If there is a country that is punching above its weight in European club football it is Portugal. The connection to Brazil, smart scouting and even super-agents’ dealings have been credited with Portugal’s success in European competitions. Portugal is smaller than Belgium and Netherlands population wise, and much poorer. Similar to them it exports many of its players but unlike them its clubs are still feared unlike Anderlecht or Ajax who were good in distant 20th century. I am a beginner in Portuguese affairs so I only have one more aspect to point out.
Portugal has some great managers. Not just Mourinho. Portuguese clubs are not afraid of giving very young coaches a chance. AVB is still 38, and so is Marco Silva of Olympiakos. It is rare for coaches below 40 in top leagues even rarer to export them. This year 6 of 32 CL teams are managed by Portuguese managers. In my adjusted dingoach ratings(for opponent strength) 6 managers come in top 50 in career ELO points among all European active club managers(anyone who coached within last 4 years):
Good but not great you are thinking. That’s where youth comes in; most of these managers coached relatively few games. If we look at per game ELO Points:
Much much better.
Well of course not all Portugese managers have been that good. Here is a full list of anyone over 0. Anyone over per game average 2 is unsustainable but exceptional. Between 1 and 2 you have top coaches. Below 1, just average guys. Fenerbahce and Valencia got the wrong-ish dudes. (Lopetegui is not in the above ranking as he is yet to get 100 games).
Apologies for many spelling errors with Portuguese names.