Five managers who moved away from family to take big-money jobs

The life of a football manager can be a lonely and stressful one at times, with the fate of a football club and the happiness of millions of fans resting on your shoulders.

Things can be even tougher, however, if a manager chooses to go abroad without the help of their family, as has been the case on a number of occasions. Managers can be turned by the chance to revive their careers or – in some circumstances – due to extortionate salary packages being offered.

Daily Star Sport has taken a look at five managers who left their families behind to take big money-spinning jobs elsewhere.

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Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney was viewed as one of the brightest young managers in England after his heroic effort to keep Derby County in the Championship last season, and many felt he was on the road to a new job in the Championship after he left the Rams.

Instead, however, he has returned to America to take over as DC United head coach – but will do so without wife Coleen or any of their children. Coleen apparently didn't enjoy life in the States while Wayne played for DC United, and so it was unlikely she'd return to America with him this time around.

Rooney said: “Of course any major decisions I make are with my wife. My family – for the time being – will stay in England and come over and visit. My eldest is in high school now and they will stay in England but it is not an issue from a family point of view."

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho famously lived in a luxury penthouse in the Lowry Hotel in Manchester during his time as Manchester United manager, with his family staying in their London house instead.

Mourinho had moved his family back to England to take the Chelsea job in 2013, but the Blues sacked him late in 2015 freeing him up to take the United job.

The Portuguese boss said: "They are at an age where they can't chase me like they did before. So, for the first time, the family lives in a different way. We try to feel it, we try to see the evolution of our feelings and see how we cope with the situation."

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur cult icon Mauricio Pochettino nearly returned to the club in 2021 after Mourinho was sacked by Spurs. The Argentine was, at the time, Paris Saint-Germain manager but was under significant pressure – and his family still lived in London.

Having spent five years in north London, Pochettino's family were, naturally, settled in the capital, and saw no reason to move out to Paris en masse – especially as he'd only signed a contract for an initial 18 months.

Alas, a year later Pochettino was given the boot by the French champions and is expected to return to the Premier League whenever the right opportunity arises.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez made the surprising decision to leave England for China in 2018 after he was let go by Newcastle United, joining mega-rich Dalian Pro – and apparently becoming the third-highest-paid manager in world football in the process.

However, having enjoyed their time in England, his family chose to stay, with his two daughters completing degrees at universities around Liverpool. Benitez would ultimately leave Dalian Pro at the beginning of 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic first hit China, citing family reasons.

He said: "The pandemic is still here, for all of us, and supporting our families has been a priority when making this decision."

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has made himself a hero at Manchester City and has previously declared he will be a "Mancunian for life", but the same can't be said for his family.

The City boss' wife returned to Spain due to business commitments in 2019 after spending three years in Manchester. However, this was only a temporary measure, as the Brazilian-born businesswoman would then return to live in Manchester to raise their children with her husband.

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