Rome: Roma`s Daniele De Rossi is the highest-earning footballer in Italy, according to figures released on Monday in the peninsula`s press.
The 30-year-old midfielder earns €6.5 million net per year, a full €1m in excess of the second-highest earner - Napoli`s Gonzalo Higuain - and €2m more than his Giallorossi skipper Francesco Totti.
Serie A`s lack of financial pull is well reflected by the figures, which were published by La Gazzetta dello Sport. Only 12 players across the country earn in excess of €4m per annum, compared to 13 members of Chelsea`s squad who are reported to earn the same figure.
No player from Italy`s top division comes close to ranking in Europe`s top 10 earners, with De Rossi`s wage packet dwarfed by the continent`s top earners. Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Monaco counterpart Radamel Falcao are each quoted to earn €14m after tax, while Lionel Messi takes home €13m from his Barcelona contract. Gareth Bale`s new €11m-a-year net deal at Real Madrid ranks him only ninth in Europe`s top earners.
Elsewhere in the figures, it is shown that champions Juventus pay out €49.8m in wages, with AC Milan next on €47.94m.
Further exploration shows that De Rossi`s Roma team-mate Marco Borriello comes in among the top 10 earners in the league with €4m net, despite spending two years out of favour with the club. His salary comes in at almost twice that of free-scoring Lazio rival Miroslav Klose (€2.1m) and more than Juventus duo Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal (both €3.5m), Napoli`s Marek Hamsik (€3m) and AC Milan`s Nigel de Jong (€3m).
Some notably low-earners include Juventus wonderkid Paul Pogba (€1m), Lazio`s Italy regular Antonio Candreva (€900,000), Napoli wing-back Juan Zuniga (€800,000) and Fiorentina dribbling sensation Juan Cuadrado (€600,000).