Chelsea are making José Mourinho a staggeringly well-compensated manager

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After what he called the worst year of his managerial career, José Mourinho is getting a raise, not that many care. At Real Madrid, he was already the world’s highest-paid coach, something few may know given how little we dwell on non-player wages.

With players, we care about the fees and the salaries, often tying that to ticket prices, television contracts, and the club’s overall spending. We rarely do the same for coaches or executives, though given how much Mourinho will make over the next four years, we probably should.

Mourinho was pulling in over $15 million per season to manage the Merengues, a figure that will get a noticeable bump after he returns to West London.. If The Times of London’s reporting  is correct, the soon-to-be re-Chelsea’d boss will earn closer to $19 million per year in his return to Stamford Bridge.

As relayed from Business Week, The Times is reporting Mourinho’s new deal will be worth £50 million over four years, or around $75-76 million dollars. England’s tax rate takes a big chunk out of that, but even after giving around $6 million to the crown, Mourinho will pocket well over $12 million per year. That keeps him well ahead of Carlo Ancelotti, Marcelo Lippi and Guus Hiddink as the highest paid coaches in world soccer.

To put that in perspective, let’s go back in time, all the way back to our previous post about an hour ago. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the elite talents in the world’s game, is making around $18 million per year. It’s a bit of a loaded comparison, given “Ibra” is having all his taxes covered by PSG, but it does provide some perspective. Expect for the ultra right-end, point-one percenters in the player market, José Mourinho is making more than anybody in the game.

So it goes without saying Mourinho, after he’s allowed to leave Real Madrid this week, will become the highest-paid coach in the history of the Premier League, a status that would normally lead to high expectations and huge accountability. Despite a trophy-less season that ended in a Copa del Rey flameout, the Portuguese boss will be tasked with recreating the magic that won Chelsea two Premier League titles after his 2004 arrival.

With The Special One, those expectations were always going to be in place, regardless the cost. Yet whereas sums like “Torres, £50 million” are tossed around frequently when evaluating players, don’t expect Mourinho’s price to be thrown back in his face. For the most part, we don’t care how much clubs are paying their coaches.

UEFA Champions League semifinal predictions

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With the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League to kick off over the next few days, let’s take a look at both games and predict which teams will make it to the final in Kiev on May 26.

[ MORE: Champions League scores

Liverpool or Roma? Real Madrid or Bayern Munich?

Here’s the lowdown as two eagerly anticipated games take center stage across Europe.


Liverpool vs. AS Roma
First leg: Apr. 24, 2:45 p.m. ET at Anfield
Second leg: May 2, 2:45 p.m. ET at Stadio Olimpico

This should be one heck of a tie with defending optional for both teams but both have very different ways of playing. Jurgen Klopp will unleash the fluid trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on an often brittle Roma defense but the Italian giants have a giant in their own up top in the shape of Edin Dzeko. How Virgil Van Dijk and Liverpool’s defense deal with the threat of Dzeko will likely decide the outcome of this game. Liverpool will look to feed off the famous Anfield atmosphere to wrack up a big first leg lead before they head to Roma for Leg 2, and I fancy Salah to blow his old team away in the first leg. Liverpool to advance 4-2 on aggregate.

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid
First leg: Apr. 25, 2:45 p.m. ET at Allianz Arena
Second leg: May 1, 2:45 p.m. ET at Santiago Bernabeu

A proper heavyweight clash as Bayern and Real do battle knowing that whoever wins will be the favorites in the final. Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life (again) after a slow start to this season and Zinedine Zidane’s side made hard work of it against Juventus in the last round but are on course for a third-straight UCL trophy. As for Bayern, they have been in imperious form and you feel like Robert Lewandowski can get the better of Real’s center backs. Expect this to be a tight game with extremely high quality from both teams. Real being at home in the second leg is a big advantage. Real Madrid to advance 3-2 on aggregate. 

Cologne’s Hector extends contract despite likely relegation

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COLOGNE, Germany (AP) Germany defender Jonas Hector has shunned reported interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund by extending his contract with Cologne – despite the club’s almost certain relegation from the Bundesliga.

Cologne, eight points from safety with three games remaining, says its 27-year-old captain has signed a two-year extension to 2023 instead of using a release clause in his contract.

Hector, who has been at the club since 2010, says, “It wouldn’t have been a problem to switch to another club after this season but it didn’t feel right for me. I belong to Cologne and want to tackle the new season with the team and the fans behind us.”

Cologne sporting director Armin Veh says Hector’s decision is, “a great signal for the team, the club and our fans.”

Klopp talks politics: “Brexit makes no sense”

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Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of Brexit and he doesn’t care who knows it.

Liverpool’s German manager has spoken in the past about his disdain towards the vote by British citizens to leave the European Union, with Brexit officially planned for March 2019.

Klopp sat down with the Guardian to chat about a whole host of topics but it was his political views which will get the headlines ahead of Liverpool’s huge UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg against AS Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.

The man who has Liverpool on the cusp of reaching a major European final and comfortably in the top four of the Premier League also admitted that he has a “helping syndrome” and wants to help out everyone and he cares about them greatly.

It is worth letting the words speak for themselves when it comes to Klopp’s comments on Brexit as it is clearly something else he cares a lot about.

Take it away, Jurgen…

“When Mr [David] Cameron had the idea [of a referendum] you thought: ‘This is not something people should decide in a moment.’ We are all influenced by the way only some of the argument is given, and once the decision is taken nobody gives you a real opportunity to change it again. The choice was either you stay in Europe, which is not perfect, or you go out into something nobody has any idea how it will work.

“So you give people the chance to make this big decision. And then it’s a 51-49 [51.9%-48.1%] vote and you’re thinking: ‘Wow, 49% are not happy with the decision that’s going to change the country.’ For the 51%, I’m sure they realized pretty early after the vote: ‘What have we done?’ The two leaders of the leave campaign then stepped aside. It was a pure sign they were surprised themselves by the vote. OK, that can happen. But then, come on, let’s sit together again. Let’s think about it again and let’s vote again with the right information – not with the information you’ve got around the Brexit campaign. They were obviously not right, not all of them. It makes no sense at all.”

“The EU is not perfect but it was the best idea we had. History has always shown that when we stay together we can sort out problems. When we split then we start fighting. There was not one time in history where division creates success. So, for me, Brexit still makes no sense.”

VIDEO: Napoli fans celebrate Juventus win

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It is safe to say Napoli’s fans were pretty happy with the 1-0 win their team secured at Juventus on Sunday.

Kalidou Koulibaly powered home a header in stoppage as Napoli moved just one point behind Juventus, who sit top of the Serie A table, with four games to go. The title race is well and truly on in Italy.

The scenes across Naples after the game were incredible and when the players arrived back at the airport at around 3 a.m. local time they were greeted by thousands of adoring fans.

Take a look at the video below. Wow.