Real Madrid duo Bale & Hazard in top three highest-paid La Liga players despite hardly ever playing - and they're both above Benzema

Eden Hazard Gareth Bale Real Madrid
Getty/GOAL
The Blancos have six players inside the top 10 when it comes to biggest salaries in Spain, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid filling the other spots

Gareth Bale is the highest-paid player in La Liga, according to Marca, while fellow Real Madrid outcast Eden Hazard occupies third spot on that list despite struggling to justify a €100 million (£85m/$111m) price tag at Santiago Bernabeu.

The Blancos fill six places inside a rundown of the top 10 biggest salaries in the Spanish top-flight, with prominent figures at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid completing that set.

There are plenty of big names on a notable chart, but Bale and Hazard stand out in the top three having made just 21 Liga appearances, scoring one goal, between them this season.

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Bale, who joined Real from Tottenham in a record-breaking deal back in 2013, has made his way to the top of the list following the recent departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi from Spanish football.

He is followed by club colleague Hazard, who made a move to the Bernabeu from Chelsea in 2019, and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann – with the French World Cup winner currently taking in a loan spell back at Wanda Metropolitano from Barcelona.

Real captain Karim Benzema, who has been in red-hot form this season with 32 goals to his name from 34 appearances, can only take fourth spot.

Barca skipper Sergio Busquets, with his entire professional career spent at Camp Nou after stepping out of the famed La Masia academy system, rounds off the top five.

Rank

Player

Annual salary

1

Gareth Bale

€34m

=2

Antoine Griezmann

€30m

=2

Eden Hazard

€30m

4

Karim Benzema

€24m

5

Sergio Busquets

€23m

6

Toni Kroos

€22m

=7

Jordi Alba

€20m

=7

Jan Oblak

€20m

=7

David Alaba

€20m

=7

Luka Modric

€20m

All figures as reported by Marca

Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid is the only goalkeeper on the list, with the Slovenian shot-stopper widely regarded as the best in the world in his chosen position.

David Alaba was handed a lucrative deal when joining Real Madrid as a free agent in the summer of 2021, while Luka Modric’s value to the Blancos continues to be recognised in rolling 12-month agreements.

The vast experience of Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba and Real midfielder Toni Kroos is also handsomely rewarded by their respective employers.

The bigger picture

Questions are being asked of how long both Bale and Hazard will be sticking around in Madrid.

A Wales international that has savoured four Champions League triumphs during his time in Spain is due to become a free agent in the summer and has generated talk of heading into retirement if his country miss out on a place at the 2022 World Cup.

Hazard is among those that Real are trying to offload as they look to free up funds and squad space that will allow moves for the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland to be made in the next transfer window.

Atletico have the option of extending Griezmann’s loan, having brought him back from a frustrating two-year stint in Catalunya, while there has been speculation to suggest that Benzema will need to look for a new challenge in the not too distant future as Florentino Perez reverts back to his ‘Galacticos’ recruitment model.

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