Ancelotti will become Champions League's most successful coach with victory over Atletico

The former Paris Saint-Germain trainer is on the verge of making history and becoming the first-ever coach to win the Champions League three times

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will become the most successful coach in Champions League history with a win over Atletico Madrid in Saturday’s showpiece in Lisbon.

The 54-year-old currently has to settle for second place in the all-time top ranking behind Sir Alex Ferguson – with both trainers reaching the final four times – but victory over Atletico will see Ancelotti leapfrog the former Manchester United manager.

Ferguson emerged victorious in two of the four finals he reached – in 1999 and 2008 – while Ancelotti will make it three out of four with a win at the weekend.

Sir Alex Ferguson 2 4 6 12
Carlo Ancelotti 2 4 5 8
Ottmar Hitzfeld 2 3 4 6
Jupp Heynckes 2 3 3 3
Jose Mourinho 2 2 8 8
Pep Guardiola 2 2 5 5
Vicente del Bosque 2 2 4 4
Marcello Lippi 1 4 5 5
Louis van Gaal 1 3 5 6
Fabio Capello 1 3 3 5

In the above table, Goal has ranked the top coaches from the Champions League era (beginning in 1992-93) in an Olympics-style system. Bosses are assessed initially based on the number of tournament wins, followed by final appearances, then semi-final outings, and lastly quarter-final spots.

Ferguson remains the Champions League’s most successful head coach for now, but with Ancelotti on the cusp of a third title, the Italian could move to the top of the table this weekend. The Madrid boss is one of seven coaches to have lifted the trophy twice after guiding AC Milan to victory in 2003 and 2007 – losing a final in between in 2005, but could become the first to win it three times.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had set their sights on a third Champions League title as well at the start of the season, but both were eliminated in the semi-finals this term and will thus have to wait for their third European title for at least one more year.

The top 10 consists of three Italians, two Spaniards, two Germans, a Scot, Dutchman and Portuguese. Rafa Benitez just misses out on a place on the list with one trophy and two finals. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also fails to make the cut with just one unsuccessful final appearance and two semi final outings during his career.

Only Liverpool icon Bob Paisely has lifted Europe’s top prize three times, but that was before the Champions League era.

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