As is an annual tradition, Catalan daily newspaper Diario Sport today released the ten highest earners at FC Barcelona, and depending on the value you place on certain members of the team, you might be surprised by some of the names and numbers reported.
Of course, in top spot there is Lionel Messi — the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is the finest player of this, or any, generation and he's compensated accordingly, taking home an eye-watering €21 million net per annum.
The "MSN" trident complete the top three, as Neymar's recently signed new contract puts him second behind Messi with a €16 million per year salary — and he's likely to be joined at that upper echelon by Luis Suarez, who is renegotiating his contract as we speak to move into the same pay bracket. In any case, Luisito currently earns €10 million a year, so he'd be in third spot regardless.
Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly given how much value is placed on goals, everyone else in the squad is earning less that the fabled triumvirate. And when I say less, I mean a lot less. Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets both earn 50% less than Neymar — and it quickly falls from there as well.
If we move past Ivan Rakitic (€6.5m) and Gerard Pique (€5.8m), the rest of the Barcelona squad all earn less than €4.5m per year as Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Arda Turan round out the top ten, earning €4.5m, €4m and €4m respectively.
In other words, don't be surprised if Sergi Roberto signs a new deal later in the season to reflect his strong performances — and equally, don't be surprised if you hear grumbling about a ter Stegen renewal anytime soon.
Football is a rich sport, and it's no wonder Barcelona boast one of the highest salary bills in the world with salaries like these.