Europe’s most loyal servants

Ronnie McFall (Portadown), joined 1986
McFall walked into Shamrock Park six weeks after Sir Alex Ferguson joined Manchester United and is now the longest-serving manager in European football, following the Scot’s decision to retire last month. The 67-year-old has guided the Northern Ireland club to four league titles, including their first ever in 1990. McFall was made an MBE in the 2008 New Year Honours list for his services to football and the local community.

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), joined 1996
Eight trophy-free seasons for Wenger, 63, at Arsenal, but the Frenchman is still heralded as one of English football’s most respected coaches. Dubbed “The Professor”, Wenger masterminded a record 49-match unbeaten run in 2004 and has guided the Gunners to four Premier League titles and three FA Cup wins. They have also qualified for the Champions League in each of the last 15 seasons. Wenger was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2003 for services to football.

Pekka Lyyski (IFK Mariehamn), joined 2002
In the third tier of Finnish football when Lyyski arrived, he guided Mariehamn to successive promotions in 2003 and 2004. The 59-year-old has since transformed the Aland Islands-based club into a competitive force in Finland’s Premier Division, known as the Veikkausliiga.

Nanne Bergstrand (Kalmar FF), joined 2003
Currently enjoying his third spell in the Kalmar dugout. Bergstrand, 57, won the Swedish Cup in 2007, the league title in 2008 and the Swedish Super Cup in 2009. He also spent two years as a player at the Guldfageln Arena.