When we hear about soccer and the money involved with it, we often hear about the salaries the most talented players rake in per year, not to mention some of the downright ridiculous contracts these players sign whenever they transfer to a new club (Samuel Eto’o’s former contract with Anzhi Makhachkala, anyone?!)
But what about the managers of the beautiful game? How much do the men who run the show for their respective clubs make in their attempts to lead their players to a league or European title? In this list, we focus on 10 of the managers currently competing in this year’s UEFA Champions League season, and how much they make per year. Some are new to the tournament and making money relative to the sheer stature of the club they manage, while others are well-known managers signing up with new clubs and profiting from the reputations they’ve built for themselves over the years. Regardless, these men have earned the right to making big bucks for building competitive, world-beating teams and making them good enough to roll with the rest of Europe’s biggest sides – and conquer them all in the process.
While a couple of them may be lucky enough to make it all the way, some may be unfortunately seeing their time in this year’s tournament cut short after the group stages. Regardless of whether their season in the Champions League is a success or a flop – or whether or not their club’s campaigns are even good enough to see them back in the group stages next year – their paychecks represent the skill and tactical genius of these managers during their campaigns at this year’s edition of football’s biggest club tournament. Let’s take a look at 10 of the managers making big bucks this Champion’s League season.
10. Antonio Conte – Juventus – $4 Million Per Year
At 44-years-old, Antonio Conte is still relatively young for a manager of one of Italy’s most successful clubs. The Juventus boss has built on his previous reputation as a player in the ‘90s by already winning two scudettos with the Bianconeri, even if his team is currently in tough to make it past Group B of this year’s Champions League. While winning trophies may not exactly be his biggest claim to fame in some people’s eyes – he was in hot water during the summer of 2012 for being a part of a match-fixing scandal and then banned for 10 months for subsequently failing to report said match-fixing – Conte is still taking home about $4 million per year with the Turin-based club.
9. Laurent Blanc – Paris Saint-Germain – $4 Million Per Year
While he may be best known for his playing days with Manchester United as well as with France during their victorious campaign at home during the ’98 World Cup, Laurent Blanc is trying to build an even bigger reputation as a coach. Blanc stepped down as the French national team’s manager following Euro 2012, and has now taken the reigns of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain. So far, it’s going pretty well for him: Blanc and PSG are currently top of the Ligue 1 table without having lost a game yet, and are currently at the top of Group C in the Champions League. While Blanc’s net worth is as high as $185 million thanks to his endorsement deals, he takes in a relatively modest $4 million a year with PSG.
8. Rafael Benitez – Napoli – $4.7 Million Per Year
Rafael Benitez’s tenure with Italian team Napoli has led to respectable success thus far: the Partenopei are third in the Serie A table and are tied for second in the Champions League’s Group F in Rafa’s first season since his somewhat controversial time as Chelsea’s interim boss. Benitez’s reputation as a manager was very much built up through his years with Liverpool, as he won them the Champions League soon after losing a then-dangerous Michael Owen to Real Madrid in 2005, as well as a Club World Cup title with Internazionale. Benitez takes home about $4.7 million per year, and his contract at Napoli is good for two years.
7. Roberto Mancini – Galatasaray – $4.7 Million Per Year
The Italian bench boss’ tenure with Turkish giants Galatasaray hasn’t necessarily begun swimmingly: the Cimbom currently sit fifth in their league table, as well as only having four points out of five games (and one win to show for it) in Group B of this year’s Champions League. Roberto Mancini’s yearly paycheck of about $4.7 million is likely a result of the reputation he gained prior to this season, with a Premier League title at Manchester City, three Serie A titles with Internazionale and four Coppa Italias under his belt. Mancini’s record as a player isn’t too bad either, having played as a forward with Italy at the World Cup they hosted in 1990.
6. Manuel Pellegrini – Manchester City – $8 Million Per Year
The Chilean manager/qualified civil engineer Manuel Pellegrini has had a hot and cold start to his life in England: the Manchester City boss sits fourth in the Premier League table despite having a +22 goal difference advantage. City also sits second behind Bayern Munich in Group D thanks in part to a 3-1 loss to Bayern back in October. Pellegrini takes home about $8 million per year, perhaps still due in part to his brief stint with Real Madrid followed by his two and a half year-long tenure with southern Spanish side Malaga, who had to sell many of their best players to other clubs due to debt.
5. David Moyes – Manchester United – $8.1 Million Per Year
Having to fill the shoes of one of the greatest managers in the history of football is a gargantuan task for anyone to take on. For David Moyes, replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United has seen mixed results thus far. The team currently sits in a disappointing sixth place in the Premier League, and have a fairly loose grip at the top of their Champions League group. A manager perhaps known best for making a competitive team from a shoestring budget with Everton, Moyes rakes in about $8.1 million per year through his current contract with United which lasts six years.
4. Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid – $10.2 Million Per Year
The Italian manager has had an illustrious career with a variety of clubs in different leagues – winning a Ligue 1 title last year in his one season managing Paris Saint-Germain, and previously winning a Premier League title with Chelsea, a Serie A scudetto with AC Milan and two Champions League titles with Milan as well. Carlo Ancelotti has certainly earned his $10.2 million yearly paycheck, and he’s gained a number of individual honours as well – one being the UEFA Manager of the Year in 2002-03. His time at Real Madrid has started with Los Merengues being third in the La Liga table, but they have also won Group B in their Champions League campaign.
3. Arsene Wenger – Arsenal – $11.4 Million Per Year
Now by far the longest-serving manager in the Premier League following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Arsene Wenger and the Gunners are finally showing for the first time in what feels like decades that they are a team worthy of contending for a league title. Arsenal is currently sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League following the gigantic purchase of Mesut Ozil this August. Wenger and co also sit atop Group F of this year’s Champions League, just ahead of Borussia Dortmund and Napoli. The French manager collects about $11.4 million per year, even though his last Premier League title was 10 years ago.
2. Jose Mourinho – Chelsea – $11.5 Million Per Year
The Special One didn’t exactly have the most nickname-befitting season last year after a controversial campaign as Real Madrid manager. But after returning to his old post at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has led the Blues to a current second-place tie in the Premier League, as well as just barely being top of Group E ahead of Basel and Schalke 04 in this year’s Champions League. Already one of the most decorated managers still active in the beautiful game, Mourinho brings home a whopping $11.5 million a year after winning a Champions League title with Porto, two Premier League titles with Chelsea, two scudettos with Internazionale and one La Liga title with Real Madrid.
1. Pep Guardiola – Bayern Munich – $23 Million Per Year
The mastermind of Barcelona’s famed and notorious tiki-taka system, Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola has developed a fantastic managerial career that eclipses his already successful playing days as a member of Johan Cruyff’s ‘dream team’ in the ‘90s. Now managing defending Champions League winners Bayern Munich, Guardiola has led the German footballing titans to currently being top of the Bundesliga table, as well as having a perfect group stage record thus far in Group D of this year’s Champions League. Thanks in no small part to his incredible reputation at Barcelona – to the tune of three La Liga titles, two Champions League titles and two FIFA Club World Cups, among others – Guardiola makes a resounding $23 million per year with Bayern.
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