Football in Italy 

Italian football has become increasingly popular among football fans around the world. Their top league, Serie A, has attracted football superstars from around the world, including Cristiano Ronaldo, considered as one of the best in the world. 

The top league has 20 teams, most of which are populated by Italian footballers. Italy’s FIFA ranking average is nine, but the most recent ranking put them at tenth worldwide. The top football clubs in the country, such as Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan, have to pay their stars huge salaries to keep them in Italy. 

Later in this post, you will read about the top ten highest-paid Italian footballers in Serie A. Read on to discover more. 

The Popularity of Footballers in Italy

Football is the most loved sport in Italy. The love for the sport has seen the national team nicknamed Gli Azzurri win several trophies in Europe and on the world stage. Consequently, Italian football players are usually very popular. The players usually become popular for various reasons. Some are loved for their looks and lifestyle, while others for their performances on the football pitch.

The Top 10 Highest-Paid Italian Footballers in Serie A

Even though Serie A clubs might not be splashing the cash like clubs in the English Premier League, several players are receiving a huge salary. Here are the top 10 highest-paid footballers in the top-tier Italian league.

10. Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gianluigi Donnarumma, one of the highest-payed Italian footballers - The Proud Italian
AC Milan’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma during their Italian Super Cup match against Juventus in Doha, Qatar. Doha Stadium Plus – Vinod Divakaran. Author: Doha Stadium Plus Qatar, source: Gianluigi Donnarumma

Donnarumma is a young promising goalkeeper playing for AC Milan. His ability between the posts has seen him make it to this list. He takes home 6 million Euros annually. He is still young and has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Italian legend goalie Gianluigi Buffon. 

The Milan footballer has also been subject to a lot of interest from other top teams in Europe, including Manchester United. His current contract expires in June 2021, after which he will become a free agent.

9. Douglas Costa

Douglas Costa plays for Serie A champions Juventus. The Brazilian winger joined Juventus from German giants Bayern Munich in search of regular football action. His performances at the FIFA World Cup convinced Juventus that he could fit in their plans. 

However, he did not come cheap. He is on a 6 million Euros per year deal, which expires in June 2021. At 30 years, he still has some years to play and would find many suitors if Juventus were to leave him run down on his current contract.

8. Leonardo Bonucci

Leonardo Bonucci is one of the greatest Italian footballers. He is also a Juventus legend, even though he had a short stint at Milan before returning to Turin. He has teamed up with other Italian players like Giorgio Chiellini to form the Italian Giants team’s backbone. 

He is on a 6.5 million Euros a year deal, which runs until June 30, 2024. Despite being 33, Bonucci doesn’t want to be just another Italian soccer player; he wants to achieve more.  

7. Miralem Pjanic

Miralem Pjanic, one of the highest-payed Italian footballers in Italy - The Proud Italian
International friendly Austria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2015-03-31, Vienna. Author: Ailura, source: own work

Pjanic is another Juventus player to make this list. The Bosnian midfield genius earns 6.5 Million Euros annually from his salaries and sponsorship deals. Despite his colossal paycheck, he lives a modest life with his partner Josepha Pjanic. His current deal expires on June 30, 2024.

6. Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey, formerly of Arsenal, moved to Italian giants Juventus in search of silverware. The Welsh international is a midfielder who can play in several positions. His favored position is the playmaker role, but he has been deployed in different positions by his manager. 

His soccer nickname is Rambo, and he takes home 7 million Euros each year. This salary makes Rambo the highest-earning British player ever based on his basic salary. He will continue enjoying the current contract until June 30, 2023, when it expires.

5. Adrien Rabiot

Rabiot had a difficult time playing for PSG, but Juventus offered him an escape route. The French midfielder ranks sixth among the highest-paid footballers in Italy. Rabiot takes home 7 million Euros, plus 2 million Euros in bonuses. He has a contract with the Italian giants until June 30, 2023.

4. Paulo Dybala

Dybala, one of the highly-paid Italian footballers - The Proud Italian
Torino, Juventus Stadium, 21 maggio 2017. Il calciatore della Juventus, Paulo Dybala, in riscaldamento prima della vittoriosa sfida interna contro il Crotone (3-0) valevole per la 37ª giornata del campionato italiano di Serie A 2016-17. Author: Leandro Ceruti from Rosta, Italia, source: juve 6 leggenda

It seems Juventus’ players dominate the list of the highest earners in the Italian league. Dybala is a playmaker at Juventus and has helped the club win several trophies. The Argentine’s salary and earnings from other deals add up to 7.3 million Euros. Dybala’s contract expires on June 30, 2022.

3. Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian hitman is still new to Serie A. Lukaku moved away from England’s Manchester United and has cemented his spot as a top striker in Serie A. However, he did not come cheap as he earns 7.5 million Euros plus an additional 1.5 million in bonuses. 

Lukaku plays for Inter Milan, with whom he is contracted until June 30, 2024. He is a worthy investment as he keeps raking in the goals. He has already scored 12 goals this season in 15 appearances.

2. Matthijs de Ligt

The young Dutch defender is the second-highest-paid player in Serie A. He is yet another Juventus player on this list. He did not come cheap as he cost the Serie A giants 75 million Euros prize him away from Eredivisie side Ajax.

De Ligt earns 8 million Euros plus an additional 4 million in bonuses. His contract runs until June 30, 2024. He is also represented by one of the most controversial agents, Mino Raiola, who is known for getting enormous deals for his players. It will fascinate you to see what lies in store for this budding star in the near future.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the highest-payed Italian footballers - The Proud Italian
Cristiano Ronaldo during his spell at Real Madrid. Author: Dagmara Gurdziel / RC Lens, source: RealMadrid.pl

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best soccer player ever. His move to the Italian Premier League raised the league’s status, making it more attractive worldwide. The Portuguese superstar moved to Italian giants Juventus after Real Madrid refused to negotiate a new deal. 

Juventus had to pay his former employers 100 million Euros to bring him to Italy, his age notwithstanding. Nevertheless, he has proven to be a worthy investment. Many Italian athletes at his age are not as physically fit as he is; only LeBron James comes close. 

Apart from that, Ronaldo is also very popular among the ladies because of his looks. When it comes to cool soccer players, he is arguably the coolest. He will continue gracing the Italian Premier League until June 30, 2022.

Go For Go(a)ld!

The Italian league has produced some of the best Italian footballers. In fact, footballers are the most famous Italian athletes. Our favorite football player from the list above is Christiano Ronaldo. 

He is our best pick because of his achievements on and off the pitch. Ronaldo entered the world scene when he joined Manchester United from Lisbon. From there, his career has been on an upward trend. He has won trophies and broken records everywhere he has been.

Despite not being an Italian soccer player, he has endeared himself to the Italian football fans. Despite his age, he seems to be still performing at the top level. During the pandemic, he showed the world that he is only human. He offered the Portuguese his hotel to be used in combating the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. 

All these achievements, coupled with his good looks, make him a head among heads.