Italy has enjoyed tremendous football success since time immemorial. The four-time FIFA World Cup winners are a force to reckon with on the field. The players wear the blue shirt with pride, and such tremendous success does not go unnoticed.
When big clubs beckon, the Italians are at the forefront. Deservedly so, the Italian contribution to world soccer is very much evident with their superb display of football to a point of being the team to field a player with the most appearances in the World Cup, Paulo Maldini. Italians are known to play football to their late thirties, and they have more than a few world trophies to show for it.
Here are the 10 richest Italian football players as of 2017-2018.
10. Lorenzo Insigne – net worth $14 million
Lorenzo commonly referred to as Insigne while playing for Italian side Napoli, is one of the best forward or attacking midfielders. He began his career at Napoli’s youth club in 2006 and was promoted to its senior team in 2010. From 2011 up to 2013 he was loaned out to Foggia and Pescara where he outstandingly scored 37 goals. The 25-year-old made his debut for the national side in 2012. He was part of the Italian under 21 side that was runners – up in the 2013 UEFA European Under – 21 Championship. He has made 13 appearances for Italy and has two goals to his name.
9. Claudio Marchisio – net worth $14 million
Obviously known to us for his playmaking ability, Marchisio is a midfielder for Juventus. The career for this well-known midfielder began at Juventus’ youth club from where he rose up the ranks to make it to the senior team in 2006. His versatility in midfield has made him an important player for his club. This can be attributed to him winning five consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus. His representation for the national team has been a major one especially in major football competitions worldwide. He was part of the Italian side that participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2012 UEFA Euros and the 2013 FIFA Confederations cup.
8. Andrea Barzagli – net worth $16 million
This Italian player is the best centre back Juventus has to offer. The 35 year old began his professional football career in 1998 at Rondinella. After playing for various small Serie A sides he finally joined Palermo in 2004 where he developed into a very good defender. His consistency attracted German side VfL Wolfsburg where he played for them for 3 seasons and helped them win one Bundesliga Title. Joining his current team, Juventus, marked his return to Italy. He has been highly praised for his impeccable defensive display and also his scoring ability. The player has made 67 appearances for the Italian national team and won the 2006 FIFA World Cup with them.
7. Leonardo Bonucci – net worth $20 million
Leonardo began his football career at Viterbese Youth Club in 2004 but later on joined Internazionale’s football youth club. After not being able to make a breakthrough at Internazionale he joined Bari in 2009 but just after one season at the club he was signed by Juventus, where he currently plays. The 29-year-old has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world. His aggressive but clinical style of play has made him an integral player in his club’s and national team’s defense. Since his debut for his national team in 2010 Bonucci has been capped 67 times and has 4 goals to his name.
6. Daniele De Rossi – net worth $25 million
The Roma defender is well known for his aggressive defensive tactics. De Rossi made a name for himself when he joined Roma’s youth team. In just one year he was promoted to the senior team. Since 2001 Rossi has never left Roma even though big clubs in Europe have shown interest in signing him. With Roma he has won three major Italian titles. The 33-year-old has been capped internationally 110 times and has surprising scored 19 goals for the Italian national team. He was part of the Azurri squad that won the 2004 UEFA European Under – 21 Championship and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He is one of the most promising defenders in Italy and in the world.
5. Andrea Pirlo – net worth $30 million
Andrea Pirlo is arguably as one of the best midfielders in the world. He currently plays for American club New York City FC. The 37 year old began his career with Brescia in the Serie B. His outstanding performance with Brescia was followed by a move to Internazionale in 1998. After a long struggle trying to get a first team spot Pirlo was sold to Inter rivals AC Milan. It was here that he became an outstanding playmaker. His role helped AC Milan to lift two UEFA Champions League titles. After a successful spell at AC Milan he moved to Juventus in 2011. Pirlo has been capped 116 times for the Italian national team. He was part of Italy’s squad that won the 2000 UEFA European Under – 21 Championship and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He has scored 38 international goals for Italy.
4. Mario Balotelli – net worth $40 million
Mario Balotelli plays as a striker for Ligue One side Nice after leaving Merseyside giants Liverpool. Mario started his football career at Lumezzane before joining Internazionale in 2007. After a fall-out with the club’s management due to his disciplinary issues he signed for English side Manchester City in 2010. Balotelli proved to be a very useful player at City and always scored even though he often started on the bench. Unsurprisingly, controversy always seems to follows him and subsequently he had a fall out with Manchester City’s manager which saw him leave the club. Balotelli made his debut for the Italian national side in 2010 and has since been capped 30 times. The 26-year-old has represented Italy on the big stages and is Italy’s top scorer in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
3. Giorgio Chiellini – net worth $43 million
Best known for his agile defensive play, Chiellini is a re-known Juventus side defender. Chiellini started his professional football career in 2000 at Livorno. In 2002 he departed for Roma but soon left and joined former Italian giants AC Milan in 2004. It was in 2005 that Giorgio joinedhis current club. Here he has had a successful career since he has helped the club to win major titles in all major leagues such as serie A. His aggressive style of play and his legendary style of defense make him one of the most sought after defenders in the world. The 32 year old has been capped 90 times for the Italian national team and has scored 7 international goals.
2. Gianluigi Buffon – net worth $72 million
There’s arguably no other person best in goal as Buffon, who plays for Italian side Juventus. He is the current skipper of his club and the Italian national team. The 39 year old footballer is the most capped Italian player internationally. Buffon began his football career in Parma in 1995. In 2001 he decided to make his biggest career move to Italy where he joined the Old Lady of Turin. Pundits worldwide consider Buffon as the best goalkeeper in the world. He has had an outstanding football career and has won all major world titles both at club level and internationally except the UEFA Champions League title which has evaded him since his move to Juventus. The wall in goal has the record for the most clean sheets in the Serie A and also the record for most matches without conceding a goal. Besides his advanced age Buffon is still good in goal and he doesn’t seem to be retiring soon.
1. Francesco Totti – net worth $102 million
Currently playing for Italian side Roma, Totti is an attacking midfielder or second striker for his team. The 40 year old has spent his entire senior football career at Roma. He is the clubs current all-time top scorer with 250 goals and is the youngest player in the Serie A to captain a team. Francesco Totti has had huge success as a footballer and has helped his club win major titles. His success has not only been displayed at club level but also internationally. He has been capped 103 times by the Italian national team and has 27 goals under his belt. He was part of the Italian side that lifted the FIFA World Cup in 2006 against France in a thrilling final. Totti is arguably as one of the best Italian strikers who have ever graced the sport.
Italians love football, most players are engines that never seem to run out of oil. Make no mistake, even in their late thirties, even at forty, most players perform like teenagers. The Italian Serie A being the most exciting leagues to watch might be borrowing players heavily from abroad, but the Italians are making their mark on the world stage.