 2020.
Sousa has had success in the past with Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Basel winning league titles, while his most recent job saw him struggle in Bordeaux. He likes to play possession football and will be building around Robert Lewandowski for any chance of success this summer.
Stefan Tarkovic – Slovakia
Tarkovic is the man who was in charge when Slovakia sealed qualification to Euro 2020, but he’d only been in the job for a couple of weeks. Pavel Hapel led them through the qualifiers but was sacked after a draw with Israel in October.
Tarkovic has had some previous experience managing but nothing at the top level and he will be relying on the experience of his squad, including captain Marek Hamsik, to help guide them through to the knockout stages once again after a round of 16 exit in 2016.
Luis Enrique – Spain
This is Enrique’s second spell in charge of the national team, with the first one ended through tragedy rather than because of results.
Enrique has previously managed Roma and Barcelona, winning the treble with Los Cules in 2015, before taking the Spain job in 2018 after the World Cup. He did well initially before he was forced to resign after his daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He would later return to the role in 2019 and has built a very young squad that will look to play fast football and attack from the off to regain their crown from Euro 2008 and 2012.
Janne Andersson – Sweden
Having spent all his career in Scandinavia, Andersson was given the ultimate honour for a Swede when he was appointed as manager of the national team in 2016.
He led them to their best World Cup run since 1994, losing to England in the quarter-finals before then winning promotion to League A in the Nations League. His qualification campaign was strong too, finishing second only behind Spain and losing just once in the ten games.
Joachim Löw – Germany
Low is in a strange position with Germany as it has already been confirmed that he will leave his post once the tournament comes to an end.
Taking over the role in 2006, Low was in charge when they lifted the World Cup in 2014 and subsequently struggled at Euro 2016 and the World Cup in 2018. A change of tact was sought after but he will see out his contract and with the recalling of senior players, he wants to go out on a high.
Didier Deschamps – France
A World champion as a player and a manager, Deschamps has got by far the best CV of any manager at the tournament. A superstar for Juventus during his playing days, he also won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France before moving into management.
He’s managed Monaco and Juventus (in Serie B) at club level before being appointed as France manager in 2012. Since then he has overseen them to a quarter-final at the 2014 World Cup, a final at Euro 2016 on home turf before winning the 2018 World Cup and he will be hoping to add the Euros to his CV as a manager this summer.
Fernando Santos – Portugal
Portugal have long been the dark horses of international tournaments, but at Euro 2016 Fernando Santos was the man to finally get them over the line to win it.
Santos’ style of being incredibly difficult to beat has seen him lose just four competitive games as boss since taking over in 2014 following the World Cup. Defensively organised with arguably the best group of attackers at the tournament, Santos wants to become the first team since Spain to successfully defend their crown.
Marco Rossi – Hungary
A former Italian international defender, Rossi has been the manager of the Hungarian national team since just after the 2018 World Cup. Rossi’s only previous managerial experience had come in the lower leagues so this was comfortably the biggest job of his career when he took it.
He led them to fourth place in their qualifying group but a play-off win over Iceland secured their progression and after being placed in the group of death he’ll be praying for a few miracles to see his team progress.
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- The Inside Track – Football
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