Some of the best coaches to have helmed in Southeast Asia have enjoyed AFF Suzuki Cup glory at some point or another over the past 22 years. We've narrowed the list down to five for you to vote for your favourite.

 

Honourable Mentions

Wanasthana Sajakul (inaugural winning coach), Barry Whitbread (1998 winner), Alfred Riedl (three-time runner-up), Gerd Zeise (3rd place with Myanmar), Michael Weiss (led Philippines to semi-final).

 

 

1. Kiatisuk Senamuang (Thailand)

AFF Suzuki Cup Champion – 1995, 2000, 2002 (as player); 2014, 2016 (as coach)

Kiatisuk ‘Zico’ Senamuang is a football legend in his homeland and for good reason.

The 44-year-old amassed 131 international caps and 70 goals for his country from 1992 to 2007, winning the AFF Suzuki Cup three times (1995, 2000 and 2002) and Southeast Asian Games gold on four occasions.

As Thailand coach, Zico has had similar success at the AFF Suzuki Cup. In 2014, he helmed the War Elephants to their fourth title, in doing so becoming the first person to win the competition as both player and coach.

Impressively, the man from Udon Thani then repeated his achievement at the 2016 edition, where Thailand successfully defended their crown as Southeast Asian kings.

 

 

2. Raddy Avramovic (Singapore)
 
AFF Suzuki Cup Champion – 2004, 2007, 2012
 
 
With three AFF Suzuki Cups to his name, former Singapore boss Raddy Avramovic is the most successful coach in the competition’s history, having led the Lions to glory in 2004, 2007 and 2012 during nine years at the helm.
 
After taking over the reins at the end of 2003, Avramovic would deliver the country’s second title a year later when they went unbeaten to lift the 2004 trophy following a 5-2 aggregate victory over Indonesia in the final.
 
Three years later, the once-capped former Yugoslavia international guided Singapore to a second successive title after edging past Thailand 3-2 on aggregate, before the historic treble was achieved in 2012 when the same opponents were seen off by the same scoreline.
 
Fondly remembered as the country’s finest coach, Avramovic also came within one game of guiding Singapore to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

 

3. K. Rajagopal (Malaysia)

AFF Suzuki Cup Champion – 2010

The self-proclaimed “Blessed One”, Datuk K. Rajagopal was one of Malaysia’s longest-serving coaches and his crowning achievement was leading Harimau Malaya to the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup championship.

Rajagopal helped end a drought of 14 years, going back to the tournament’s inception in 1996, and was noted for his team’s exciting, attacking playing style that saw Malaysia triumph 4-2 on aggregate over Indonesia in the final.

A year earlier, Rajagopal also guided Malaysia’s Under-23 side to its first goal medal in 20 years at the 2009 SEA Games, defeating Vietnam 1-0 in the final. That victory in Laos earned the coach the nickname “King Gopal”.

After a spell at Sarawak FA, the 61-year-old was most recently at the helm of Malaysia Super League side PKNS, joining the club last November.

 

4. Henrique Calisto (Vietnam)

AFF Suzuki Cup Champion – 2008

Going into the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup, Vietnam had never won the competition and, indeed, had only appeared in one final, in 1998, but that would change under the tutelage of Henrique Calisto.

The Portuguese moved to Vietnam to take over club side Dong Tam Long An in 2001 and a year later led the national team to a third-place finish in the Suzuki Cup. After five more successful years at Dong Tam Long An, Calisto was again installed as the Golden Lions’ coach.

Having lost their opening game to Thailand in 2008, Vietnam responded well to advance to the final, when they were offered the chance of revenge. A 2-1 win in Bangkok set things up nicely for the return meeting in Hanoi, where a 1-1 secured their first and, to date, only Suzuki Cup.

Calisto stepped down after finishing third in 2010 and moved to Thailand’s Muangthong United.

 

5. Peter Withe (Thailand & Indonesia)

AFF Suzuki Cup Champion – 2000, 2002

Renowned for his goalscoring ability during his playing days, Englishman Peter Withe enjoyed a fruitful managerial career in Southeast Asia.

Withe took over Thailand in 1998 and two years later guided them to a second AFF Suzuki Cup when a 4-1 win over Indonesia in the final completed a perfect five wins from five.

Two years later the Wart Elephants scraped through the group stage but defeated Vietnam in the last four and then claimed a penalty shootout victory over Indonesia in the final in front of 100,000 spectators in Jakarta.

Indonesia was Withe’s next port of call and he progressed to his third successive final before the Garuda were defeated by Singapore. He was dismissed from his role in 2007 after Indonesia’s early elimination.

Who is the best-ever AFF Suzuki Cup Coach?
  • 1150 Votes
    Kiatisuk Senamuang
    42.58%
  • 56 Votes
    Raddy Avramovic
    2.07%
  • 1144 Votes
    K. Rajagopal
    42.35%
  • 30 Votes
    Henrique Calisto
    1.11%
  • 321 Votes
    Peter Withe
    11.88%
Total 2701 Votes