As is now customary, Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport has published the salary of every player in Serie A. The figures are given in terms of annual salary paid after tax and includes no bonus payments of any kind, allowing the most simplistic of comparisons across the teams, players and nationalities of the leagues players.
Among the breakdowns published by the famous pink paper is a ‘Highest Paid XI’, a fantasy team made up of the best paid player in each position, making an arbitrary selection in terms of formation and personnel. Of course, WhoScored.com has a very similar system when it comes to the ‘Team of the Week’ choices and so – in true off-the-cuff fashion – we have compared the two sides, pitting the big money earners against the Team of the Season (thus far) according to the WhoScored player ratings.
It will perhaps come as no surprise to see Gigi Buffon as the best paid ‘keeper in the division, currently pocketing €6 million per season, more than any other player in the league. However that sum is soon to be renegotiated as the 34 year old is widely tipped to extend his contract with Juventus until 2016, taking around a 33% pay cut to bring him in line with the other top earners at the club.
What is somewhat more of a shock is to see Atalanta’s Andrea Consigli occupying the No. 1 spot in Who Scored’s team of the season when the Bergamo club have registered one draw and a loss in their opening two games. The 25 year old was in incredible form against Cagliari last weekend however, saving two penalties – and making four other saves – before being stretchered off with twenty minutes remaining. His rating is currently at 7.85 compared to Buffon’s 6.2. Oh and he will also earn just €400,000 this term too…
Again the list of names in La Gazzetta’s XI are among the biggest in Serie A with Javier Zanetti (€2.7m) and Giorgio Chiellini (€3m) being joined by Milan’s Philippe Mexès (a staggering €4m) in a back three. The Rossoneri defender’s earnings will once more cause much irritation to the club’s fans, particularly in light of the new found austerity currently sweeping through San Siro. That he has yet to play a single minute this season will also serve to heighten their annoyance, but the other two have featured, recording ratings of 6.92 and 7.54 respectively.
Looking at the ratings, Abdoulay Konko (Lazio), Kamil Glik (Torino) and Hugo Campagnaro (Napoli) get the nod thanks to scores of 7.78, 7.79 and 7.71 from their appearances thus far. Konko has averaged 4.5 tackles per game, while Campagnaro has made six in his two games and also averaged 4.5 interceptions per game to date. Glik meanwhile has an astonishing 96.8% pass completion rate from his 93 total passes per game, a figure which trails only Andrea Pirlo’s 103 in the whole division.
Almost a ‘name three famous Serie A midfielders’ competition as Pirlo (€3.5m) is named alongside Wesley Sneijder and Daniele De Rossi who both earn €6m a year for their efforts, with Esteban Cambiasso making up the four man unit. It is hard to argue against that, with each of the first three perhaps their sides’ most influential player in the current campaign. Pirlo is also in the WhoScored XI thanks to his aforementioned league high of 103 passes per game (completing 88.3%) leading to five goalscoring opportunities and one assist. The Italy international is currently registering a rating of 8.43.
He is joined by new team-mate Kwadwo Asamoah, who is the second highest rated player in the league, with an average of 8.54, thanks to 2 assists and averages of 5.5 tackles, 5 clearances and an 87% pass completion rate. Making up the side are Napoli’s Christian Maggio (8.04) and Andrea Costa of Sampdoria who averages a rating of 8.55 after scoring an unlikely winner against Milan on the opening day of the season.
A Roman derby here as the big earner Francesco Totti (€5m) faces Lazio counterpart Hernanes who earns a comparatively meagre €1.8m. The two are close in terms of WhoScored averages too with the Roma captain’s 8.05 only narrowly trailing the Brazilian’s 8.17. Totti has created two goals so far for Zdenek Zeman’s Giallorossi, while Hernanes registered an assist in the win over Palermo whilst also scoring the winning goal against Atalanta. Totti and Hernanes’ battle is set to run and run.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic now plying his trade in Paris, it is the South American duo of Edinson Cavani and Diego Milito now leading the way in terms of pay, each on €4.5m per season after the Napoli star earned a large pay increase following his decision to remain with the San Paolo club. They average 7.83 and 7.59 respectively in the WhoScored ratings and both have a goal to their name already, proving to be good value for money even at this early stage.
They are however outdone by WhoScored.com’s selection of two European stars at very different stages of their careers. Youngster Stevan Jovetic – the league’s best performer to date with an 8.77 average – is joined by veteran Miroslav Klose (8.38). They may earn only half the amount of those in the La Rosa side (Jovetic €2.5m, Klose €2.1m) but they have five goals between them as the Montenegrin international leads the league on three in the opening two games.