Emerich Jenei or Imre Jenei (also known as Emeric Jenei or Ienei; 22 March 1937), is a Romanian football player and coach. In May 1986 he won the European Cup as coach of Steaua Bucureşti. He is considered one of Romania's best coaches, alongside Anghel Iordănescu, Victor Piţurcă and Mircea Lucescu.
On 25 March 2008 he was decorated by the president of România, Traian Băsescu with Ordinul "Meritul Sportiv" — (The Order "The Sportive Merit") class II with one barret for his part in winning the of 1986 European Cup Final.
The highlights of his career as a player were the Romanian football championship titles he won with Steaua in 1959-1960, 1960-1961 and 1967-1968.
As a coach, Jenei continued to enjoy success. Having returned from Turkey, he was named assistant coach at Steaua at the beginning of the 1972-1973 season. One year later, he was promoted to a head coaching position and finished 5th in Liga I, winning his first championship title as coach in 1976, then finishing as a runner-up in 1977. He won another championship title in 1978, but at the end of the season he was replaced by Gheorghe Constantin.
In 1978-1979, Jenei coached FC Bihor of Oradea, but the team finished the season in last place and he was sacked as a result. In 1981, he took over at CS Târgovişte, and the beginning of the 1982-1983 season found him as coach of Steaua for a second stint. After two years, in which failed to win the championship, he was again sacked, only to be brought back after four months.
In 1985 he won a new championship and in the following season led Steaua Bucureşti to victory in the European Cup final against FC Barcelona in May 1986. In the summer of 1986, Jenei was named co-head coach of the Romanian national football team, together with Mircea Lucescu, making his debut against Norway. Lucescu was sacked after a short while and Jenei became the only national team coach. He failed to qualify the team for Euro 88, but took the team to World Cup 1990. It was the first qualification of Romania at a World Cup in twenty years. Between August 1986 and June 1990, Jenei coached the team in 40 games, including two wins against Spain in 1987 and Italy in 1988.
After the World Cup, he was named head coach of Hungary but failed to produce notable results, being sacked after a short period of time. He returned to Romania in April 1991, when he was offered the job of Steaua's head coach for the fourth time, only to be sacked again in December of same year.
Jenei did not return to the pitch for a while, but, in August 1993, Emerich Jenei began his fifth stint as coach of Steaua, and won the championship one year later. In 1996, he was named head coach of Universitatea Craiova but was sacked after only ten games. Two years later he returned to Steaua for his sixth and final stint there.
In 2000, Jenei he was again called to coach Romania. The squad qualified for Euro 2000 but the previous coach - Victor Piţurcă - was sacked after a scandal which involved the team's best players, including Gheorghe Popescu and Gheorghe Hagi. At Euro 2000, Jenei took the team to the last eight, one of the team's best performances. During his second stint, the national team played 11 games.
In June 2000, he decided to retire from coaching. After that date, Jenei was president of FC Bihor and also worked for the Romanian Football Federation. He is regularly consulted by the Romanian media for his opinion ahead of important football games for Romanian clubs, especially Steaua, or the Romanian national team.