It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is easier to win a title than defend one, and for six championship-winning European coaches in particular, it will be especially difficult next season as they have their own incredibly high standards to live up to. Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Laurent Blanc will be doing their all in the coming season to keep their clubs in the manner to which they have become accustomed, while Louis van Gaal and Felix Magath have changed teams, and need to prove that they can weave their magic in a different home stadium.
In our latest poll, we asked you, the FIFA.com users, to tell us which of the above-mentioned legends is the greatest. The result came out clearly in favour of the man who at the tender age of 38, in his first season as coach, succeeded in steering Barcelona to the treble - the UEFA Champions League, the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey. Guardiola garnered some 39.94 per cent of all votes and was very much your favourite.
The Catalan supremo is followed in the poll by someone who could be considered as a father figure among coaches and a model of how to carve out a career at one club. Legendary Scot Sir Alex Ferguson, coach of English Premier League champions Manchester United, received 28.39 per cent of votes, and will be hoping to erase the memory of the defeat in May's Champions League final to Barcelona in this his 24th season with the Red Devils. In third place with 13.17 per cent was German Felix Magath whose VfL Wolfsburg were the surprise winners of the 2009 Bundesliga. Magath has since moved on to Schalke 04 and will be hoping to create a similar stir in 2009/10.
Van Gaal and Mourinho full of ambition
Though the self-styled 'Special One' Jose Mourinho was never a professional footballer, he has become a legend of the beautiful game thanks to his achievements as a coach. Having won league titles in both Portugal and England, he went on to add Italy to his list of conquests with Inter Milan last season, and that was enough for the Portuguese coach to bag 12.83 per cent of the votes.
Dutch tactician Louis van Gaal (3.28 per cent) and Frenchman Laurent Blanc (2.39 per cent) followed in fifth and sixth place respectively. Van Gaal has moved on from Eredivisie champions AZ Alkmaar to take the helm at record Bundesliga-winners Bayern Munich, while Blanc will be looking to defend the Ligue 1 title which Bordeaux took last season.
As far as the different language versions of the website are concerned, Guardiola came out on top of the English, Spanish and French versions of FIFA.com. The German channel plumped for Ferguson, while our new Arabic section proved a real surprise with Magath getting an incredible 60.17 per cent of the vote.