Real Madrid and Barcelona unsurprisingly dominate the list of the highest-paid players in La Liga.
Nine of the 10 top earners in the Spanish top flight play for one of the big two superclubs. It won’t be a great surprise to see that the other plays for Atletico Madrid.
But which are the 10 individual players that make up the list? There are a couple of surprising names, and a couple of surprising commissions, who will surely be on at their agents to negotiate more dosh when they next sign a new deal.
Here’s the top 10 in full, ordered by their weekly wages*, in the 2022-23 season.
=10. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, €400,577)
Atletico Madrid can’t compete with the European elite for the absolute top-tier wages, but they tend to remunerate their most important figures handsomely.
Take Diego Simeone, one of the top-earning managers in world football. Oblak wasn’t at his best last season at Atleti put up a meek title defence, but he looked unbeatable in their 2020-21 La Liga-winning campaign and for many years before that.
On his day, one of the best goalkeepers in the world and deservedly paid as such.
=10. Jordi Alba (Barcelona, €400,577)
Reports from Spain indicated the left-back was furious Barcelona made an attempt to offload him to Inter without his knowledge. It’s no surprise, given he’s paid a fair whack to turn out for his boyhood club. Why would he want to go anywhere?
=10. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, €400,577)
Of course the highest-paid player in Atletico Madrid’s squad is on loan from Barcelona. And, of course, it’s a player they sold to their La Liga rivals for €120million a couple of years back.
Atletico will reportedly be obligated to buy the France international if he plays 45 minutes in half of the games he’s available to them. So far this season he’s been introduced as a substitute after 60 minutes in every game so far.
7. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, €421,923)
The German signed a new four-year contract extension back in 2019. At that point he’d won the Champions League in four of the last six seasons and has since added another, as well as two league titles.
Fair enough, really. It will be interesting to see Kroos and Modric follow Casemiro out of the exit door when their deals expire at the end of the season. The likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni are there waiting to succeed that era-defining midfield trio.
6. David Alaba (Real Madrid, €432,692)
Surprisingly, the only entry in the top 10 that’s been signed in the last couple of years.
Having already won countless Bundesliga titles and the Champions League at Bayern Munich, it’s safe to say his agent was in a strong negotiating position when he arrived as a free agent last summer.
5. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, €461,538)
Undoubtedly the best player in Spain since Lionel Messi departed, Benzema deserves his place in the top five.
He penned his latest contract extension back in 2021 and it’s set to expire at the end of this season.
Madrid don’t tend to hand big contracts to players in their mid-30s – look at how Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo left – but you can be sure King Karim will follow Luka Modric and keep signing extensions as long as he maintains this Ballon d’Or-worthy form.
READ: 14 crazy stats that show why Karim Benzema deserves the Ballon d’Or
4. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, €600,962)
Somehow spending all this dosh on Hazard – six goals and 10 assists in three seasons – hasn’t really affected them too adversely. It’s a good job the likes of Vinicius Junior have stepped up in the Belgium international’s place.
He’s still got two years left on the five-year deal he signed when he arrived from Chelsea for a club-record £103million fee. Ouch.
3. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona, €711,538)
The Barcelona captain is well-remunerated for his years of service, as are most of the veterans from Barcelona’s glory era that remained at the Camp Nou while chequebook-happy president Josep Maria Bartomeu was in charge.
Busquets a world-class midfielder on his day, but these wages look somewhat excessive given he cant consistently boss games as he did in his pomp.
The 34-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and you can be sure his next deal – wherever it is – won’t be quite so lucrative.
2. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, €721,154)
No wonder he was so keen to stay at Barcelona.
1. Gerard Pique (Barcelona, €1000,000)
Like Busquets and Alba, Bartomeu made sure that Blaugrana icon Pique was well rewarded for his stellar years of service. But nowadays he’s struggling to get into Xavi’s first-choice XI and it’s been a while since you could consider the 35-year-old one of the best centre-halves in Europe.
Not the wisest use of funds and his deal still runs until 2024. You wonder if Pique himself – who has spoken of his ambitions of becoming his beloved boyhood club’s president one day – would give out these kinds of contracts.
*Salary information courtesy of Capology
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