Who is football’s biggest spender? Find out here as Ronaldo.com goes through the 10 biggest spending managers since 2000.
Being a football manager isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s one of the most demanding jobs in sport, where anything less than regular victories often results in one’s dismissal. You either deliver straight away or be shown the door.
So signing the right players is a critical aspect for any manager, one that isn’t easy to accomplish or cheap for that matter. In fact, coaches have to go out of their way to get the right guy.
Sometimes they’re not directly involved in signings, but the pressure is still on to deliver following the arrival of expensive players.
So let’s check out the 10 biggest spending managers on Transfermarkt since 2000.
10. Rafael Benitez – €824m (101 signings)
Benitez has never been shy to splash the cash when needed, especially during his reign at Liverpool. To be fair, he did well with Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso. But there were times the Spaniard was wide of the mark, in signings such as Robbie Keane and Alberto Aquilani.
The 60-year-old currently coaches Dalian Yifang after spells with Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid and Newcastle United.
9. Ernesto Valverde – €849.13m (53 signings)
Barcelona spent a huge €273m last summer to bring in the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong for Valverde.
After that horrific Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool last season, the Blaugrana were determined to never re-live such an experience again. A poor start to the season, however, resulted in Valverde’s dismissal. He remains without a new club to date.
8. Antonio Conte – €886.96m (78 signings)
While Conte’s most successful period as a manager came at Juventus between 2011 and 2014, his biggest transfers have come at Chelsea and Inter Milan.
The former Italy boss’ most expensive signing is Alvaro Morata, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2017 for €66m. Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, is a close second on €65m. Although Inter could pay more for the ex-Manchester United striker in the future.
7. Arsene Wenger – €892.47m (85 signings)
Considering all the players that Arsenal had to sell to pay the bills for the Emirates Stadium, it’s a little surprising to see Wenger on this list.
The Frenchman spent big in the final few years of his days in north London, bringing in the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil for a combined €163.75m.
6. Diego Simeone – €988.54m (66 signings)
To be fair, Simeone would stand no chance of challenging Real Madrid or Barcelona for La Liga without a huge transfer budget at Atletico Madrid. He greatly used it last summer to spend €243.5m.
Joao Felix is the Argentine’s most expensive signing, having joined Atletico last summer from Benfica for a stunning €126m.
5. Massimiliano Allegri – €1.06bn (95 signings)
A brilliant five seasons at Juventus established Allegri as one of Europe’s best coaches, with five Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia crowns. He also led the Bianconeri to two Champions League finals.
Success in Turin came at a price, though. The Italian spent heavily on players like Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain before Juve pulled off one of the biggest coups in history in signing Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018.
4. Manuel Pellegrini – €1.13bn (86 signings)
The new Real Betis manager has coached some of the biggest clubs in Europe, such as Real Madrid and Manchester City. Therefore, he’s not always been responsible for signings.
Pellegrini’s time in Madrid justified that when Florentino Perez broke the bank in 2009 to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka on world-record deals.
3. Carlo Ancelotti – €1.29bn (81 signings)
Ancelotti is one of those rare few managers to have gone abroad and become a success story. He’s won league titles with AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich during his career.
The former Real Madrid boss has, of course, enjoyed some lucrative support in the transfer department as well, with Gareth Bale being his most expensive capture at €101m in 2013.
2. Pep Guardiola – €1.33bn (61 signings)
Sometimes quality outweighs quantity as Pep Guardiola has proven over the years.
The Manchester City manager may have enjoyed an ample amount of financial support in the past, but he’s always prioritised getting the right player instead of some big-name. His most expensive capture was Rodri last summer for €70m.
1. Jose Mourinho – €1.63bn (99 signings)
To probably nobody’s surprise, the ‘Special One’ tops the list of the biggest spending managers since 2000. Nobody comes close to him in this aspect.
Mourinho has coached some of the world’s most talented players and won numerous accolades across his career. His most expensive signing was Paul Pogba in 2016 for a then-record €105m.
It will be interesting to see how Mourinho fares at Tottenham in the summer transfer window, as the club chairman Daniel Levy isn’t a renown big-spender.