The 10 highest-paid managers in world football: Liverpool, Man City bosses in the mix; surprise No.1

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and Manchester City's Pep Guardiola. TEAMtalk montage.

Being a football manager is a stressful business but it can also be an incredibly lucrative one for bosses in Europe’s top leagues. 

While football clubs invest most of their money on new players, they are also willing to spend a lot of money in order to attract or keep hold of world-class managers.

Using figures from the French outlet L’Equipe, we’ve taken a look at the 10 highest-paid managers in world football in 2023.

Unsurprisingly, Premier League bosses take up two of the three top spots but Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta don’t make the top 10.

10. Niko Kovac – £3,522,480-per-year

After dismissing both Mark van Bommel and Florian Kohfeldt in 2021/22, Wolfsburg appointed Kovac as the club’s new head coach ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The 51-year-old has a good track record in Germany, having previously helped Eintracht Frankfurt win the DFB-Pokal in 2017/18 before guiding Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double in 2018/19.

He endured a difficult start to 2022/23 and Wolfsburg picked up just two points from their first five games but they have turned things around and are now battling for a European qualifying place.

According to the German website WAZ, Kovac recently rejected the chance to join Tottenham as he doesn’t want to break his contract with the Bundesliga side.

9. Xabi Alonso – £4,397,832-per-year

Alonso worked under some legendary managers during his playing career and began his own coaching career in Real Madrid’s youth system before taking charge of Real Sociedad’s B team in 2019.

He then got his first job in senior management in October 2022, taking over at a Bayer Leverkusen side that were 17th in the Bundesliga after eight games.

The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder has overseen a remarkable transformation at the BayArena and Leverkusen are currently sixth in the Bundesliga.

Alonso’s men have also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they will take on a Roma side managed by…

8. Jose Mourinho – £8,120,712-per-year

Mourinho arrived at Roma in 2021 with some serious pedigree, having won eight league titles, two Champions Leagues, two Europa Leagues and 13 domestic trophies in his managerial career.

But a lot of critics felt that the 60-year-old was past his best following his acrimonious exits at Manchester United and Tottenham.

He silenced those doubters by winning the inaugural Europa Conference League in his debut season and has since led Roma to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

According to reports in France, Paris Saint-Germain have set their sights on Mourinho and want him to replace Christophe Galtier in the dugout.

7. Simone Inzaghi – £8,753,484-per-year

Inzaghi swapped Lazio for Inter Milan in the summer of 2021 and was given the unenviable task of replacing Antonio Conte, who had just helped the club win their first Serie A title in 11 years.

The 47-year-old won the Coppa Italia in his first season in charge and has now led Inter to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face city rivals AC Milan.

Despite their impressive performances in Europe, Inter have struggled to find consistent form in Serie A in 2022/23 and Inzaghi is widely reported to be at risk of losing his job in the summer.

6. Carlo Ancelotti – £9,597,204-per-year

While Ancelotti is still in the top six, he reportedly accepted a pay cut in order to leave Everton and return to Real Madrid in 2021.

The 63-year-old exceeded all expectations in Madrid and managed to deliver a Champions League and La Liga double in 2021/22.

Madrid’s success saw him become the first manager to capture league titles in each of Europe’s top five leagues — England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

But Los Blancos look set to surrender their La Liga title to arch-rivals Barcelona and Ancelotti, who is under contract at the Bernabeu until 2024, has been heavily linked with the Brazil national team job.

Carlo Ancelotti celebrating winning the Champions League

5. Thomas Tuchel – £10,547,580-per-year

Following a poor start to the 2022/23 season, Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea in September 2022 and received a payout of £13m.

The German reportedly rejected offers from Bayer Leverkusen and two unnamed Premier League clubs before replacing Julian Nagelsmann in the Bayern Munich dugout in March 2023.

But he’s had a difficult start to his Bayern career, getting eliminated from the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal while also losing the top spot in the Bundesliga to Borussia Dortmund.

According to reports in Germany, he’s already under pressure and Bayern’s board will meet at the end of the season to decide the futures of Tuchel, CEO Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

4. Massimiliano Allegri – £11,284,620-per-year

After enduring poor seasons under Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo, Juventus reappointed Allegri in 2021 and made him the highest-paid manager in Serie A.

The 55-year-old won five Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia’s during his first spell at the Allianz Stadium but is yet to restore the club to their former glories.

While Juventus are currently third in the Serie A table and have reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and the Coppa Italia, Allegri has often been criticised for his negative tactics.

Zinedine Zidane is reportedly keen on taking his job but Juventus’ financial issues might prove to be a stumbling block as any move to sack Allegri and his coaching staff could cost the club around £18m.

3. Jurgen Klopp – £15,714,096-per-year

Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in the Liverpool dugout in October 2015 and initially penned a three-year deal worth around £5m-per-year.

The 55-year-old has since won six major trophies – the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Premier League, Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup.

He’s been rewarded for his work and his wages have subsequently skyrocketed, although his latest contract extension in April 2022 did involve a pay increase.

According to The Athletic, the German didn’t ask for any additional money while other members of his backroom staff saw their pay packets boosted by around £2m collectively.

2. Pep Guardiola – £19,721,724-per-year

Widely recognised as the best manager in the world, Guardiola took over at Manchester City in 2016 and has made them the dominant force in English football.

The Spaniard has led City to four Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup and they are still in the hunt for the treble in 2022/23.

He committed his future to the club in November 2022, penning a two-year extension that will take him to the end of the 2024/25 season.

“From day one I felt something special being here,” Guardiola said. “I cannot be in a better place. I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies.”

1. Diego Simeone – £29,846,244-per-year

Since taking the reins at Atletico Madrid over a decade ago, Simeone has won eight trophies, including two La Liga titles and two Europa Leagues.

He signed a three-year contract extension in 2021 and now receives an incredible £573,966-per-week, making him the highest-paid manager in the world by some distance.

Remarkably, Real Madrid’s Ancelotti and Barcelona manager Xavi earn a combined total of £12,972,036-per-year, which is less than half of Simeone’s annual pay packet.

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