After the spectacle of Superbowl 50 with the Denver Broncos defeating Caroline Panthers, the importance of a coach has never been more important.
Defining moments bring with it iconic managers who have stood the test of time. And for a chosen few it is sometimes the glasses that define the person. Take for example one such leader who hasn’t even made it onto our list.
Former England boss and super all-round Swede, Sven Goran Eriksson – a popular fan of eyewear. Yes he may well share the surname with that mobile telecommunications company, but Svengali had a style all of his own.
His distinguishable career started out in the 1970s and went on to manage the likes of Benfica, Sampdoria and Lazio. In fact Sven was the first foreigner to ever be appointed as top dog of England. In 2001, he was at the helm for the memorable 5-1 victory in Germany with Michael Owen grabbing a hat-trick.
But just who are our soccer spectacled superheroes? We round up football’s greatest managerial glasses wearers of all time:
5. Rafael Benitez
— Premier League News (@BarclaysLeague) February 18, 2016
With Gary Neville’s performance as Valencia manager as uninspiring as Eric the Eel’s, we turn to one of their former bosses. That’s right, the Madrid maestro himself Rafael Benitez.
The Spanish coach achieved glory for Valencia thanks to capturing La Liga and winning the UEFA Cup. Sometimes round, but more often than not square – we’re talking about his glasses of course.
He may have had to wipe the steam off them a few times, none more so in 2005 when he was managing Liverpool and trailed 3-0 to Italian giants AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League Final.
Eventually the Merseysiders came back and triumphed after a dramatic penalty shoot out. Sometimes in football, as we all know, the impossible turns out to be possible.
Our pick: Oakley OX3122 KEEL
4. Marcello Lippi
Our next contender is certainly not “a specialist in failure”, as Jose Mourinho previously declared of Frenchmen Arsene Wenger. Former Juventus boss Marcello Lippi definitely has that je ne sais quoi about him.
Dress him up in a black suit and you have got your next Cadburys Milk Tray man. Yet Lippi has won the lot when it comes to trophies, the World Cup in 2006 is amongst his illustrious titles, including five Italian Leagues and the prestigious UEFA Champions League.
His track record is second to none, as are his specs. His round lens thin frames are the trademarks of his appearance, which has also seen him win trophies in the Far East.
Although in his sixties, the Italian stallion has managed to win a handful of Chinese Super League titles. Now that’s a glass act!
Our pick: Stellar 269
3. Sir Alex Ferguson
Considered to be the don or as Jurgen Klopp called him the John Lennon of football, Sir Alex Ferguson is a true icon. One of the most influential managers, he belongs to the record books. In a career spanning more than three decades in the game, Fergie amassed more than a whopping 40 trophies.
In November 1986, he joined Manchester United where the mercurial Scot transformed the club. He went to bag 13 Premier league titles and 5 FA Cups among a trophy haul of 38. The most famous of these took place in 1999. The Red Devils scored two goals in injury time to snatch the UEFA Champions League away from Bayern Munich – how could we forget.
Notably, Sir Alex had a host of run-ins with players and media, but he too has a keen eye for glasses. Fergie only started wearing eyewear at the age of 55 after he was unable to see a deflection from his own player, which ended up as a goal.
He has never been one to jot notes ferociously, unlike current Man U number 1 Louis Van Gaal. But Ferguson put some of his success down to his vision, which he identified as a clear marker in man motivation. Since retiring in 2013, Sir Alex has remained on the board at Old Trafford as director and become a motivational speaker globally.
Our pick: Savannah 3215
2. Jurgen Klopp
Our first final under Jürgen Klopp! Hopefully there are many more to come! 😄 #LFC A photo posted by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on
A genuine character in the game, Deutsche meister Jurgen Klopp is without doubt known for his trademark glasses. If ever there was a bespectacled boy wonder it has to be the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
Kloppo has an impressive track record before he took the reins at Liverpool. With two Bundesliga titles to his name and a run to the UEFA Champions League Final, he has already made a name for himself.
He has often been seen sporting thick black rimmed specs in his Dortmund days such as the new Ray Ban Wayfarer RX5184. But it was on the 23rd of January when Klopp showed us some real specs appeal, Liverpool faced Norwich City at Carrow Road with the scores locked at 4-4 deep into added time.
In what can only be described as one of the most farcical Premier League games of all time, Reds midfielder Adam Lallana scored the winner in the 94th minute to make it 5-4.
Queue jubilant scenes on the touchline as Herr Klopp hurtles towards his men. In the ensuing melee, Christian Benteke breaks his glasses. A shattering game all round! Klopp has since replaced this pair which according to the man in recent press conferences ‘makes him look like a bit of a serial killer”
Exact model: Ray-Ban RX6295
1. Claudio Ranieri
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 14, 2016
A miracle worker of sorts you might say, but what Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has achieved so far is remarkable. The Foxes are top of the Premier League going into the final few months of the season. Even Roy of the Rovers could not have dreamt this up.
The champagne keeps on flowing with Jamie Vardy, not to mention Riad Mahrez pulling the strings. Despite Ranieri managing several clubs including Chelsea, the Tinkerman hasn’t really changed his circular lens look. We salute you Claudio for staying focused.
Our pick: Hallmark 6008