Euro 2008 Manager Ratings

Euro 2008 Manager Ratings


We’ve looked at the players, now it’s time to look at the managers involved at Euro 2008 and find out how they got on:

Because I know you’ll ask about the grades…

A+ – Best of the tournament
A – Above expectations
B – Meeting expectations – more or less
C – Poor, not meeting expectations
D – Absolute stinker

Now, on to the good stuff:

Flag of Austria Austria

Manager: Josef Hickersberger

Grade: B. They tried and tried and tried, but ultimately weren’t good enough. If their luck had been as good as Turkey’s they might have drawn against both Croatia and Germany and beaten Poland.

Future: Resigned after Euro 2008. No announcements on either his future or the next manager of Austria.

Flag of Croatia Croatia

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Grade: B. Croatia lost to Turkey’s luck in the quarters and little of it can be blamed on Bilic. While he should have gotten his players focused back on the game, he chaperoned his side quite well to emerge from Group B undefeated. However, after the promise shown in qualification the semis were a minimum, so Bilic gets a B.

Future: Stays in charge of Croatia to help them qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic

Manager: Karel Brückner

Grade: C. They topped their group in qualifying and were expected to at least progress to the quarters, probably the semis if things went their way. As it were, they were manhandled by Portugal, pushed to the limits by Switzerland and bamboozled by the Turks. A tale of missed opportunities, and Bruckner could have and should have done a lot better.

Future: Bruckner announced pre-tournament that he would resign after Euro 2008. No successor has been confirmed.

Flag of France France

Manager: Raymond Domenech.

Grade: D. Domenech’s side were better – at least for half of the game against Holland – than their 4th place in Group C suggested. And yet they struggled. Domenech pointed the finger at a divide amongst his players but it was his job to manage the players and he made a hash of it.

Future: Most likely to be removed. Wenger isn’t coming so the most likely successor is Didier Deschamps, while Eric Cantona has been discussed as well (albeit light-heartedly, as he’s currently coaching the French beach football team).

Flag of Germany Germany

Manager: Joachim Löw

Grade: A. He may not be the most-respected coach at the Euros or renown for his tactical nous but he did lead Germany to the Euro 2008 final. A cynic may point out that Germany’s best performance of the tournament came when Joachim was banned from the touchline, but reaching the final means we’ll overlook that for the short-run (he still has to convince us if he’s better than Klinsmann or van Basten though).

Future: Was originally signed on a 2-year contract but in the aftermath of the Euro 08 final the future is still uncertain. I’d expect him to be given a chance to continue till South Africa 2010.

Flag of Greece Greece

Manager: Otto Rehhagel

Grade: D. Disastrous Euro campaign for Greece. After their convincing qualifying performances many expected Greece to challenge Russia and Sweden for a spot in the quarterfinals. They were out of it from the word go. Embarrassing for the reigning European champions, regardless of the quality of the side (or lack thereof).

Future: Rehhagel is signed on till 2010, and is expected to lead Greece to World Cup qualification.

Flag of Italy Italy

Manager: Roberto Donadoni

Grade: C. Can consider himself lucky to progress to the quarterfinals with France losing their most important player (Ribery) to injury and going down to 10 men inside the first half of their crunch game. The players fought but their manage failed to inspire and the credit for Italy lasting so long goes to the players.

Future: Donadoni’s contract had a conditional extension – the condition being that Italy met certain targets for Euro 08. Donadoni couldn’t, and his contract ended post Euro 08. Lippi was reinstated as manager soon after that.

Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands

Manager: Marco van Basten

Grade: B. Marco van Basten mounted a memorable escape from the much-touted Group of Death but his achievements are tainted somewhat by the limp performance against Russia in the quarters and the under-par performances of the French and Italian teams. On paper, he took Holland to the quarters, which was expected of him as a minimum.

Future: Steps down after Euro 2008 to take charge of AFC Ajax. Bert van Marwijk, currently in charge of Feyenoord, takes over the reins as the Dutch manager.

Flag of Portugal Portugal

Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari

Grade: B. Portugal were expected to get to at least the semi-finals but looked clueless against Germany. It’s the second time in 2 international competitions that Scolari has failed to beat Germany. Announcing his move to Chelsea before the game didn’t help either.

Future: Goes on to manage Chelsea next season. Portugal are still looking for a successor, with Carlos Queiroz often mentioned as a possibility (although he’s doubtful to leave United just yet).

Flag of Poland Poland

Manager: Leo Beenhakker

Grade: C. Poland qualifying for the first time for the Euros was definitely a major achievement but once there, Poland failed to impress. You can’t fault the coach much if you look at the players at his disposal, but they would have expected them to beat Austria at least.

Future: Signed on to lead Poland till the end of 2010 World Cup qualifiers (November 2009).

Flag of Romania Romania

Manager: Victor Piţurcă.

Grade: B. Did a lot better than expected in the Group of Death, although they slipped when they needed to produce a result.

Future: Piturca stays in charge of Romania for the time being and will presumably lead them through World Cup qualifying.

Flag of Russia Russia

Manager: Guus Hiddink

Grade: A. Russia were in a relatively tough group but qualified after a slow start. They were also up against some very good opposition in the quarters but got through thanks to some excellent leadership and tactics by Hiddink. The only blot on their copybook (and the reason Hiddink doesn’t get a A+) is their failure to learn from earlier mistakes against the Spanish, something that cost them the semifinal.

Future: Despite the constant speculation surrounding Hiddink’s future, the man is signed on till at least 2010.

Flag of Spain Spain

Manager: Luis Aragones

Grade: A. Masterminding a talent-rich side through a tough tournament was never going to be an easy task, but Aragones was the tactical master this summer and it’s a pity that we did not get to see him match wits against Scolari and / or Marco van Basten at the Euros.

Future: Aragones has already announced that he would retire post Euro 08. Aragones is rumoured to be going to Fenerbahce (although the man himself denied the rumours during Euro 08) and Vincent Del Bosque is due to take over as Spain manager in the summer.

Flag of Sweden Sweden.

Manager: Lars Lagerbäck

Grade: C. It was a tough group but Sweden had as good a chance of qualification as Greece and Russia and they were ahead of Russia when the two teams met. Should have done better, although anything beyond the quarters would have been a surprising bonus.

Future: Signed on till South Africa 2010.

Flag of Switzerland Switzerland

Manager: Kobi Kuhn

Grade: C. His team conceded a late goal to Turkey to lose a winnable game, but the manager’s mind was affected by his wife’s health (she was in a coma) and his players let him down against Turkey and against the Czechs.

Future: Kuhn retires from his post after Euro 2008 (no news on where he’ll go next) with former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld takes over from July 1st 2008.

Flag of Turkey Turkey

Manager: Fatih Terim

Grade: A+. Dragged his team screaming and kicking into the semi-finals on the back of 3 glorious (in retrospect at least) comebacks. Their luck ran out in the end but they never gave up thanks to their manager urging them on from the sidelines.

Future: Was linked with several European clubs but said that he would consider any offers only after Euro 2008. So far, he’s still in charge and the club reported closest to signing him on pre Euro 2008 already have their manager (Newcastle United).

Agree with the ratings? Disagree? Have an opinion on one of the managers? Sound off in the comments section below.

Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament
Transfer Rumours (30 June 08): Martins to Arsenal, Keane to Liverpool, Adebayor to Chelsea, Aimar to Newcastle and more


  1. Guus Hiddink for me was the best, I think a lot of Turkey’s success was based on shear luck but to me Hiddink has now put a lot of the Russian team on the map.

  2. #1: 3 successful comebacks… how can you call that luck? I prefer to call it persistence and if only Turkey played full team against Germany, we should’ve seen Turkey vs Spain for finals

  3. Yes it is luck when Man u, Chelsea and Arsenal to it too :) No im sorry luck was probably the wrong term its just they beat better teams late on when they don’t have an abundance of quality, were as when Liverpool do it its always Gerrard or Torres who i think even a Man u fan will agree do have quality.

  4. I think its dumb to say 3 late flurries like that was luck. Turkey was a supremely fit team from the outset, and thats how they struck late against a tired Swiss team, and were on hand to take advantage of errors and lack of focus by the Czechs and Croats.
    Liverpools part aint luck either, theyre known for being supremely fit as well (something that cannot be said for Arsenal).
    Id put Hiddink at A+ personally, though.

  5. Kurt, did you see Ronaldo against Germany lmao. He faked an injury for the other player to get a yellow card. And he probably falls over alot more than any other player in the world… though i do admit he is of absolute quality when hes on the ball and actually playing beautiful football. But that doesnt matter anymore to Man U fans because hes going to Madrid.

  6. Sorry, but I’d have to attribute Turkey’s success to player determination and luck.

    Top 5:
    Was unfortunate enough to meet Germany in the quarters, but the previous performance of Portugal’s second string was, although meaningless, also extremely disappointing.
    4.van Basten
    Embarked the Netherlands on an almost flawless run through the group stages, but appeared to underestimate Russia when results actually began to matter.
    Deserves credit (along with Ballack) for turning around the team following a thoroughly dissapointing opener, out-classing Portugal, and reaching the finals.
    Took a team of very little experience a lot farther than anyone could have expected, narrowly escaping elimination in the group stage but decimating a favored Dutch side.
    Led Spain to perhaps their best ever performance in a major tournament, and managed to inspire confidence despite all the doubt. Victory was thoroughly deserved.

  7. Bottom 3:
    Experienced problems in selecting a starting eleven, and did virtually nothing vs. Spain. One would expect better with a team of world champions at his disposal.
    Although I’m still surprised that they actually won the tournament four years ago, the defending champions have to do better to at least preserve s degree of dignity.
    I honestly can’t think of anything even remotely positive to say about his management or his team’s performance.

  8. Top 3: 3. Hiddink- Took an inexperienced Russian side to the semis and got the best out of almost every player.
    2. Aragones- Had the courage to make decisions which changed the game and didn’t care about reputations. Had a great team but he’s the manager who’s delivered success.
    1. Terim- Both lucky and unlucky. Kept his team fighting until the end of every game. If not for injuries and suspensions he could have taken Turkey to the finals.

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