These tacticians have reaped success with their respective teams but the pay gap at the top is rather surprising
Serie A is one of the biggest leagues in Europe and one of the most followed across the world. The Italian top flight has produced some historic teams, players and matchups. It has also produced the third highest number of winners of the UEFA Champions League, the second highest number of runner-up appearances and the second most successful team in Champions League history (AC Milan – seven trophies).
Figures like these showcase how much the league is followed and sought after by fans and players alike. Its popularity also soared with the performance of the Italian national team, who have also won four FIFA World Cup trophies in their illustrious history.
The popularity of Italian Serie A also comes in with the unique football style in the country and the coaches who are from the region. From Arrigo Sacchi to the current tacticians, there have been plenty of quality managers who are showered with popularity and hefty paychecks. Here, we focus on the five most paid managers in the league.
5. Stefano Pioli (AC Milan) – €2 million
We begin with AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli, who earns a total of €2 million per year. Pioli enjoyed a playing career of representing Parma, Fiorentina and Juventus. He won the 1984-85 European Cup and the Serie A the following season with Juventus. As a manager, he has featured in 672 games on the dugout.
Although he is yet to win a trophy as a manager, he has done impressive work with AC Milan who he joined in October last year. Pioli led the side to a sixth-place finish in the 2019-20 season, which meant Europa League football for the Rossoneri. This season, he has started strong with Milan winning the first three Serie A games. He signed a two-year extension in July this year which puts him in the fifth-spot of our list.
4. Simone Inzaghi (Lazio) – €2 million
Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi has done a tremendous job with Lazio ever since his appointment in 2017. Inzaghi also represented Lazio as a player, winning the Serie A in 1999-00 and also three Coppa Italia titles.
He began his coaching career with the youth teams of Lazio and made his way to the first team on an interim basis which was later made permanent in 2017. Since then, Inzaghi has won two Supercoppa Italiana titles and the 2018-19 Coppa Italia title with Lazio while also leading them to Champions League football in the 2020-21 season.
For his services to Lazio, Inzaghi is paid a fee of €2 million per year. His achievements with the club are sure to see him being paid better in the future either in Rome or elsewhere.
3. Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta) – €2.2 million
The man behind the team which made Europe take notice in the 2019-20 season, Gian Piero Gasperini has had to take the long way to fame. Gasperini has been one of the main reasons behind Atalanta’s turnaround in fortunes, from a club struggling to fight for their place in the Serie A to rubbing shoulders with Europe’s best teams on the continental stage.
He joined Atalanta in 2016 and since then Atalanta have finished below fourth only once (seventh in 2017-18). He has led the team to the UEFA Europa League and their first ever UEFA Champions League campaign in the 2019-20 season. Their fairytale run ended in a heartbreaking loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals. However, they displayed their quality on multiple occasions, blowing oppositions with their mesmerizing football.
Atalanta were the third-highest goal-scoring (98) club in Europe in the 2019-20 season, following Bayern Munich (100) and Manchester City (102). For his excellent record and services to the Bergamese club, Gasperini is paid €2.2 million per year which might seem very less compared to his contribution.
2. Paulo Fonseca (Roma) – €2.5 milllion
At the second position, we have AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca. The Portuguese previously had successful stints in his native country and later at Shaktar Donetsk. He joined the Giallorossi on 2019 and led them to a fifth-place finish, ensuring a UEFA Europa group stage appearance in the process.
Fonseca was tasked with leading a team filled with young talent that was to be moulded, as manager of Roma, he currently boasts a 50% win ratio, numbers that are sure to improve with a squad that is gaining experience and has a good mix of both talent and experience. Fonseca led Roma to the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia as well.
1. Antonio Conte (Inter) – €12 million
At the first place is Inter manager Antonio Conte. Considered among the best managers in the world, Conte’s impressive CV speaks of his quality as a manager which is as good as his time as a player.
Conte joined the Nerazzurri in 2019 and set his sights at success straight away. He has had a strong start to life with Inter, finishing as the runners-up in the Serie A, only a point behind champions Juventus. They also lost out narrowly in the Europa League final to Sevilla FC. Building on that, Conte has set up a squad primed to win the league and also compete for other trophies.
There would be a lot of expectations on him and his team to deliver, having gone close to winning the title in the 2019-20 season. His hefty wage packet of €12 million means he earns almost six times more than that of his closest managerial rival. This will put the pressure on him with questions already hovering on his future despite good performances last season.