Outcast Managers at FIFA World Cups

Wold Cup Managers that were Snubbed at Home but Hailed Abroad

There have been some notable outcast managers in World Cup history who were snubbed in their home country but respected and even hailed abroad.

Making appearances in the World Cup finals is one ultimate dream not only for players but also for the managers. Unfortunately, not every manager or coach is given the honour of leading their own national team. Some have become outcast managers and achieved success by leading foreign teams to the world cup finals more than once.

Herve Renard and Luis Fernando Suarez are two examples of such outcast managers in Qatar 2022. The former is a French-born manager who has received more praise in Africa after winning the African Cup of Nations twice for two different sides; Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015. He then guided Morocco to Russia 2018, their first appearance since France 1998. This year, he brought Saudi Arabia to the World Cup later on. The latter is even more experienced. The Colombian boss has led three different nations to the World Cup Finals; Ecuador in the 2006 edition, Honduras in Brazil 2014, and Costa Rica this year. 

Both have the same misfortune; they have been less celbrated by their own nations.. Renard is unheard of in comparison to Zinedine Zidane, PSG’s Christophe Gaultier, or even Nantes’s Antoine Kambouare. His stints in the French club did not last long. Suarez, on the other hand, had been linked several times to lead Falcao and co but he was eventually snubbed as the Colombian football federation prefers to opt for foreign managers. 

Apparently, they are not the only ones. Here are five other names who shared the same fate in FIFA World Cup history.

  1. Blagoje Vidinic

He was probably the first one who could lead more than one nation to qualify for the World Cup final round except his own country. Vidinic was a former goalkeeper who helped his country, Yugoslavia, clinch the gold medal in Olympic Games in 1960. Although he never played in the World Cup finals, the Balkan boss was able to bring Morocco and Zaire (present day Democratic Republic of Congo) to make their World Cup debut in Mexico 1970 and Germany 1974 respectively. Sadly, their World Cup campaign ended in disaster, particularly for Zaire, who conceded 14 goals while scoring none in the first group stage.

  1. Fabio Capello

Capello is one strange example of outcast managers. He was a highly reputable manager back in the 1990s to mid-2000s due to his notable accolades in Europe. The Italian boss won the Champions Cup with AC Milan in 1994, plus domestic titles with Milan, Roma, Juventus, and Real Madrid. Yet, he was never shortlisted by FIGC during his prime. Capello was appointed by FA instead to take charge of The Three Lions for World Cup 2010. He did lead them to the final round with a convincing record at the qualifier but failed in the tournament. England under his reign only progressed to the round of 16 before being trashed by Germany 4-1. 

His second chance came in 2014 when he guided Russia to the final round. Unfortunately, the former midfielder in the 1970s even had worse results. Sbornaya was eliminated from the group stage after only two points from three matches. Capello was eventually considered for the job with Gli Azzurri after their failure to qualify in 2018, but he was then snubbed again. 

  1. Phillipe Troussier

The Frenchman was once known as ‘White Witch Doctor’ during his golden years in Africa. He had several stints in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and South Africa in the 1990s and gained short-term success. His World Cup debut was in France 1998 when Trousseir was at the helm of South Africa. Despite only finishing third in the final standings of the preliminary round with two points in the tournament from two draw results against Denmark and Saudi Arabia, his work for Bafana Bafana was appreciated and attracted Japan to the next World Cup edition when they became co-hosts. So off he went and led the Blue Samurai in World Cup 2002 until reaching the round of 16. Previously, the Paris-born boss managed to bring their youth side to reach the final in the world cup U20 in 1999 and guide Hidetoshi Nakata and co to the finals of the FIFA Confederation Cup 2001. 

  1. Sven Goran-Eriksson

Eriksson is another odd example of the outcast. Back in the 1980s to 2000, he was probably the most well-known Swedish manager with piles of notable silverware and achievements from UEFA Cup 1982 with IFK Gothenburg, the first European trophy for a Swedish club to Champions Cup finalist in 1990 with Benfica to UEFA Cup Winners Cup, Super Cup. He also led Lazio to the 1999-2000 Serie A title. Yet, he had not had a chance to lead Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the major tournament. Instead, Eriksson was called up to take charge of England in two World Cup editions, in 2002 and 2006. Unfortunately, he could not bring David Beckham and co to the semifinals. He had another shot to appear on the world  stage with Ivory Coast in the 2010 edition but did not succeed bringing them to the round of 16 as expected.

1.Bora Milutinovic

There is no more successful foreign boss who never led his own country than him. The Serbian boss guided five different teams to five World Cup editions consecutively. He first did so with Mexico in 1986 when they advanced to the quarterfinals, the highest stage they manage to progress up to now. Then, in Italy 1990, Bora brought Costa Rica to the round of 16 surprisingly after sending Scotland and Sweden to the exit at the preliminary round. He also guided USA and Nigeria to the same round in 1994 and 1998 respectively before making his final appearance in the 2002 finals. At that time, the coach, who currently resides in the Middle East, led China to their debut on the world football’s biggest tournament. Sadly, their campaign ended terribly with three defeats plus without scoring a single goal in the tournament. 

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