A lot of money is poured into football these days. When one looks at professional club-level football, money is arguably the best performance enhancing drug for a club. Money has made it so easy for the rich teams to bring in the players and managers of their choice any time they want. Spending big during the transfer sessions and paying high salaries has often helped players to maintain their peak level of performance for the club. The case is very similar with the managers of the game. Many of the club football managers are being paid huge sums of money, comparable to that of a well-paid footballer, not only in Europe but in some Asian and American football clubs as well. On the other hand, managers are no longer in the shadow of players when one compares their salaries or contract fees.
Club football is a multi-million dollar business, so managers are well-paid, but what about the national football team managers? As national teams do not play matches on a regular basis like clubs, it is somewhat difficult for the managers to deliver major success in a certain tournament. Moreover, national team managers, unlike club managers, cannot buy players of their choice to improve their teams. So, the money these managers make generally depend upon they style of game-play they opt for and the long-term improvement they can bring to their team. This was the case in the early 2000s. But today, managers who have had notable success in club football are being lured with money and appointed the head coach of a national team. And, consequently, they are making as much as the club football managers.
Without further ado, here are the top seven highest-paid national football team managers in 2014.
7. Vicente del Bosque – Spain – $3.26 million per year
Vicente del Bosque stands as one of the most successful national football team coaches in recent years. He was appointed the head coach of the Spanish national team in July 2008, replacing Luis Aragonés who led Spain to win the 2008 Euro Cup. Under Del Bosque, the Spanish team went on to claim their first-ever World Cup in 2010 (South Africa), and then to retain the coveted Euro Cup in 2012. In club-level football, the 63-year-old led Real Madrid to two La Liga titles (in 2000-01 and 2002-03), two UEFA Champions Legaue titles (in 1999-2000 and 2001-02) and one UEFA Super Cup (in 2002). His stint at Real Madrid was the most successful and decorated period in the club’s modern era. As a player, he won five La Liga titles with Real Madrid during the 1970s.
Del Bosque was named the UEFA Club Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2002 and the IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach in 2002. He was named the World Manager of the Year and FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2012. Del Bosque is still today the only football coach to have won the World Cup, the Euro Cup and the UEFA Champions League. His success with the Spanish national team, with a win percentage of over 80 percent, is paying him $3.26 million annually.
6. Joachim Löw – Germany – $3.48 million per year
Joachim Löw was formerly a football midfielder, and is the current manager of the German national team. After Jürgen Klinsmann opted to not extend his contract following a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup, Löw was named the manager of Germany in the summer of 2006. Prior to that, Löw was set up as the team’s assistant coach when Klinsmann replaced Rudi Völler as the head coach after a very frustrating Euro 2004 campaign.
Germany hasn’t had major success at the international level under Joachim Löw; he brought many improvements to the team, including drastically increasing the pace of Germany’s game, but couldn’t deliver trophies. Initially, Löw had obtained the contract as a head coach for 2 years and he had soon made it clear publicly that he wanted to carry on in the footballing philosophy he and Klinsmann chose for their team. The philosophy was to produce a more attacking style of game-play, having shorter possessions of the ball and quickly scoring goals in counter-attack. During the 54-year-old’s tenure, he managed to significantly reduce the time players held the ball before passing. Up until 2010, Germany played some of the world’s most aggressive football.
Under Löw, Germany finished runners-up in the 2008 Euro Cup, took third place in the 2010 World Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 Euro Cup. He has already led Germany successfully to upcoming World Cup, finishing top of the qualifying group. Löw is being paid $3.48 million per year by Germany.
5. Ottmar Hitzfeld – Switzerland – $3.61 million per year
Ottmar Hitzfeld rose in the footballing world as one of the best managers during his stints at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. With Dortmund, he won two Bundesliga titles and led the club to their one and only UEFA Champions League title in 1996-1997. Hitzfeld was appointed the manager of Bayern Munich in 1998, and under him Bayern won five Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and one UEFA Champions League title. His most notable individual honors as a manager include being named the World Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2001, the UEFA Coach of the Year in 2001, the IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach in 1997 and 2001 and the German Football Manager of the Year in 2008. Hitzfeld has also been voted as Bayern Munich’s Greatest Coach Ever and the Best Bundesliga-Coach of All Time.
Hitzfeld was appointed as the head coach of the Swiss national team in summer 2008. Under him, Switzerland successfully reached the 2010 FIFA World Cup, finishing top of its qualifying group. Although the team won their first match, highly competitively, 1-0 against Spain, a loss followed by a draw saw them eliminated from the tournament. Switzerland then failed to qualify for Euro 2012, but Hitzfled led his team successfully to their second successive World Cup; the team remained unbeaten throughout the World Cup qualifying campaign. The 65-year-old has already announced that he will retire from coaching after the 2014 World Cup. Hitzfeld has a yearly salary of $3.61 million.
4. Luiz Felipe Scolari – Brazil – $3.83 million per year
Luiz Felipe Scolari was the manager of the well-renowned Brazilian national team that won the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was appointed the manager of the team in June 2001. He led the country to their fifth FIFA World Cup title, and resigned from the post at the end of 2002. Following Mano Menezes’s departure in November 2012, Scolari was again appointed as the head coach of the Brazilian team. Under him, the team won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Scolari has a yearly salary is $3.83 million.
Besides Brazil, Scolari has been the head coach of the national football teams of Kuwait and Portugal. He led Portugal to the 2004 Euro Cup final and the 2006 World Cup semi-finals. In club-level football, the 65-year-old has managed Chelsea in the Premier League and some big teams in the Brazilian League.
3. Cesare Prandelli – Italy – $4.16 million per year
Cesare Prandelli is the 18th highest-paid football manager in the world with an annual salary of $4.16 million per year. He was confirmed the head coach of the Italian national football team in May 2010, replacing outgoing Marcello Lippi. Under him, Italy finished at the top of the qualifying group during the 2012 Euro Cup, and reached the final of the tournament where they lost 4-0 to Spain. In spite of that loss, Prandelli was with his team back home amidst wide applause, and received personal accolades of President Giorgio Napolitano. He also led Italy to a third-place finish in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Prandelli was one of the key players in the Juventus side that dominated Serie A in the early 1980s. During that time, he helped Juventus win three Serie A titles (in 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1983-84) and the European Cup in 1984-85.
2. Roy Hodgson – England – $4.91 million per year
Roy Hodgson has managed 16 different football teams in 8 countries. His most notable achievements with those in club-level football include winning the Danish Superliga with Copenhagen in 2000-01, finishing runner-up with Inter Milan in the 1997 UEFA Cup and leading Fulham to the final of the 2010 Europa League. Besides club football, Hodgson has managed the national football teams of Switzerland, Finland and England. When he led Switzerland to the last 16 of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, it was the country’s first qualification in a major tournament in over 30 years. Hodgson also guided Finland to their record high 33rd place in the FIFA ranking in 2007.
Hodgson was named the LMA Manager of the Year in 2010. He was appointed as the national team coach of England in May 2012, and under him England has only managed wins in a little over half of the games they played. Still, Hodgson is the team’s manager going into the 2014 World Cup. He is being paid $4.91 million per year.
1. Fabio Capello – Russia – $10.84 million per year
Fabio Capello, with a yearly salary of $10.84 million per year, is the highest-paid national football team manager and the fifth highest-paid football manager in the world. He is currently the head coach of Russian football team, appointed in July 2012. Capello didn’t have much success when he managed England, but he successfully led Russia to the 2014 World Cup, finishing at the top of Group F. He has clearly stated that he wants to manage the Russian football team till the end of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Capello was a very successful manager during his stints at AC Milan, Real Madrid and Roma. Under him AC Milan won four Serie A titles and one UEFA Champions League in 1993-94. The 67-year-old guided Real Madrid to two La Liga titles, and won one Serie A title with AS Roma. Capello’s individual honors include being named the Serie A Coach of the Year in 2005 and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award in 2009.