Serie A has been operating for over 80 years since its inaugural 1929-30 season. It was considered the best club football league in the world in the 1990s, up until mid-2000. Top-level teams like Juventus, Internazionale, Milan, Roma, Napoli, and many more have taken Italian Serie A across Europe, competing with other top teams over the years to produce the highest number of European Cup finalists to date. Also, the coveted and prestigious Ballon d'Or has been awarded to more players playing for Serie A clubs than any other football league in the world.
Today, Serie A is one of the most watched and highly anticipated leagues in the world of club football. With the sheer competition within the league and the support and scope of football in Italy, Serie A clubs have been paying their players high salaries to open gates for their successful careers and experience a greater footballing platform overall. The skill, passion and talent demonstrated by these players on the pitch have been remunerated with high-flying salary expenditures from big teams to motivate them to maintain their peak performance.
So, without further ado, here we list the top 10 highest-paid Serie A players in the 2013-14 season.
10 Ricardo Kaka - AC Milan - €4M ($5.45M USD)
9 Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus - €4M ($5.45M USD)
One of the most prolific and talented goalkeepers of all time, Gianluigi Buffon captains and plays for the Italian national team as well as the Italian giants Juventus. The 35-year-old is renowned for his outstanding shot-stopping techniques and great on-field capabilities to guide and motivate his team to success. He is the record appearance holder for the Italian national team. Buffon has received the highest number of "Goalkeeper of the Year" awards with a total of 9. He is the only goalkeeper to have won the "UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award", and was named the "Goalkeeper of the 21st Century" by IFFHS. He joined Juventus from Italian side Parma in 2001 for a fee of €54.2 million, and has a contract that keeps him till 2015. He has a yearly salary of €4 million.
8 Mario Balotelli - AC Milan - €4M ($5.45M USD)
Flamboyant striker Mario Balotelli plays for the Italian national team and Serie A giants AC Milan. He has toyed with AC Milan in the past, and is a controversial player on and off the pitch. Before joining the Premiere League club Manchester City in 2010, Balotelli once appeared on TV in an AC Milan jersey while he was still playing for Inter Milan. After a successful spell with City, he joined the Rossoneri, who paid €20 million for the services of the in-form striker in January, 2013. The 23-year-old is paid €4 million per year by Milan, and has a contract that keeps him in the club until 2017.
7 Mario Gomez - Fiorentina - €4.2M ($5.72M USD)
6 Francesco Totti - AS Roma - €4.5M ($6.13M USD)
Francesco Totti has spent his entire career at AS Roma, and is currently the captain of the club. He is the top goalscorer and the most capped player in AS Roma's history. The highly prolific and talented Italian is regarded as Roma's greatest player ever, and is one of the finest players of his generation. With Roma, Totti won a record five "Italian Footballer of the Year" and two "Serie A Footballer of the Year" awards. He is the second-highest goalscorer in Serie A history with 231 goals and was also considered the most popular footballer in Europe in 2011 by IFFHS. The 37-year old is paid €4.5 million annually.
5 Esteban Cambiasso - Inter Milan - €4.5M ($6.13M USD)
Esteban Cambiasso, nicknamed "Cuchu", is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for Internazionale in the Italian Serie A. The versatile defensive-midfielder has won 23 official titles that make him the Argentine with the most honors in history. He joined Inter in July 2004 after his contract expired with Real Madrid. With his capability to change the shape of the game by becoming a undeniable, dominant force, he is regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever played for Inter Milan. Cambiasso has received many club honors during his stints at Real Madrid and Inter Milan. The 33-year-old has a yearly salary of €4.5 million.
4 Carlos Tevez - Juventus - €4.5M ($6.13M USD)
3 Diego Milito - Inter Milan - €5M ($6.81M USD)
Diego Milito is a prolific and consistent centre-forward who plays for the Argentine national team and Serie A side Inter Milan. Over the course of his 10-year professional career, he has averaged just over a goal in every two appearances. Nicknamed "The Prince", the 34-year-old was very influential in Inter's 2009-10 treble winning season, which was also his debut season for Inter, joining the club for a transfer fee of €10 million. He contributed two goals against Bayern Munich in the 2010 Champions League Final, and was named "UEFA Man of the Match". Diego Milito also won "UEFA Club Forward of the Year", "UEFA Club Footballer of the Year" and "Serie A Footballer of the Year" awards in the same year. He receives a yearly salary of €5 million from Inter.
2 Gonzalo Higuain - Napoli - €5.5M ($7.49M USD)
1 Daniele De Rossi - AS Roma - €6.5M ($8.85M USD)
Football pundits recognize Daniele De Rossi as a "complete midfielder" because of his exceptional tackling, passing, strength and shooting capabilities. He currently plays for the Italian national team and Serie A club AS Roma. Nicknamed "Capitan Futuro", the Roma's vice-captain is predicted by many to be the probable heir to Francesco Totti's captain armband. De Rossi is a versatile player who has played both defense and attack during his footballing career. He won "Serie A Young Footballer of the Year" award in 2006 and the "Italian Footballer of the Year" award in 2009. The 30-year-old signed a 5-year contract with Roma in February, 2012. He is currently the highest-paid player in Serie A with a yearly salary of €6.5 million.