Some notable black managers at football’s top level

Only a few remarkable black managers in football history have thrived and won silverware at the top level.

The number of black football managers, particularly at the top level, remains low today, whether they be in Europe or South America. Very few of them have been given a chance to lead the team due to various reasons, from the limited number to presumably systemic prejudice towards them.

This season, for example, prior to the recent appointment of Nuno Espírito Santo, Burnley boss Vincent Kompany was the only one in charge of the Premier League team. However, the former Belgian national team skipper has just made his debut in the major European league this season without any trophies at the top level. His team’s form is still below par as they are stuck in the bottom three in the standings, despite winning the championship last season.

Nuno, on the other hand, is one of the current notable black managers in the Premier League. The Portuguese gaffer was well-known for his impressive tenure at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he led the club to seventh-place finishes in 2019 and 2020, the club’s highest in the Premier League era, and even to a quarterfinal in the Europa League 2020.

Previously, he had a fairly satisfactory stint in Valencia, where they sat fourth in the 2014/15 season, and an incredible result at his first club as a manager, Rio Ave, where they secured their first ever Europa League spot.

The former Al Ittihad boss is believed to be the perfect replacement for Steve Cooper after their stunning 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on the road on Boxing Day. Despite not having won a trophy, his experience as manager of FC Porto and Tottenham Hotspur could be beneficial for their campaigns.

Unlike Santo, these few black managers have managed to do so and deserve recognition for their achievements.

Antoine Kombouaré

The former PSG skipper in the mid-1990s is one of the few reputable ones who succeeded in lifting the trophy at the top-tier competition. He won the Coupe de France twice, with Les Parisiens in 2010 and Nantes in 2022, as well as guiding both teams to another final in 2011 and 2023, respectively.

Kombouaré also promoted Valenciennes and Lens to France’s top flight in 2006 and 2014, but had less impressive brief spells in Toulouse, Dijon, Guingamp, and Strasbourg.

Jorge Luis Andrande

His name might not sound familiar, but he was deemed one of the most talented managers in Brazil in the late 2000s. The former defensive midfielder won the Campeonato Brasiliero Serie A while taking charge of his former club, Flamengo, in 2009. It was their first league title in 17 years. Strangely, he was then relieved from his post in the following season and has never been at the helm of any top-flight team since then.


He was famous for his contribution alongside Pelé to the 1958 FIFA World Cup. However, Didi was not only a star on the pitch but also in the dugout. As a manager, he helped the Peruvian national team qualify for the quarterfinals of the 1970 World Cup.

The former Fluminense and Botafogo star even snatched two Turkish league titles with Fenerbahce back in 1974 and 1975 after leaving Argentina giant River Plate. He also had short stints in Sao Paulo and Cruzeiro.

Jean Tigana

His name could not be ruled out when it comes to the best black football manager. He brought his first club, Lyon, to join the top-flight title race in 1994 and 1995 before eventually winning it with Monaco in 1997. Tigana guided the team led by young Thierry Henry to the Champions League semifinal in the following season after knocking out Manchester United in the quarterfinal. Sadly, his team was hapless against Juventus in the last four.

The former key man of the French national team also guided Fulham to a return to the Premier League in 2001 after more than 30 years and won the Intertoto Cup in 2002. He also clinched two Turkish Cup titles for Beşiktaş in 2006 and 2007 before leading his last club in Europe, Bordeaux, in 2011.

Frank Rijkaard

The legendary Dutch player is the only black manager with a UEFA Champions League title in his profile. He helped Ronaldinho and co clinch it in 2006, plus two La Liga trophies in 2005 and 2006. Previously, Rijkaard led the Netherlands to the EURO 2000 semifinals, losing to Italy on penalties.

However, apart from his golden reign with the Catalan side, the former AC Milan star during their dream team era failed to replicate his success elsewhere. He had disappointing stints with Sparta Rotterdam, Galatasaray, and the Saudi Arabia national team.

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