The 25 highest-paid La Liga players of 2023-24: Where does Jude Bellingham rank?
Jude Bellingham has arguably been the only genuine marquee signing who’s arrived as a new addition to La Liga this summer – but how do his wages compare to Spanish football’s established stars?
The 20-year-old England international was signed by Real Madrid for an €103million fee, which accounts for a large proportion of La Liga’s entire spend in the transfer market this summer. In fact, Spain’s top flight has been outspent by the Saudi Pro League this summer.
Florentino Perez evidently still has a fondness for the odd galactico signing, but it seems like the days that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Neymar would arrive year on year are behind us as a number of their biggest clubs face financial difficulties while the Premier League’s brand has grown further and Saudi Arabia have started to flex their muscles.
Real Madrid pay Bellingham an annual salary of just under €21million a year, which puts him level with Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski in terms of earnings and just behind modern-day Los Blancos legend Luka Modric.
Unsurprisingly, it’s Real Madrid and Barcelona – and to a lesser extent Atletico Madrid – that are responsible for the top-paid players in Spain. In fact, only Athletic Bilbao’s homegrown hero Inaki Williams is the only player from outside La Liga’s ‘big three’ to break the top 25.
Frenkie de Jong boasts a mammoth €37million-a-year salary at Barcelona, making him La Liga’s top-paid player by a serious distance – he earns over €13million (35%) more than any other player.
Barcelona have made some effort to reduce their bloated wage bill in recent years – helped by getting high earners like Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique off the books – but De Jong’s eye-watering salary remains a testament to the reckless approach to spending when he arrived at the club in 2019, signing his last contract extension in 2020.
In total, Xavi’s squad contains eight of La Liga’s top 25 earners, including new signing Ilkay Gundogan, who commands €18million-a-year wages after arriving on a free from Manchester City.
Atletico Madrid have six of La Liga’s top 25 earners, but wantaway Joao Felix (their third highest earner with estimated annual wages of €14.5million) is causing Diego Simeone a headache.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if another club have taken on the enigmatic playmaker’s wages before the transfer window closes on September 1st.
Here’s a full breakdown of La Liga’s best-paid players. Their estimated salaries are via Capology.
25. Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid) – €10,420,000
24. Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) – €10,420,000
23. Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) – €10,420,000
22. Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao) – €11,400,000
21. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – €12,000,000
20. Clement Lenglet (Barcelona)– €12,000,000
19. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) – €12,500,000
18. Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid) – €12,500,000
17. Raphinha (Barcelona)– €12,500,000
16. Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) – €13,130,000
15. Jules Kounde (Barcelona)– €13,550,000
14. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)– €13,950,000
13. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid) – €14,580,000
12. Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid) – €14,580,000
11. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) – €15,000,000
10. Koke (Atletico Madrid) – €16,000,000
9. Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona) – €18,750,000
8. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – €20,830,000
7. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) – €20,830,000
6. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid) – €20,830,000
5. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) – €20,830,000
4. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) – €21,880,000
3. David Alaba (Real Madrid) – €22,500,000
2. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) – €24,380,000
1. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) – €37,500,000