Highest Paid Serie A Players in 2021

Thu 02 September 2021 | 13:30

Join us as we take a look at Serie A player’s finances to find out who is the highest paid Serie A players in 2021?!

What began as a great summer for Italian football fans with Italy dominating and subsequently winning the Euro 2020, slowly started to sour away as the financial hardships that the Italian clubs were experiencing pushed those clubs to selling their star players. This summer transfer window saw two of Serie A’s best players from last season make their way to the Premier League as Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo will no longer play for Internazionale and Juventus respectively.

Since those two were some of the highest earners in Serie A last season our list of

highest paid Serie A players in 2021

has been subject to some change especially at the top of the list. Now we know that Serie A clubs aren’t exactly flushed with money the way Premier League clubs, PSG or some La Liga clubs are but these 10 players we have highlighted here still earn huge amount of salary and performances bonuses. So let’s take a look at how these players were recruited, the amount of salary they are being paid and if their performances have been up to the standard that their wage bill sets:

Highest Paid Serie A Players of 2020

While researching this article we have come across conflicting reports regarding Serie A finances. Although the order is almost certainly correct, the actual salaries, although taken from the most reputable sources, may not be entirely accurate. With that being said, let’s take a look at these high earners:

10. Adrien Rabiot

We start our list of the

highest paid footballers in Italian Serie A

with the former PSG midfielder, Adrian Rabiot, who also made it onto such a list for 2020. Adrian Rabiot may be one of Serie A’s highest earners but he joined Juventus on a free transfer at the start of the 2019-20 season. There was much expected from the French midfielder but he has had a rocky few seasons at Turin with his performances ranging from great to sometimes even disappointing. He just hasn’t found a good rhythm at Juventus and he certainly wishes to change things under their new manager Massimiliano Allegri.

Rabiot’s illustrious


career that included him winning 5

Ligue 1

, 5 Coupe de France and 5 Coupe de la Ligue trophies, had a rocky ending as he refused to extend his contract which resulted in him being suspended for a while, benched and even put in the stands for a good chunk of 2018-19 season. but his talent and quality before that period were enough for Juventus to acquire his services. He even showed glimpses of his old self at Turin under the managerial of Andrea Pirlo but consistency seems to be Rabiot’s biggest enemy.

Before joining Juventus there were a host of clubs that wanted Rabiot but he decided to join the Old Lady. The contract that brought the Frenchman to Turin saw Juve pay him

£9.7 million

a season in wages which would be around


in weekly wages. This makes Rabiot one of the top 10 highest-paid players in the Serie A in the 2021/22 season. The contract runs until the end of next season which may prompt Juve to offload him in the upcoming January or summer transfer windows. 

9. Aaron Ramsey

The former

Arsenal midfielder

’s move to Juventus was not too dissimilar to Adrien Rabiot as the two players both joined Juve on a free transfer at the same time with even similar wages. As shocking as it may seem, especially in this day and age, Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus may not have been purely for financial reasons. As you’re all aware he could have as easily earned the same amount he is being paid at Juventus if he stayed at Arsenal but Rambo just wanted to try something new at Juventus. Despite his world-class talent as a midfielder though, Ramsey’s move to Juve has not panned out exactly the way the Welshman wanted it to.

Ramsey who joined Arsenal from

Cardiff City

back in 2008, spent 11 seasons with the Gunners. He was once touted to be one of the best British midfielders of his era and despite his numerous injuries he has achieved that mantle to an extent, winning 3 FA Cups and 3 Community Shields during his time at Arsenal. However, after Arsene Wenger’s departure, Ramsey had become disillusioned with the club and the new manager and decided to let his contract with Arsenal run its course and leave on a free.

When a player of Ramsey’s caliber is a free agent, Juventus is bound to come sniffing around and just like with Rabiot, Juventus got their man and brought Ramsey to Turin. The move saw Aaron Ramsey get paid

£9.7 million

a season which would be around


in weekly wages just like Adrien Rabiot and become one of the highest paid Serie A players in 2021

Rambo’s first three seasons as one of the highest paid footballers in Italian Serie A of 2020 hasn’t been that great on a personal level, as he still seems to be having a hard time adjusting to Serie A’s tempo and overall conditions. There were some signs of hope and decent performances under the management of Andrea Pirlo, as Rambo seemed to be enjoying football again, linking up with Cristiano Ronaldo. But it seems his time at Serie A may have come to an end as Juve are trying to offload him all summer. 

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Immortal Swede has risen from the ashes to once again help AC Milan reach its glory of the last decade and he isn’t thinking about ending his career anytime soon. In fact, he seems to become even deadlier as a striker the more his career drags on. Since joining Milan in January of 2020, Zlatan has scored 25 goals in 37 matches Serie A matches, which considering him being 40, is just mind-boggling. So it is only natural that AC Milan invest heavily on him and makes him one of the highest paid footballers in Italian Serie A.

When it comes to Ibra’s illustrious career most of you are aware of his achievements playing for European Giants like Ajax, Inter Milan, Juventus, Ac Milan, Barcelona, Manchester United and PSG. The Swede had come and conquered all (except for the elusive Champions League title) so naturally, when he left Manchester United to join LA Galaxy at 37 years of age, most thought that he was at the end of his football career. But in Zlatan fashion, he has come back to Europe once again to show that the Lion is very much alive and is helping the Rossoneri claim back their glory days.

We have already talked about the effect that his goals have had on AC Milan, making them one of the genuine title-contenders of the first half of the

2020-21 season

but Zlatan’s influence is so much more than his goals as the experienced Swede brings a much-needed leadership quality that Milan has lacked in the last decade.

Taking all these factors in, Zlatan’s

£9.72 million

salary, which makes him one of the highest paid Serie A players in 2021, seems like a trifle when you realize how Milan has once again emerged as a Superpower in Italy and has once again qualified for the Champions League. with him now being 40, it seems that his days at Milan are numbered but will he be able to add another piece of silverware to his gallery

this season

7. Alexis Sanchez  

Another former


player we came across while

ranking the 10 highest-paid players in Serie A

is the Chilean superstar, Alexis Sanchez. Once coveted as one of the best players in the world during his stay at Arsenal, Sanchez has had a rough few years following his departure from Arsenal and his subsequent transfer to Manchester United. However, his move to Inter Milan, first on loan and then on a permanent deal, in 2019 has saved the Chilean’s career to some extent.

Sanchez’ move to Manchester United, which could honestly go down as one of the worst transfers in the history of football, saw the Chilean earn a whopping amount of almost half a million pound every week at United. His eventual poor performances and hefty salary made it almost impossible for United to move him on but Inter who were always interested in the player decided to get him on loan by partially paying his wages.

Despite injuries ruling him out for much of his first season at Inter Milan, Sanchez did impress Inter enough for them to consider signing him on a permanent deal. At which point agreement was made with United to pay Sanchez a small sum and release him from his contract with the club, which would have earned him €44.1 million.

Sanchez then proceeded to sign a 3-year deal with Inter Milan that saw him get paid around £31 million over the course of the contract which means he is getting paid

£9.72 million

a year in wages and that certainly makes him one of the highest paid Serie A players in 2021. Since then he has gone on to win the Serie A with Inter, albeit playing a small role in that achievement and looks to be in Inzaghi’s plans for the future so overall his transfer was not a bad investment by Inter at all.

6. Alex Sandro

Over the course of the past several seasons, Alex Sandro has been consistently amongst the best left-backs in Europe so it’s of no surprise that the Brazilian defender is amongst the

10 highest-paid players in the Serie A in the 2021/22 season

. the 30-year-old defender is enjoying his 7th season with Bianconeri having first joined them in 2015 after a successful spell with Porto. Since joining Juventus he has helped them win 5 Serie A titles and reach a Champions League final, in which he had a big hand in.

Product of

Atletico Parenaense

’s youth academy, Alex Sandro made a name for himself playing for his boyhood club until 2009 before joining Santos in a 2 season loan move. He then made his way to Europe and played for FC Porto in Portugal for 3 and a half seasons, winning 2 Primeira Liga and a Supercup which prompted Juventus to go after the defender as they were trying to rejuvenate their aging defense.

So Porto agreed to a deal worth around €26 million that saw the Brazilian move to Turin on a five-year contract. Sandro extended that 5-year deal in 2018 for another five seasons which ends in the summer of 2023. The new and very much improved contract came at the time that he was considered to be the best left-back in Europe so it’s only natural that his agent got him the best deal possible making him one of the highest paid Serie A players in 2021. Sandro’s new deal has him being paid


in weekly wages which rounds to

£10.2 million-a-year

worth of salary.

5. Wojciech Szczesny

Another former Arsenal player, Wojciech Szczesny comes at No.5 whilst ranking the 10 highest-paid players in Serie A. Juventus’ current No.1 has spent almost half his career in Italy with AS Roma and Juventus and the legendary Gigi Buffon himself has called him a worthy successor which makes his appearance on this list reasonable as he is one of the most sought after goalkeepers in Serie A.

A Polish international, Wojciech Szczesny started his career at youth levels with

Legia Warsaw

before joining Arsenal’s youth academy in 2006. He then went on to become the Gunners’ first-choice keeper for several years and even won the Premier League Golden Glove in the 2013-14 season. but after being caught smoking by Arsene Wenger, his relationship with him soured and he was sent out on a two-year loan to AS Roma where he impressed Juve enough to bring him to Turin.

Since his €12.2 million transfer from Arsenal to Juventus in 2017, Wojciech Szczesny has slowly taken Buffon’s place as Juve’s No.1 and has helped the club win 3 Scudetto and 2 Coppa Italia trophies as well as being named 2019-20 Serie A Goalkeeper of the Season. Wojciech Szczesny makes


a week in his current contract with Juventus which would be around


in yearly wages. He renewed his contract just last year until the summer of 2024 which may even be extended even further if he keeps up his impressive performances.

4. Leonardo Bonucci

Just over the halfway point of the 10 highest-paid players in the Serie A in the 2021/22 season and we have the man that was instrumental in Italy winning the Euro 2020, Leonardo Bonucci. Juventus and Italy’s vice-captain does not seem to slow down even with age and his partnership with Giorgio Chiellini has been one of the biggest reasons for Juventus’ reemergence as Serie A giants in the past decade. The two are almost telepathic in the way they cover each other and are considered one of the best

center-back partnerships

in the history of football.

While Chiellini has been staying put at Juventus since he joined the club in 2005, Leonardo Bonucci has had his fair share of clubs in Italy as the 34-year-old defender has played for all the Big Three (Juventus, Internazionale and AC Milan) as well as some other Italian teams like Genoa. But his legacy at Juventus could not be understated. Putting his one-season controversial move to AC Milan in 2017 aside, Bonucci has spent a decade at Juventus and even at 34 has shown his class by helping Italy claim European glory this summer.

Leonardo Bonucci’s last contract extension however came in 2019 which saw the center back extend his stay at the club until the summer of 2024 on a


salary which adds up to almost


in wages over a year. That is huge numbers for a center-back, especially someone who’d be almost 38 when the contract finishes but if any defender has earned this sort of wages to be considered one of the

highest paid Serie A players in 2021

, it’s definitely Leonardo Bonucci.

3. Paulo Dybala

With Cristiano Ronaldo now gone, Paulo Dybala is once again


’s star player and with Allegri, who got the best out of Dybala, once again coming as manager Juventus fans may finally get to see the best of Paulo Dybala. The Argentine has certainly had his ups and downs during his stay at Turin but there is no denying that Dybala’s outstanding talent which makes him one of the most exciting players in Serie A and as such his place is deservingly high whilst ranking the 10 highest-paid players in Serie A.

Joining from Palermo in 2015, Paulo Dybala has enjoyed nothing but success at Juventus, especially under the manager who brought him to Turin, Massimiliano Allegri. The Argentine striker has won 5 Serie A titles and 4 Coppa Italia trophies as well as reaching a Champions League final with Juventus. Dybala’s most successful season was the 2017-18 season where he scored 26 goals in all competitions but he has failed to repeat what he did that season which is a source of much frustration amongst the Juve fans because they are very well aware of his potential.

But there is no denying that Paulo Dybala is one of the best Serie A players and perhaps Juventus’ most valuable asset, considering his age, so the yearly salary of

£12.3 million

that he earns at Juventus, which makes him the 3rd highest paid Serie A players in 2021, is totally justified.

However, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season and Juventus has been in constant contact with his agent over a renewal, which seems unlikely as we get closer to the end of the season. but if he decides to renew with Juve he will certainly become the best-paid player in Serie A and one of the highest earners in Europe.

2. Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen has certainly had an interesting few seasons to say the least. Once considered to be one of the best playmakers in Europe during his time at Tottenham, Eriksen decided to find a new challenge in Italy by joining Inter Milan and becoming one of the highest paid footballers in Italian Serie A but then Antonio Conte decided not to play him until the second half of last season. he helped Inter become champions of Italy, went to the Euro 2020 and had that nightmarish incident on the pitch. Thankfully he recovered but now may never again play for

Inter Milan

because of the device he has put in his heart (ICD).

The Danish playmaker, who is an Ajax youth academy graduate, was already an established player when he joined Tottenham in 2013 but under the management of Mauricio Pochettino he became one of the world’s finest playmakers. Inter moved to sign the midfielder in the January of 2020 and in doing so bumped up his wages significantly, giving Eriksen a deal that saw the Dane being paid up to


in yearly wages. Although Inter signed him on cut-price (11 million pounds) because of his contract situation at Tottenham.

With an estimated


per week salary, Eriksen is definitely one of the 10 highest-paid players in the Serie A in the 2021/22 season but with him not being able to play for Inter anymore because of Serie A’s strict rules about players who are in his situation, there were speculations about if he would even be paid his salary. However, Corriere dello Sport, reported earlier this summer that FIFA will contribute a large part of the Danish midfielder’s salary due to the fact that his health emergency occurred during a UEFA competition. Which would be a relief for financially-stricken Inter Milan.

1. Matthijs De Ligt

Rounding out our list of the highest paid Serie A players in 2021, we have our 7th and last Juventus player, Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutch center back joined Juventus in 2019 after a successful few seasons at Ajax where he led the club as captain to 2 European semi-finals despite his young age. Naturally what followed was a race between European elites to bring him in but finally, Juventus was able to bring the Dutch center back to Turin in a £75 million deal. The 21-year-old de Ligt was brought in to help rejuvenate Juve’s aging backline,

Brought in to help with Juventus’ aging backline, Matthijs de Ligt is a defender that has all the right attributes to be a world-class player. he is good in the air as well as with his feet and also possesses a tactical intelligence that few center backs possess. He is however prone to occasional mistakes but those sort of things can always be trained out of a player. He is also a natural leader that led Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League when he was only 20 years old. Something that Juve’s fans really hope for him to repeat in the future.

Basically, he is the future of Juventus and as such the club has invested heavily on him, just as they have on Paulo Dybala. A big part of that investment and in fact one of the incentives that brought him to Juve instead of any other club was his. While his base salary is estimated to be around £11,128,000 million a year in wages, which is lower than the two players on this list, his reported bonuses can take that base salary up to

13 million pounds

a year, which makes him highest paid Serie A players in 2021.

What has been interesting while making this list, is the fact that almost half of the

highest paid Serie A players in 2021

are in one way or another underperforming at their club. with this problem also being present in La Liga and the Premier League, it begs the question that does high wages even make a player want to perform better or are they incentives for them to not try anymore?!



source: SportMob

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