Register Login Scores

International

SL's Top Managers: 3- Helenio Herrera

Legendary Inter Milan and Barcelona manager, Helenio Herrera, is another man you have probably never even heard of.

But that does not mean he does not warrant his place among the greatest football managers of all time.

Argentinian by birth, Herrera died in Italy in 1997 at the age of 87.

He left behind him a ground breaking football legacy, pioneering the use of psychology in football, and championing the principles of a healthy diet and clean living for professional athletes.

Until Herrera, the concept of a team secreting itself away for a few days to prepare for matches was unheard of.

And his early use of pep talks and motivational phrases is now common place in sport.

A defender during his playing career from 1931 to 1945, Herrera went from the Moroccan top flight to France with little success.

But when he took up management after World War II, he embarked upon a career that would change football forever.

South African fans would probably joke that Herrera was a regular visitor to the sangoma.

He was idiosyncratic, and according to Football Pantheon “would gather his players in a circle and walk into the centre with a pristine white ball in his hands. The squad would then extend their fingers towards it and chant “It’s the European Cup! We must have it! We shall have it! Ah! Ah! Ah!”

But when the manager known as ‘The Wizard’ and ‘The Magician’ applied his quirky methods to the talented players he had at his disposal, he revolutionised football.

From 1944 to 1981, Herrera managed 13 teams, the biggest of which were Valladolid, Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Deportivo La Coruna, Sevilla and Barcelona in Spain, as well as Inter Milan and Roma in Italy.

At Barca he won six trophies in two stints. Incredibly, in the 1958-59 season Barca scored 96 goals in 30 games under Herrera, due to his then unique attacking system of flying wing-backs.

But it was in Italy, as manager of ‘Grande Inter’, that Herrera made his lasting impact on football.

There he facilitated the birth of the classical Italian system of ‘catenaccio’ by allowing for a more flexible use of the 5-3-2 system, and in conjunction with his use of psychology, discipline and science, won three Scudettos and two European Cups.

It was Herrera’s ability to change his tactical philosophies so radically that marked him out for greatness.

He was a visionary and ahead of his time, and his 13-trophy haul does not do justice to the lasting impact he had on the beautiful game.

10- Munoz; 9- Clough; 8- Hitzfeld; 7- Guardiola; 6- Mourinho; 5- Paisley; 4- Michels; 3- Herrera

SL's Top Managers: 3- Helenio Herrera

14 comments

Top 5

Sundowns, SSU To Seal Swap Deal For Goalkeepers?

115 Jun 27, 2022 12:14 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Official: 8 Transfers Confirmed Since Last Week

1 Jun 28, 2022 12:19 PM in World News

Johnson Leads Race For Royal AM Job?

9 Jun 27, 2022 11:58 AM in Siyagobhoza

Man Utd 'In Talks' With 4 Players

3 Jun 27, 2022 12:30 PM in English Premier League

Downs Vilakazi's Four Potential Suitors

38 Jun 27, 2022 09:51 AM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Chiefs New Signings Based On Stats, Glory Days Looming?

79 Jun 28, 2022 12:45 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Chiefs’ ‘Monster’ Finally Arrives At Naturena

75 Jun 27, 2022 02:18 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

10 Deals Expected To Be Confirmed This Week

Jun 27, 2022 08:26 PM in World News

Official: Pirates Confirm New Head Coach

278 Jun 25, 2022 10:30 AM in Orlando Pirates

55 Years Of Doc: How Khumalo Celebrated On Exotic Island

1 Jun 27, 2022 03:06 PM in Footballers & Chill

Contracts At Naturena: What Each New Chiefs Player Signed

44 Jun 21, 2022 08:12 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Mane Breaks Silence On Liverpool Exit

7 Jun 22, 2022 09:29 AM in Bundesliga News

Pirates To Make Decision On 7 Loan Returnees

5 Jun 20, 2022 04:19 PM in Orlando Pirates

Report: Lukaku's Chelsea Exit Confirmed

Jun 22, 2022 08:25 AM in English Premier League

Chiefs Target Back In Europe

4 Jun 20, 2022 03:51 PM in Kaizer Chiefs