By Marc Vitenzon
1. Luis Enrique
Becoming a manager is a daunting task which presents many sacrifices and hardships. Becoming the manager of Barcelona, however, is on a whole other level. Taking the reins of the greatest club in the world not only takes the greatest soccer smarts, but also pure, blatant confidence. As of right now, Barcelona have battled their way into first place in La Liga. The Blaugrana outfit grabbed a vital 2-1 win in El Clasico last Sunday, creating a 4 point gap over the current European champions. With ten games remaining in the La Liga season, Barcelona look confident to win the title. On top of their great form in La Liga, Barcelona is in the Champion’s League quarter-final, where they will face off against PSG for the third time this season. If that doesn’t sound like enough, Barcelona are preparing for the Copa Del Rey Final against the likes of Atletico Madrid. With the mastermind of Luis Enrique Barcelona is on track for a treble after a trophyless season in the previous year. Not only has Enrique succeeded in bringing out the best of greatest player on the planet, Lionel Messi, but also his new teammates, Suarez and Rakitic.
There was one point in the season during which Barcelona was lacking not only in performance, but in morale. Rumors began circulating of Messi’s departure and deterioration in the players’ and coach relationship. Enrique, however, stayed resilient and was able to bring Barcelona out of their slump, placing him at number one on this list.
2. Jose Mourinho
The king of mind games and press conferences, Jose Mourinho, ranks second on our list. After a scintillating, 23 match, 102 day unbeaten run in the early stages of the season Jose Mourinho’s virtually injury-free Chelsea began to slack in January. In the past two months, Chelsea was knocked out of the Champion’s League by Paris Saint-Germain after a lethargic performance, as well as out of the FA Cup by lowly Bradford City. Additionally, Chelsea recorded 1-1 draws against Burnley and Southampton, causing Chelsea fans all around the world to hold their breath in anticipation for possible collapse. However, due to their hard work in the first half of the season, Chelsea still find themselves with a six-point gap with one game in hand above the champions, Manchester City. The Blues have also already have picked up their first piece of silverware in two seasons with a 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup Final. For these reasons Mourinho gets the spot at number two.
3. Laurent Blanc
“We want to be one of Europe’s top clubs, we want to sit at the top table. Going forward, this game will be seen as a reference point,” spoke Paris Saint-Germain manager, Laurent Blanc, of his team’s clash against Chelsea in the final leg of the Champion’s League round of sixteen. Defeating Chelsea in the Champion’s League is a phenomenal feat in itself. Moreover, PSG managed the task being one man down after a poor refereeing decision saw star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave the field. By defeating Chelsea in such fashion, announced PSG to the world as a team that can beat big teams in big matches. Currently, PSG sit at the top of Ligue 1 with a one point gap over Lyon. With Ligue 1 becoming constantly more competitive every year, topping the table is more and more difficult. Knocking out Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea with one man down and keeping Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 places Laurent Blanc as the final name on our list of Europe’s top 3 managers this season.