The list containing the best-paid managers in the world showed up a surprising name at the top and it is not Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
Football as a sport has become a massive business proposition in modern times with serious money being pumped into the game. Football clubs have become money-making entities and the superstars at these clubs are the centrepiece of all attention and thereby the inflow of money is concentrated towards these stars and big names.
However, modern football is not just focused on big names on the pitch, but big names off it as well. As much as the limelight lies on big players, managers have made their niche within football with their success and antics and this has endeared them to their clubs, fans and thereby money alike.
Today we look at the five best-paid managers in the world. While we have expected Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho to top the list, this year has thrown a surprise with a new name on the list and it is a name that not many might have expected.
5. Zinedine Zidane – Real Madrid CF (€16.8m)
There are great players and then there are great managers but the longing question has always been the concoction of the two and the potency of it. But Zinedine Zidane has proved that with proper man-management and situational awareness you can be a legendary player and a coach as well.
The Frenchman is without doubt one of the greatest footballers in history and he is now stamping his class in management as well. Like Klopp, Zizou took the reins at Real Madrid during a low phase in their season with squad belief at an all-time low following the sacking of Rafael Benitez.
His trademark composure and stern management ensured that Real functioned as a team more than as a pack of individual brilliance. This trait led the team to ascend new heights and make history by being the first team to win the UEFA Champions League title twice and then became the first team to make it a hat-trick of titles, a feat never matched in the Champions League era and only matched thrice by the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1960s.
Zidane left for a brief hiatus before rejoining the club last December for his second spell. But despite the usual issues and shenanigans at the Bernabeu, Zidane has once again steadied the ship at Madrid and now has them fighting for the La Liga and Champions League titles which lays good value for his wage packet of around €17m.
4. Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool FC (€17.5m)
It is safe to say that Liverpool has evolved into an almost indomitable force in English and European football. The Reds are still unbeaten in the current season and are breaking records for fun. As much as the credit must go to the players, most of the credit must deservedly go to the brilliance of Jurgen Klopp.
The excitable German has weaved some magic at Merseyside but it has not been without his struggles. The former Dortmund manager took the reins at Anfield in 2015 at a time when Liverpool were in a transition and has worked his way to make Liverpool into the all-conquering force they are at the moment.
His hard work finally paid dividends when Liverpool became Champions of Europe last year and are destined to win their first-ever Premier League title. Seeing these things from 2015 one would believe that the investment of close to €18m a year was a masterstroke.
3. Jose Mourinho – Tottenham Hotspur (€17.5m)
There is not much left to say about “The Special One”. A man synonymous with top teams, jibes, fights, humour, controversy and above all a trophy-laden CV. Like his managerial counterpart (rival is the common term) Pep, Mourinho has won trophies everywhere he has been.
He has won a total of 24 major trophies in his managerial career. Now at Tottenham, he has been tasked with the unique opportunity of leading Spurs to that long-coveted trophy. An opportunity that has been bestowed along with a hefty pay-packet of 17 and a half million euros which brings him the list of best-paid managers in the world.
2. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City (€23.3m)
Modern football has become synonymous with style and flair in the possession and no one seems to have embodied it more than Pep Guardiola. In fact, he has made it the heart and soul of his game.
The Catalan has made a career filled with trophies and his style of possession football has received a great reception and praise wherever he has gone, be it in Spain, Germany and now in England. His levels of success and obsession to the game has kept him in the big league.
His lofty standards also mean his wage bill is sure to be among the higher echelons of the pay scale, and that is evident with him being showered €23.3 m by the wealthy Arab owners of the Manchester City.
1. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid (€43.6m)
The former Argentine midfielder has been a cornerstone to Atletico’s success ever since he’s been at the Vicente Calderon/Wanda Metropolitano. He has won seven trophies at Atletico and now they are capable of defeating any team in Europe.
Two Copa Del Reys and Europa League titles, a UEFA Super Cup and a La Liga title and two Champions League finals within 7 years of management with the Rojiblancos have made Simeone an indelible part of the club’s history. It has also put him in the list of best-paid managers in the world.
Simeone gets a whopping €44m for his services. A true testament to his efforts at making Atletico the global phenomenon it is today.