A new report has detailed the hefty earnings of the first-team squad at Serie A champions Juventus, revealing that star striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s $31 million salary is more than the next four top earners at the club combined.
Even with five Ballon d’Orm awards to his name, the discrepancy between Juve top scorer Ronaldo and his multi-millionaire team-mates, including forward partners Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, is striking in the figures obtained by Gazetta Dello Sport.
Ronaldo earns a net salary of more than $36 million, dwarfing the club’s key signing last summer, Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, by a staggering gap of around $27 million.
Former Chelsea loanee and Argentina forward Higuain earns around $8.75 million, matched by Bosnia and Herzegovina creative midfielder Miralem Pjanic and slightly shading the $8.5 million collected by Ronaldo’s usual strike partner, Dybala.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey was rewarded for ending his 11-year stay at Arsenal to join the Italian giants last summer with an annual pay packet of more than $8 million, earning twice as much as club captain Giorgio Chiellini.
Juventus broke their salary record to sign Ronaldo in 2017 and he rewarded them by scoring his 50th Serie A goal earlier this month, helping his side to their ninth Scudetto in a row and becoming the first player to score 50 goals in the Italian top flight, the English Premier League and La Liga in Spain.
The 35-year-old Portuguese became the first footballer to achieve billionaire status during their career in the last financial year and is likely to have been worth his weight in wages to the club thanks to the marketing power and merchandise sales he has brought in.
He has also played in almost every minute of their latest title-winning season, missing only two league matches through injury and scoring 45 goals in all competitions.
Experts in Italy have predicted that Juve will lower the lucrative salaries they offer in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which saw Ronaldo, the rest of the squad and staff including manager Maurizio Sarri agree pay freezes to help the club through financial uncertainty in March.
Ten of the 13 highest paid players in Italy are at Juventus, including veteran Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci and Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who both pick up around $7.6 million a year.
Former Italy striker Gianfranco Zola called Ronaldo an “example to young people” after Juve’s surprise 2-0 defeat at midtable Cagliari on Wednesday.
“As soon as Cristiano reaches a goal, he immediately thinks about the next one,” Zola told Sky Sport.
“I think this is an example for everyone. He has a fierce determination and wants to leave his mark. He is so stubborn as to seem almost Sardinian. He has a Sardinian quality.”
As well as a car collection that reputedly includes three Ferraris, a Bugatti and a $200,000 Aston Martin, Ronaldo has recently spent part of his fortune on a vast yacht worth more than $7 million.
Inspired by an idyllic trip on a rented $19 million yacht with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez earlier this month, Ronaldo’s new acquisition is said to contain five cabins and six bathrooms.