Qatar 2022 has shown that money does not always buy happiness. The hosts have been eliminated in the first round – it is only the second time that this has happened. And the juicy salary paid to his coach Félix Sánchez was useless. The Catalan strategist receives 2.4 million euros. A scandalous figure if one takes into account the poor performance of his team against Ecuador and Senegal. But the figure is even more unprecedented when compared to what other coaches receive.
For example, Luis Enrique, coach of Spain, earns 1.15 million euros. And Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentina team, pocketed some 2.6 million, a figure that barely improves Sánchez’s salary. But one of the aspects that most attracts attention is how high Mexico is in this section. It will be a utopia to think that Aztec soccer can be among the best six in the world, but at least in the field of the highest paid coaches it is so.
Gerardo Martino brings to his coffers, annually, 2.9 million euros. There are only four technical directors who earn more money than Martino. And all of them, top-level national team coaches: Tite (Brazil, 3.6 MDE), Didier Deschamps (France, 3.8 MDE), Gareth Southgate (5.8) and Hansi Flick (Germany, 6.5)). For his part, Louis van Gaal (Netherlands) earns exactly the same as the coach of the tricolor.
And there are also other coaches like Fernando Santos and Roberto Martínez (2.25 and 1.2 million, respectively) who receive less money than the Argentine coach. Not to mention the contrast between Martino and his countryman Gustavo Alfaro, in charge of Ecuador, who is the lowest paid coach in the World Cup: 770,000 euros. Although it cannot yet be said that they are in the next round, the work of Alfaro, former Boca Juniors coach, has earned endless praise for his victory against the millionaire Qatar and the draw against the always powerful Netherlands team.
Mexico does not have the economy among its concerns. Between multiple sponsorships and the entire string of annual matches, mainly played in the United States, the business is very well protected.. The problem, of course, is what is done with that money. As that saying dictates: they are so poor that all they have is money. At this point, Mexico is still debating about what could happen tomorrow: a scandalous surprise or a win. Taking economic power into account, one would have to arrive with many more certainties than doubts.
To a different extent, what happens with Mexico is also similar to what happens with Qatar: abundance guarantees them nothing at a competitive level. Other kinds of conclusions can also be drawn. For example, for those who manage top-level teams, such as Spain, money is not that important. Luis Enrique knows that directing a club could earn much more than as a coach – at Barcelona he earned 11 million euros a year. Martino earned 5.4 million during the year he led Barcelona (2013-2014). His salary is now less than that, but he doesn’t direct every week.
That juicy salary offered by El Tri is what attracts coaches of international projection to come to Mexico. They know that they are going to win very well here and that, certainly, they will not be asked to perform miracles because the limits of El Tri, at any time, are more than clear. The formula is perfect: earn a lot of money without facing great demands in sporting terms. Then, it is evident that the bill includes an inevitable emotional drain. All the men who go through the national coach’s chair come out with more gray hair or wrinkles.
It must also be remembered that Martino was in the crosshairs of the Argentina team to occupy the position in 2018. Finally, he decided for Mexico and the AFA appointed Lionel Scaloni, who had been part of Jorge Sampaoli’s coaching staff at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Only two years had passed since Martino left office in 2016. after managerial turmoil that forced him to resign.
His continuity with the Mexican team is an enigma for everyone. Neither he has talked about it nor his direct boss, Yon de Luisa. However, the general perception is that he himself is tired of the Mexican environment and is only waiting for the World Cup to end to officially end his cycle.