An illustrious 115-year-old history with 39 full-time managers… but who was the most unsuccessful at their job?
At a club like Real Madrid, good results and titles are expected every season. But without the right manager at the helm of the team, Los Blancos were not able to consistently achieve their required targets.
When managing teams at such a high level of football, it is important for these men to implement their philosophies successfully or they will be given the boot in no time at all.
Lack of Job Security is a major reason why so many shun the job, although it is the most lucrative financially.
The latest Manager to be sacked by the Madrid giants is Julen Lopetegui.
It would have always been a near impossible task to succeed a manager like Zinedine Zidane, who achieved an astonishing amount of success in just two and a half years in charge – winning a record nine trophies including three consecutive Champions League titles.
Florentino Perez, in particular, is known to have the utmost power and has a say in most of the transfers with the manager having little say. This is another reason why many dread the job in the present times.
Arthur Johnson became the first Real Madrid manager in 1910 and kept his job for 10 seasons. Miguel Munoz was the most successful of the lot and also at the helm for 15 years — the longest tenure in the history of the club.
In this article, we take a look at the five most unsuccessful managers who were in charge of Real Madrid in recent times.
#5 John Toshack
The Welsh International managed Real Madrid for 64 games in his first tenure. Out of these, the Los Blancos won 41, drew 15 and lost eight matches with a win percentage of 64.06 %.
John’s second stint is what was highly unsuccessful. He was appointed as the manager on 24 February 1999 and would be sacked after being just 10 months in charge. He took up the reins from the outgoing Guus Hiddink and was expected to bring glory back to the club.
However, Toshack’s tactic of publicly criticising his players after losses, which in his opinion was motivational, did not go down too well with the then President Lorenzo Sanz Mancebo and the rest of the Real Madrid board.
As a result, he was relieved of his duties soon after. In his second stint as manager, Real Madrid had 19 wins, nine draws and eight losses under John with a win percentage of 51.35 %, considered extremely poor for a club like Real Madrid.
#4 Juan Ramon Lopez Caro
After having a decent track record being manager of Real Madrid B, the Spaniard Juan was brought at the helm of things in the first team in after the sacking of Brazilian Vanderlei Luxemburgo. However, it proved to be a poor decision as Real Madrid had a frustrating season under him.
Out of the 24 matches, they could only manage 12 wins, while nine games ended in draws and three were lost.
No silverware meant that the exit doors were opened for the Spaniard after being the manager for only seven months.
#3 Arsenio Iglesias
The Spaniard had successfully lead Deportivo La Coruña to the Copa Del Rey title in 1994–95 and was entrusted with the responsibility of making Real Madrid achieve the desired results. His success also meant that a confident Arsenio was taking charge of Real Madrid.
However, Arsenio could not handle the pressure well. His tenure just lasted from 24 January 1996 to 29 May 1996 and he was just made in charge for 21 games — of which Madrid won 11, drew six, and lost four, with a win percentage of 52.38.
#2 Jose Antonio Camacho
The Spaniard could not handle the stress when he was made the manager of the Galacticos on 17 June 1998 and left after 22 days in charge.
Disagreements with the club’s management was the reason cited for his departure after only three games. Jose left even before the season began.
Jose Antonio would return to Real Madrid and had a second stint as manager from 25 May 2004 to 20 September 2004.
He came in at the time when the club was struggling and replaced the outgoing Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz.
This time both the club management and Jose had hoped that his stay would be fruitful and had signed a two-year contract as well.
However, it was just not meant to be and things took an ugly turn after a shocking 0-3 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League which was shortly followed by a 0-1 loss to Espanyol in the league. There was discord again and Camacho decided to leave in September itself.
#1 Julen Lopetegui
The 52-year-old enjoyed a decent spell being at the helm of things for the Spanish national team.
Things did not start on a positive note for Lopetegui as Real Madrid lost the Madrid derby 2-4 in his first game in charge.
The club struggled to find form under his guidance. A string of bad results such as 0-1 loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League group stage, 0-1 loss to Alaves, 1-2 loss to Levante gave hints that his time was limited with Real Madrid.
The final nail in the coffin was when Madrid suffered a horrendous 1-5 loss to arch-rivals Barcelona in the El Clásico on 28 October 2018.
Lopetegui was axed the following day itself and Santiago Solari was brought in as the Interim manager.
Real Madrid had a terrible win percentage of just 42.86 % under Lopetegui which was just not acceptable for the clubs management.