Footballers are some of the world's best-paid athletes. In recent years, their wages have skyrocketed even further, thanks to the huge influx of cash into the game. As per Forbes' 100 highest-paid athletes 2020 rankings, 31 footballers made it into the list, a tally second only to the NBA's 35.
Johan Cruyff's famous quote - "Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal"- makes a lot of sense in the current scenario when a lot of big-money signings are failing to live up to their hefty price-tags, and smaller clubs are finding it difficult to beat rich clubs with every passing day.
In La Liga, only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have deep enough pockets to spend millions in the transfer market. Naturally, the clubs have some the league's best-paid athletes in their ranks who make up the bulk of the top 50 earners La Liga.
With that being said, let us now take a look at the 10 highest-paid players in La Liga currently.
#10 Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona) - £260,000
We kick off our list with Sergio Busquets, the first of the five Barcelona players in the top 10. The midfielder signed a contract extension with the Catalans in 2018, and its terms will keep him at the Camp Nou until the summer of 2023.
Under his current contract, he earns £260,000 per week and with him now past his prime, any further hike in his wages are not expected. The 32-year-old still ranks among some of the best defensive midfielders across Europe statistically and recently earned a call-up to Spain's national team to feature in the UEFA Nations League.
Though he has been integral to the Barcelona squad in the 2019-20 campaign, his position might be in danger under Ronald Koeman, the club's new manager. Here are the five replacement to Busquets they can look to sign.
#9 Koke (Atletico Madrid) - £270,000 per week
Atletico Madrid have started to flex their financial muscles in recent years and as many as three players made it into the top 10, a thing that would've been unimaginable just a few years ago.
Their first representative in this list is their captain, Koke, whose current deal with the club runs out in the summer of 2024. Under the contract, he receives £270,000 in weekly wages.
The Spanish midfielder is one of few one-club men of our generation and is compensated very well by his boyhood club. He will turn 29 next January and has committed his long-term future with them, so it is unlikely that he will leave them any time soon. He might renegotiate his deal in the next season or two.
#8 Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid) - £270,000 per week
Diego Costa joins Koke in the list at Number 8, having secured a £270,000-per-week contract with the club in January 2018, following his £58-million transfer from Chelsea.
He left the Vicente Calderón in 2014 as one of the best strikers in the world but when he returned to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in 2018, he had lost that goalscoring touch. As per reports, he might be on his way out.
His contract expires next summer and any club that would like to gamble by signing the 31-year-old would likely wait for his contract to run out and sign him on a free transfer.
#7 Antoine Griezmann - (FC Barcelona) - £346,000 per week
Antoine Griezmann, the former Atletico player who secured a long-awaited move to Barcelona last summer, reportedly took a pay cut to join the Catalans but retained a place in the top 10 thanks to his £346,000-per-week salary.
His contract runs out in 2024 and, thus, he has a long time to prove himself worthy of his £107-million price tag. He failed to replicate his tremendous form with Atletico with the Blaugrana, and his failure to link up well with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez has drawn flak from the Camp Nou faithful.
Though his weekly wages have taken a hit, it is believed that his income from various sponsorship deals shot up over the last year.