17 managers who got rich working in China from World Cup heroes to Prem rejects

For some managers, the financial allure of the Chinese Super League can prove far too enticing.

While coaching in China isn't exactly the greatest audition for a top European job, it is certainly a rewarding way to kill some time before another high-level opportunity arises.

Several big names have flocked to East Asia to fill their pockets over the years, enjoying brief stints in charge of CSL sides before either bowing out from management or heading back to more familiar territory.

We've picked out 17 of the best managers who raked in millions while working in China, including a former World Cup winner and some ex-Premier League figures.

Rafa Benitez

Following his departure from Newcastle in 2019, Benitez was appointed manager of Dalian Professional on a two-year deal.

The current Everton boss, whose contract was said to be worth around £10million per year, left the club by mutual consent in January of this year.

Slaven Bilic

The 53-year-old took charge of Beijing Guoan back in January, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal worth a reported £14million.

Bilic was only sacked by West Brom three weeks earlier following a poor run of form in the Premier League.

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Giovanni van Bronckhorst

After a four-year stint in charge of boyhood club Feyenoord, the former Barcelona player landed a lucrative move to Guengzhou R&F in January of last year.

In his only season in the Chinese Super League Van Bronckhorst secured an 11th-place finish, before quitting at the end of the year to return to his family.

Fabio Cannavaro

Italy's World Cup winning captain has taken up a number of posts in China, first spending time in charge of Guangzhou Evergrande from November 2014 up until June 2015.

Cannavaro later managed Tianjin Quanjian for a year before returning to Guangzhou, where he briefly juggled his role with the China national team job.

Fabio Capello

The closing chapter of Capello's legendary managerial story came in China, where he penned a deal with Jiangsu Suning worth an estimated £8million per year.

After a disappointing year with Jiangsu, the ex-England gaffer lost his job and subsequently retired from coaching.

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Jordi Cruyff

Son of football icon Johan Cruyff, Jordi has two Chinese Super League stints on his managerial CV; first managing Chongqing Liangjian Athletic for 16 months before heading to Shenzhen for a season.

He departed the latter back in August to take on a sporting advisor role at Barcelona, where he earned his first professional contract as a player.

Sven-Goran Eriksson

Another serial Chinese Super League coach, the Swede enjoyed brief stints with Guangzhou, Shanghai SIPG and Shenzhen in the final six years of his managerial career.

His time at Shanghai was said to be the most financially rewarding, having raked in an estimated £15million after tax.

Manuel Pellegrini

The Chilean left Manchester City to make way for Pep Guardiola in 2016 and subsequently headed to China, where he took charge of Hebei China Fortune on an £8million-a-year contract.

He spent close to two years with the Super League outfit before sealing a move to West Ham in 2018.

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Dan Petrescu

Petrescu, best known in England for his four-year spell as a player at Chelsea, has taken on 14 different jobs since venturing into management upon retirement in 2003.

Two of those positions came in China; first spending a year with Jiangsu Suning and later enjoying a similar stint with Guizhou Hengfeng.

Gus Poyet

Another ex-Chelsea star, Poyet became the manager of Shanghai Sheunhua in November 2016 following his departure from Real Betis.

The Uruguayan was not successful in China, winning just 10 of his 29 matches at the helm before resigning the following September.

Quique Sanchez Flores

Like Poyet, Sanchez Flores took the Shanghai reins in December 2018 and ended up spending even less time in the hot-seat.

After recording just two wins out of 12, the former Watford boss made a swift exit the following July.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

The legendary Brazilian, who guided his country to World Cup glory in 2002, took charge of Guangzhou in the summer of 2015.

He enjoyed great success with the club, guiding them to three Chinese Super League titles, the AFC Champions League and the Chinese FA Cup in his 30-month tenure.

Bernd Schuster

In March 2018 Barcelona and Real Madrid icon Schuster joined Dalian Yifang, which would prove his final job as a manager.

After just 13 victories in 11 months at the club, he was sacked and replaced by South Korean boss Choi Kang-hee.

Paulo Sousa

Upon leaving Fiorentina in June 2015 the Portuguese boss headed to China to replace Cannavaro at Tianjin.

Sousa left his post after almost a year, having only won 13 of his 42 games in charge.

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Jean Tigana

The former France international was appointed Shanghai manager in January 2012 and left the club just over three months later.

After only claiming one win in his first five matches, he made the shock decision to resign as manager very early into the post.

Andre Villas-Boas

AVB opted to join Shanghai SIPG in November 2016 despite reviving his coaching career at Zenit on the back of disappointing spells with Chelsea and Tottenham.

He collected a reported £11million in his one year as manager before leaving by mutual consent.

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Howard Wilkinson

The former Leeds and England caretaker boss brought the curtain down on his managerial exploits in China with Shanghai Shenhua.

Wilkinson only took charge of six games for the club, winning five of them, but just two months into the job he left due to personal reasons.

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