Figures released this week show the top earning managers in football, on the top of which Real Madrid manager and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho sits proudly as the highest paid coach in the sport.
Beneath his is another former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti who takes home £10.9 million a year from Paris Saint-Germain.
The highest earning Premier League manager is Sir Alex Ferguson who, despite holding his position at Manchester United since 1986, comes in fourth place with his £7.6 million annual earnings.
Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger earns just £100,000 less per year than Ferguson, despite having not won a trophy in 7 seasons and former England coach Fabio Capello is the highest paid international manager, pocketing £6.3 million from the Russian national side.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ certainly justifies his nickname with his special fee but is he really the best manager in football?
I suppose it depends on the judgment criteria – if it’s trophies, he presents a formidable list of honours. He’s won the UEFA Champion’s League twice, with two different clubs – Porto and Inter Milan. He’s been the champion of four different nation’s leagues in Portugal, England, Italy, and now Spain.
He’s managed two of the most historically successful and elite clubs on the continent in Inter and Real and in total he’s won 20 trophies in just 12 years as a professional manager.
His closest contemporary is Sir Alex Ferguson – very few would argue that they are the two most influential managers in football. Ferguson, however, has longevity on his side. He’s been coaching since 1974, almost 40 years and has held his position at one of the most successful clubs in history for more than a quarter of a century.
At 70 years of age he remains ambitious and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s won 47 trophies in total, 37 with Manchester United. Personally, I think the legacy of United is his greatest achievement and, whilst Mourinho’s rise surely puts him firmly on course to become as great as Ferguson, he’s nowhere near yet, in my estimation.
Ultimately, what Real Madrid pay for is his ability – he learned his trade under the late Bobby Robson and his CV speaks for itself. Is he worth £12.3 million per year to the Spanish champions? Undoubtedly but is he the best manager in the game? Not yet, like a fine wine, he’ll need another thirty-odd years to mature.
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