There is an enormous amount of media attention surrounding the salaries of the best athletes around the world, as everyone wants to know how much their favourite player is making, or how much they are costing your team. These figures are often an alarming amount, and they provide a real insight into just how much money there is in professional sports. Soccer is the most popular and widely followed sport in the world, so it is no surprise that many of the players are some of the highest paid athletes. You will also find that, generally, there is not too much attention surrounding the salaries of the managers.
Although being a manager may not be as glamorous as being a star player, the men in suits on the sidelines are also earning big bucks each year. The manager is paid to be the brains of the operation, and they face challenges including man management, picking a formation and starting 11, playing styles, tactics and philosophy, substitutions, training methods and media responsibilities. Managers are also the ones that will often face the most criticism from fans and the press, as when a team begins to struggle it is easier to point the finger at the man in charge instead of a group of players. As this list demonstrates, this often means that managers are often not in the same job for long, with a few chairmen being notorious for wielding an axe after just a few poor performances.
Despite the fact that many managers are not in the same job for long, many of the managers on this list find a great deal of success in each new city they arrive in. This proves the importance and value of a top manager, and why some of the best earn similar amounts to the star players in the world.
Here are the 10 highest paid soccer managers in 2014.
10. Jorge Jesus (Benfica, $5.5 million)
The 60-year-old manager has managed a lengthy tenure since arriving in Benfica in 2009, largely thanks to the Portuguese team’s domestic success. He won the title in his first season, as well as the Primeira Liga Cup. He then won the Liga Cup in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season. Jorge Jesus has proven why he is one of the highest paid managers this year, with an impressive domestic treble last season (a challenge in any league). Benfica won the league title, won the Portuguese Cup and also the Portuguese League Cup, and they also made it to the Europa League final. Despite all this, Jesus was not included in the FIFA Coach of the Year short-list.
9. Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City, $5.75 million)
The Chilean manager inherited one of the best squads in the world when he took over from Roberto Mancini for the start of the 2013-14 season, and also a team with deep pockets after they were bought by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Pellegrini has enjoyed domestic success in his tenure, winning the title in his first season, as well as the Capital One Cup. Pressure now mounts on the 61-year-old, as his squad has failed to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea this season, and City has again struggled in the Champions League against the top teams in Europe. If this is to be Pellegrini’s last season in Manchester, he will not struggle for his next suitors with a resume that includes success with teams like Malaga, Real Madrid, Villareal and River Plate.
8. Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund, $6 million)
Jurgen Klopp has become one of the biggest names in soccer and a fan favourite after turning his Dortmund team into one that could tangle with Bayern Munich, and he was sought after by a number of teams this summer. His team topped the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012, and in those years he deservingly took home the German Manager of the Year award. Dortmund also had a sensational Champions League run in the 2012-13 season, avoiding defeat in the toughest group that featured Real Madrid, Chelsea and Ajax. Dortmund made it all the way to the final, knocking out Real Madrid in the process, before losing to bitter rivals Bayern Munich, who scored a late winner. Things are not going well for the 47-year-old and his team now though, who have free fallen to 14th in the Bundesliga, and 13 points below Munich at the top.
7. Arsene Wenger (Arsenal, $10 million)
The 64-year-old Arsene Wenger is one of the few managers that haven’t had to pack their bags in the last few years, as he has been in charge of the North London club since 1996. It is refreshing to see a team stick by their manager, but it has resulted in mixed fortunes for the Gunners. Arsenal has consistently finished in the top four, has had solid Champions League runs and generally play good football, but they have not progressed to become an elite team. They also only won their first trophy in nine years in May, which is an enormous drought for a team of their caliber and reputation. Nevertheless, Wenger has brought style and consistently good football to Arsenal, and seeing faith put into the manager is always positive to see.
6. Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid, $10.5 million)
It is no secret that Real Madrid is happy to spend big on star players, including the likes of Ronaldo, Bale, Rodriguez and Modric, and with such a talented squad you need a manager to match. Although they do not have the best paid manager, they do have one that knows how to win and is able to manage a squad bursting with talent and ego (a huge challenge). Ancelotti took charge in 2013, and gave Madrid their 10th Champions League title at the end of last season. This made the 55-year-old just the second manager to win three European cups. Ancelotti has the best squad in the world to work with, but nothing should be taken away from what the Italian has accomplished in a city with such huge expectations of their team.
5. Louis van Gaal (Manchester United, $11.75 million)
The Dutchman with the big personality made headlines when he stated that he wanted to manage in the Premier League once the World Cup was over, and when David Moyes was sacked it seemed like the perfect time for the decorated manager to step in. There was a buzz of anticipation around the red half of Manchester, as it looked like they had found a saviour, but it has not been the smooth journey that many expected. Despite bringing in the likes of Falcao, Herrera and Di Maria, United has struggled to win games. But with so much talent on the sidelines and on the pitch, it can surely only be a matter of time for United to gel and get back to winning ways.
4. Fabio Capello (Russia, $13 million)
No national manager gets paid more than Fabio Capello does, yet Russia is ranked a lowly 30th on the FIFA World rankings. The Italian coach certainly has the credentials to be one of the best paid managers in the world, as he has won an impressive 9 league titles and the European Cup in 1994. He has managed the likes of A.C Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid, but so far he has yet to impress as the manager of a national side. He managed England from 2007 to 2012, but the Three Lions disappointed in both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. The 68 year old’s large salary has also caused controversy, as the Russian Football Union is reportedly in heavy debt.
3. Marcello Lippi (Guangzhou Evergrande, $14 million)
The 66 year old Italian legend Marcello Lippi announced his retirement earlier this month, but not before adding another trophy to his name. He had just won his third Chinese league title, and these are added to his honours alongside the World Cup with Italy, the Champions League title and a staggering five Serie A titles. Before taking the reigns at Guangzhou Evergrande in 2012, Lippi managed at Juventus, Inter, Napoli and his national team. He now feels that he is too old to be a manager, but he can retire knowing that he is one of the all time greats and he has accomplished an enormous amount in his managerial career. He can also feel pretty financially secure too.
2. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea, $17 million)
Not only is Jose Mourinho considered one of the all time greatest managers, but he also has a personality that is great for the game. Whether you love or hate ‘The Special One’, there is no denying that he provides entertainment wherever he goes. He has a knack for out foxing his opponents through his tactical philosophy, and this has brought him many trophies and records at each club he has managed. He is now in his second stint at Stamford Bridge, and under pressure to win after failing to lift a trophy in his first season. Chelsea has looked unstoppable in this campaign, as they are undefeated atop the Premier League, and have looked convincing in the Champions League too.
1. Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich, $24 million)
Pep Guardiola became the biggest name in coaching following his time at Barcelona, where the 43-year-old won an incredible 14 trophies in just four years. This understandably caught the attention of all the biggest clubs, and it was German giants Bayern Munich that courted Guardiola in 2013. This was after a year’s sabbatical, as the Spaniard wanted to spend some time away from football. His return to the sidelines is to the benefit of his new team, as he is back to his old ways of filling trophy cabinets in style. In his first season, Munich topped the Bundesliga, and also won the DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. His knack for winning trophies, along with his teams’ exciting style of play, make him the highest paid manager in the game.
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