The longest serving international managers in Europe

The longest serving international managers in Europe

Management is a fickle game in modern football, especially when results mean everything and short-termism often rules.

Even coaches who have been in a job for three or four years can be considered to be long-term, which makes it relatively rare when a team has had the same coach for five, six, seven, eight, 10 or even 15 years.

These are Europe’s current longest serving international managers, which includes anyone appointed before the end of 2016…

Finland have qualified for a first ever major tournamentFinland have qualified for a first ever major tournament
Markku Kanerva has guided Finland to the European Championship | LORRAINE O’SULLIVAN/Getty Images

Appointed: December 2016

Ex-HJK Helsinki defender Markku Kanerva has been involved with the Finland national team since 2011 when he was initially an assistant coach.

He was handed the reins at the end of 2016 and is clearly doing something right because the delayed Euro 2020 is the first ever major tournament that Finland have qualified for, while they have risen from a lowest ever FIFA ranking of 110th in 2017, and have been promoted in the Nations League.

Gareth Southgate is England's most successful recent managerGareth Southgate is England's most successful recent manager
Gareth Southgate’s waistcoast captured the hearts of a nation in 2018 | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Appointed: November 2016

Gareth Southgate basically fell into the England job as an interim in 2016 following the swift departure of predecessor Sam Allardyce as a result of an off-field scandal, but he has been a major hit since.

The retired centre-back soon got the job full-time and took England to fourth place at the 2018 World Cup, a best finish on the global stage since 1990 and only a second semi-final at a World Cup tournament since 1966.

Stanislav Cherchesov was appointed by Russia after Euro 2016Stanislav Cherchesov was appointed by Russia after Euro 2016
Stanislav Cherchesov took Russia to the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Appointed: August 2016

Stanislav Cherchesov had managed club sides in Austria, Russia and Poland prior to landing the Russian national team job in the aftermath of a disappointing Euro 2016 for the country.

Cherchesov didn’t have to qualify for the 2018 World Cup because Russia were hosts, but fears of a poor tournament were quickly allayed and his team reached the quarter-finals for the first time in the post-Soviet era. Russia also qualified well for Euro 2020.

Roberto Martinez has kept Belgium near the top of the FIFA rankingsRoberto Martinez has kept Belgium near the top of the FIFA rankings
Belgium finished third at the 2018 World Cup under Roberto Martinez | GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Appointed: August 2016

Belgium have remained one of the best national sides in the world since Roberto Martinez was appointed in the wake of Euro 2016 and a shock quarter-final defeat to underdogs Wales.

The Red Devils were the first European qualifiers to reach the 2018 World Cup and went on to finish third at the tournament. They were also the first team to qualify for Euro 2020 and will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy at the delayed competition this year.

Andriy Shevchenko has qualified Ukraine for Euro 2020Andriy Shevchenko has qualified Ukraine for Euro 2020
Ukraine is Andriy Shevchenko’s first managerial role | RONNY HARTMANN/Getty Images

Appointed: July 2016

2004 Ballon d’Or winner Andriy Shevchenko was a Ukrainian legend as a player and is now seeking to reach that level in his coaching career as well.

The former AC Milan superstar was initially hired as an assistant coach in 2016 and was given the top job following Euro 2016. Ukraine didn’t make it to the 2018 World Cup under his tutelage but have booked their place at the upcoming European Championship.

Janne Andersson has been Sweden manager since 2016Janne Andersson has been Sweden manager since 2016
Sweden often make long-term managerial appointments | Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Appointed: June 2016

Sweden give head coaches time, with current boss Janne Andersson only the fourth person in charge of the national team since 1998.

Andersson’s Sweden impressed at the 2018 World Cup, unexpectedly topping a tough group and reaching the quarter-finals for the first time 1994. They will also be at the European Championship this year, hoping to improve on three consecutive group stage exits.

Georgia v North Macedonia Training and Press Conferences: UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off FinalsGeorgia v North Macedonia Training and Press Conferences: UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Finals
North Macedonia have reached Euro 2020 under Igor Angelovski | Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

Appointed: October 2015

North Macedonia fell to a record low 166th in the FIFA world rankings early in Igor Angelovski’s managerial reign, but the project he has overseen is coming to fruition several years later.

Angelovski’s team has since climbed more than 100 places in the rankings, have jumped from League D to League C in the Nations League and will be at a first ever major tournament at this summer’s European Championship.

Fernando Santos in his seventh year as Portugal managerFernando Santos in his seventh year as Portugal manager
Fernando Santos has earned time by winning two trophies | David Lidstrom/Getty Images

Appointed: September 2014

Fernando Santos was finally the coach that delivered Portugal’s long awaited first international trophy when he guided the country to victory at Euro 2016.

Santos had taken over two years earlier off the back of a group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup and has since also won the first ever Nations League trophy when Portugal won the inaugural finals competition in 2019.

Vladimir PetkovicVladimir Petkovic
Switzerland are a consistent tournament team under Vladimir Petkovic | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Appointed: July 2014

Switzerland have remained consistent under Vladimir Petkovic since he was hired in 2014, making the knockout rounds of both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

Switzerland have been strong in qualifying for both those tournaments and will again be competing at a major tournament when the delayed Euro 2020 finally takes place this summer.

Didier Deschamps was appointed by France back in 2012Didier Deschamps was appointed by France back in 2012
Didier Deschamps has won the World Cup as player & manager | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Appointed: July 2012

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for former captain Didier Deschamps in the France job, now coming up to nine years as head coach. But there was clear tournament improvement from 2014 to 2016, before then winning the World Cup in 2018.

That World Cup triumph saw Deschamps join an elite group of individuals to have won the World Cup as both a player and manager.

Luc Holtz has been Luxembourg manager since 2010Luc Holtz has been Luxembourg manager since 2010
Luxembourg are winning games under Luc Holtz | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Appointed: August 2010

Achievements are relative when in charge of a European minnow like Luxembourg, who didn’t win a single game between 1995 and 2007, and current head coach Luc Holtz has given plenty of reason to be kept in charge for as long as he has over the last decade.

Luxembourg have won at least one game most years since he was appointed and the birth of the Nations League since 2018 has actually seen them start winning semi-regularly.

Andorra national team manager Koldo AlvarezAndorra national team manager Koldo Alvarez
Andorra have had positive results under Koldo Alvarez | DANIEL MIHAILESCU/Getty Images

Appointed: February 2010

Two years into his Andorra tenure, by which time the country had fallen to joint bottom of the FIFA world rankings, Koldo Alvarez halted a 35-game losing streak that had begun in 2007.

In 2017, Andorra won their first game since 2004 and then even went three games unbeaten at that time. Like Luxembourg, they are another side that has majorly benefitted from the Nations League and being able to play similar quality opposition more often.

Joachim Low will leave role as Germany manager after Euro 2020Joachim Low will leave role as Germany manager after Euro 2020
Joachim Low won Germany’s first World Cup as unified nation | Handout/Getty Images

Appointed: July 2006

By the time he steps down after this year’s European Championship, Joachim Low will have reached 15 years in charge of Germany, having first been handed the reins back in 2006.

Low was initially an assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann at the World Cup on home soil and took over after the tournament during a crucial rebuilding of the national team setup. Consistent semi-final appearances were followed by World Cup glory in 2014.

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