The most successful coaches in LaLiga history

la liga most successful coaches
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In total, 53 different coaches have won LaLiga with Barcelona’s Roma Forns the first in 1929 and Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti the most recent in 2024. That was the Italian’s second Spanish title, but he’s still some way off being considered one of the all-time most successful coaches in LaLiga history.

Real Madrid are the favourites according to US betting sites to defend their crown in the 2024/25 season. Should they succeed, Ancelotti would join an elite group that is currently made up of just eight LaLiga winning managers to have clinched the title on three or more occasions.

The 8 most successful coaches in LaLiga – Ranked by titles won

Enrique Fernandez (Barcelona, Real Madrid) – 3 titles

The first coach to win LaLiga three times was Enrique Fernandez and quite uniquely he managed the feat with both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Radomir Antic is the only other man to have crossed the Clasico divide to take charge of both clubs but Fernandez is the only coach to have won the Spanish title with both.

Fernandez was a Uruguayan striker who briefly played for Barca at the end of his playing career, only for his stint in Catalunya to be abruptly ended by the outbreak of the Spanish civil war in 1936. He returned to guide his former club to the league in 1948 and 1949, before later taking charge at Real Madrid where he ended a 21-year wait for a league title, which remains the longest drought in the club’s history, in 1954.

Fernandez also coached Real Madrid for the first 10 games of their 1954/55 title winning season but he was replaced by Jose Villalonga who is largely credited with that success.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1947/48, 1948/49, 1953/54

Ferdinand Daucik (Barcelona, Athletic Club) – 3 titles

Barcelona also enjoyed a successful period at the beginning of the 1950’s, winning back-to-back doubles under Ferdinand Daucik in 1952 and 1953.

The Slovak hadn’t previously played or coached in Spain before taking the Barca job in 1950 but went on to spend the majority of the next three decades in the country where he also coached the likes of Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, Cadiz and both Seville clubs.

It was in Bilbao with Athletic Club where he added his third league title though with Daucik also delivering the double for the Basque giants in 1956.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1951/52, 1952/53, 1955/56

Luis Molowny (Real Madrid) – 3 titles

Tenerife-born Luis Molowny won three league titles with Real Madrid between 1978 and 1986 as a coach to go with the three he had won at the club as a player in the 1950’s.

Molowny actually had four different spells as Real Madrid boss. He was at the helm as Los Blancos won the first of five straight league titles in the 1980’s, the joint longest winning streak in LaLiga history, however he was replaced by Leo Beenhakker for the 1986/87 season with the Dutchman largely remembered as the face of the Quinta del Buitre era at the Santiago Bernabeu.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1977/78, 1978/79, 1985/86

Leo Beenhakker (Real Madrid) – 3 titles

Beenhakker won all three domestic competitions during his three year stint at Real Madrid between 1986 and 1989 with league glory in every season during a period which is still remembered fondly in the Spanish capital, despite the lack of European silverware.

He returned to The Netherlands in 1989 and guided Ajax to the Eredivisie title in his first season but enjoyed relatively limited success in terms of major honours after that despite briefly returning to Real Madrid in 1992.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89

Pep Guardiola (Barcelona) – 3 titles

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The fifth man to have won exactly three Spanish titles is Pep Guardiola. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful managers in LaLiga and he also enjoyed immense success abroad. The standard he set at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012 remains the benchmark by which all future Barcelona coaches may be judged.

The era of tiki-taka also saw Barca win the Champions League twice during Guardiola’s reign and while he hasn’t coached in LaLiga since leaving the club in 2012, it’s possible that Pep may one day return to further cement his legacy by moving into the small group to have won four or more Spanish league titles.

LaLiga winning seasons: 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11

Helenio Herrera (Atletico Madrid, Barcelona) – 4 titles

The most successful Argentine coach in LaLiga history is Helenio Herrera who won four titles in the space of a decade between 1950 and 1960.

His initial success came with Atletico Madrid who won their third and fourth Spanish league titles under Herrera’s guidance in 1950 and 1951. Spells at Depor and Sevilla followed before Herrera cemented his legacy as one of the four LaLiga winning coaches to have done it with different clubs by also taking Barcelona to back-to-back titles in 1959 and 1960.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1949/50, 1950/51, 1958/59, 1959/60

Johan Cruyff (Barcelona) – 4 titles

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One of the most iconic coaches in Spain in the more recent era is unquestionably Johan Cruyff who revolutionised FC Barcelona during an eight year spell in the top job at Camp Nou between 1988 and 1996.

Barca enjoyed their longest ever league winning streak under Cruyff by winning the title in four straight seasons in the early 1990’s. However, aside from the silverware which included a first European Cup, he is remembered just as fondly for the birth of the modern Barca identity of how to play football which was later successfully built on by Guardiola in the late 2000’s.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94

Miguel Muñoz (Real Madrid) – 9 titles

Miguel Muñoz is the manager to have won the most LaLiga titles. He’s five clear of his nearest rival with an incredible nine titles that came in the space of just 11 seasons in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

A born and bred Madrileño, Muñoz enjoyed a distinguished playing career with the club, winning LaLiga four times and he was also part of the side that won the first three European Cups. After retiring from playing in 1958, he was still in his 30’s when he took charge of the senior team soon afterwards.

What followed was a decade of domestic dominance with Muñoz also leading Los Blancos to European glory in 1960 and 1966. He eventually left the club in 1974 and went on to coach Granada, Las Palmas and Sevilla before ending his career with the Spanish national team in the 1980’s.

LaLiga winning seasons: 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72

Daniel Garcia
About Daniel Garcia 299 Articles
Daniel is a football writer based in Spain. He has an extensive knowledge of LaLiga history and closely follows current events in the Spanish top flight.