Sir Alex Ferguson & Pep Guardiola Make Top 2 as Jurgen Klopp Ranks 5th on Rio Ferdinand’s List of Greatest Ever Premier League Managers

Published 01/30/2024, 3:07 AM EST

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Soccer might be a spectacle full of talented players, but the beautiful game is no exception to managerial brilliance. Evergreen names like Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlo Ancelotti, etc. often resonate across the global stage. But what about when it comes to the English Premier League? In a surprise revelation, Rio Ferdinand has a critical appraisal for the highest tiers of EPL managers, filled by the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson and the current maestro Pep Guardiola, while also placing Jurgen Klopp among two other unique coaches for ‘different reasons.’

The surprising rating came on the latest installment of the ‘Rio Ferdinand Presents Five’ podcast, where the panel of Rio Ferdinand, Joel Beya, and Stephen Howson were discussing Jurgen Klopp’s shocking decision to leave Liverpool. Interestingly, the debate turned towards ranking the greatest EPL managers, with Ferdinand revealing his Top 5. While succinctly keeping his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the top, he gave rivals’ boss Pep Guardiola a second place by stating, “What Pep’s done a madness, regardless of what you can say about these issues that are ongoing or whatnot.”

“But in terms of creating a team to play mad football and ring out win after win and points they’ve earned, it’s ridiculous,” he explained. Interestingly, when Beya and Howson highlighted ‘The Special One‘ as well as Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger, Ferdinand replied, “I think Mourinho and [Arsene] Wenger would go side by side for me, for different reasons, and then Klopp [at fifth].”


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Rio Ferdinand’s Top 5 list of the greatest English Premier League managers is certainly going to stir debate among the soccer fraternity. While it’s interesting to see the ex-England international put Jurgen Klopp in fifth, he also knows who will be the best replacement for the German veteran.

Rio Ferdinand names a Liverpool icon to replace Jurgen Klopp


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While FSG is searching for someone to take over Liverpool from the reigns of Jurgen Klopp, Rio Ferdinand is adamant that Xabi Alonso is the best option. Speaking in the ‘Vibe With Five’ podcast, he highlighted the advantage of Alonso’s longstanding relationship with the team. “They love him there as well and the brand of football he plays. He has only been there a little while, which is the risk,” he asserted.

“It Was Men Against Boys”- Rio Ferdinand on Losing to Pep Guardiola & Lionel Messi’s ‘Nasty’ Barcelona in Wembley

Notably, in his first managerial stint with Bayer Leverkusen, Alonso had a major impact. With 50 goals scored and just 14 goals conceded in 19 games, his side is now atop the Bundesliga standings and is unbeaten! His fascinating style of play resonates with Liverpool supporters’ preferences for the forthcoming season and promises a smooth transfer to Anfield.


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Who do you think should replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra


One take at a time

Abhishek Mishra is a senior Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. His early exposure to playing soccer earned him many accolades at college divisions, making him a sports enthusiast. While closely following daily updates for over a decade, Abhishek is well-versed in European soccer and now the MLS, as well.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz