The staggering gap between Ronaldo salary and Italy's next best

Extraordinary new figures reveal the massive pay gap between Cristiano Ronaldo and the next best paid player in the top flight of Italian football.

The Portuguese superstar completed a move worth an initial $158 million (£88m/€100m) from Real Madrid to the Serie A champions in July.

While it is believed to be less than his wages in Spain, Juve are paying Ronaldo €30m ($A47m) a year across a four-year contract, which is substantially more than the rest of their top players earn.

It is also substantially more than anyone in the rest of the league earns, as one prominent Italian football journalist has pointed out.

AC Milan loanee striker Gonzalo Higuain – who has since moved on from champions Juventus after Ronaldo’s move – comes second on the list with an annual salary of €8.5m ($A13.3m).

That’s some $33.7m per season less than Ronaldo will be raking in for the Turin club.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis expressed his concern recently over the Portuguese star’s exorbitant salary.

Ronaldo is set to earn significantly more than all of his Serie A peers. Pic: Getty

“Cristiano is getting on a bit now,” De Laurentiis told La Verita, as quoted by AS.

“To maintain some kind of balance, it’s very dangerous for a club to spend so much money on just one player – one who is reaching the end of his career.

“His salary is totally off the scale for Juve’s means. I wonder whether it will be more of a commercial success or more of a sporting success.

“If you start paying crazy wages, sooner or later, it will start going against you.”

Juventus and their five-time Ballon d’Or-winning star signing kick off their Serie A season against Chievo in just under two weeks.