Teams managed: Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool
Years active: 16 years
After their Bundesliga winning title in 2002, Dortmund stepped into a time of rapid decline and severe financial difficulty. They almost couldn’t re-emerge from those dark period, yet by 2011 they became German champions once again. For the success of their turnaround, they had coach Jürgen Klopp to thank for.
After a professional career spent mostly with Mainz in the second tier, Klopp was hired as the club’s manager in February 2001. Over the next decade, he gradually become one of the most influential and successful managers in European football, getting real success domestically and over the continent with Dortmund before handing the challenge of rejuvenating one of the greatest faded giants of English football.
In his first full spell as a manager, Klopp led Mainz to the brink of upgrading to the Bundesliga. While just missing out on a top-three position, his team got 64 points, a fine record for a non-promoted team in German football second tier. Klopp’s second spell with Mainz was even more upsetting , as they missed out on promotion to Eintracht Frankfurt by just one goal, which was made in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
Eventually, Klopp did manage to lead Mainz to the Bundesliga in 2004, helping them to stay there for three seasons, before relegation in 2007. And, after losing out on an immediate return by two points, he retired from Dortmund in the summer of 2008.
Die Schwargleben was unable to get inside of the top six for four consecutive years, but Klopp help reverse this situation instantly, achieving sixth and fifth-place finishes in his first two terms. Then, in his third spell, he led the club to a game-changing victory.
With a team consisted of many stars such as Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowksi, and Mats Hummels, Dortmund win seven points clear of Leverkusen. Having signed İlkay Gündoğan and place him to their midfield ranks, Klopp’s team went on winning consecutive championships for the first time since the mid-1990s, adding the title for the club’s first-ever league and cup double.