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  • ​Five Russia 2018 coaches on The Best FIFA Men’s Coach shortlist
  • Four semi-finalists and the hosts’ tacticians named among 11 candidate
  • We take a closer look at how they fared at the World Cup

 

It’s no surprise that some of the exceptional coaching exploits on display during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ have resulted in a raft of the top performers finding their way onto the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award at the FIFA Football Awards 2018.

Will one of the quintet who wowed in Russia walk away with top honours in London on 24 September? We examine the five nominees and how they performed at the World Cup.

Stanislav Cherchesov

Russia

Standout moment

Guiding Russia past a much-fancied Spain in front of an enraptured Luzhniki Stadium crowd, earning a first ever penalty shoot-out win and first appearance in the quarter-finals for 48 years (and a first post-Soviet Union).

What he said

“Thank God my footballers understood what I was telling them. They trusted me. I believe that my players have been victorious because they have adhered to my strategy.”
Cherchesov following victory over Spain

What they said

“Good. The best. Top!”
Zenit Saint Petersburg goalkeeper Andrey Lunev gives his views on Cherchesov in four words

The stat

No host team has scored more goals in their opening two games than Russia did, racking up eight in total against Saudi Arabia and Egypt. A feat matched only by Italy in 1938.

Zlatko Dalic

Croatia

Standout moment

Motivating his side to come from behind in three successive knockout games to reach their first ever World Cup Final.

What he said

“There is still grief because we had to win the trophy. But if someone had offered me to be in the Final before the World Cup, we’d all have taken it.”
Dalic following his side’s 4-2 defeat against France in the Russia 2018 Final

What they said

“I appreciate that he asks for my advice, he doesn’t need it. Dalic is a great coach and he is doing a fantastic job.”
Miroslav Blazevic, who coached Croatia to bronze in 1998, after Dalic asked for some pointers ahead of the quarter-final with Russia

The stat

Croatia were the smallest nation to reach the World Cup Final for 68 years, following on from Uruguay who featured in 1950.

Didier Deschamps

France

Standout moment

Leading France to success over Croatia in the Final, triumphing thanks to an emphatic 4-2 win.

What he said

“My greatest source of pride with this group is that they managed to have the right state of mind for such a tournament. I repeated all the time: never give up, never give up anything.”
Deschamps after his side’s 4-2 victory over Croatia

What they said

“He is a manager, a leader of men. He is a winner.”
Assistant coach Guy Stephan

The stat

Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach, joining Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer. In response the German said: “Welcome to our club. Now there’s three of us. Perhaps we should get together.”

Roberto Martinez

Belgium

Standout moment

While Martinez developed a reputation for tactical changes throughout the tournament, masterminding the 2-1 quarter-final win over Brazil was undoubtedly a high point.

What he said

“There’s real satisfaction and real success. It’s the manner we achieved that – the football we played is Belgian football, it’s our brand. And the togetherness and flexibility we had, tactically shows what we want to be as a footballing nation.”
Martinez after achieving Belgium’s best-ever World Cup placing of third

What they said

“You’ve got to be really happy for him. He has formed this Belgium team in a way that they believe in him, they stick to the plan, the players have bought into the process and it seems everybody is on the same page.”
Jurgen Klinsmann

The stat

No World Cup side has had more scorers than Belgium’s ten in a single tournament. Only France in 1982 and Italy in 2006 had as many.

Gareth Southgate

England

Standout moment

After conceding in the dying moments of the last-16 meeting with Colombia, Southgate was able to rouse his team to win a cathartic and historic penalty shoot-out win – England’s first at a World Cup.

What he said

“We’ve had a wonderful adventure and some experiences that will stand this group of players and staff in really good stead for the future.”
Southgate after his side’s fourth-placed finish at Russia 2018

What they said

“Gareth Southgate is doing our country proud. Prepared, intelligent, dignified and empathetic.”
Gary Lineker

The stat

Southgate excelled with a young squad, featuring 17 players who weren’t born the last time England reached the semi-finals in 1990.

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