The scale of Serie A's decline has been starkly exposed in a transparent report revealing players' weekly salaries.
Paul Pogba, one of the best young central midfielders in the world, is earning just £23,000-per-week net at Juventus, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Frenchman signed a four-year contract with the Bianconeri two years ago and has not renewed his deal, despite becoming an international and helping the club secure two Serie A titles.
Pogba, 21, was reportedly offered a weekly £10,000 salary by Manchester United before his contract expired in 2012, yet United agreed to a £40,000 weekly deal with the erratic Wilfried Zaha just six months later.
Pogba joined Juventus two years ago from United
Italian football's malaise is perhaps illustrated most glaringly by the £160,000-per-week contract Samuel Eto'o was on when Internazionale won the Champions League in 2009-10. The club's best-paid players now are Nemanja Vidić and Rodrigo Palacio on £50,000-per-week.
Roma's Daniele de Rossi is the highest earner in Serie A on £100,000-per-week with teammate Ashley Cole on £35,000 - Cole has taken a £6 million pay cut after leaving Chelsea. Napoli's Gonzalo Higuaín and Juventus striker Carlos Tévez are behind De Rossi in the top three, having both moved to Italy last year from Spain and England.
The 20 Italian clubs’ total wage-bill is valued at £680m, a third of what Premier League clubs spend on wages.
Wayne Rooney is the Premier League's best-paid player on £300,000-per-week while his new club colleague, teenager Luke Shaw, is already earning a six-figure weekly salary.