The 30-year-old midfielder earns €6.5 million (£5.5m) net per year, a full €1m (£840,000) in excess of the second-highest earner - Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain - and €2m (£1.7m) more than his Giallorossi skipper Francesco Totti.
Serie A's lack of financial pull is well reflected by the figures, which were published by La Gazzetta dello Sport. Only 12 players across the country earn in excess of €4m (£3.4m) per annum, compared to 13 members of Chelsea's squad who are reported to earn the same figure.
|SERIE A MONEY | Italy's highest earners
||Daniele De Rossi
No player from Italy's top division comes close to ranking in Europe's top 10 earners, with De Rossi's wage packet dwarfed by the continent's top earners. Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Monaco counterpart Radamel Falcao are each quoted to earn €14m (£11.8m) after tax, while Lionel Messi takes home €13m (£10.9m) from his Barcelona contract. Gareth Bale's new €11m-a-year (£9.3m) net deal at Real Madrid ranks him only ninth in Europe's top earners.
Elsewhere in the figures, it is shown that champions Juventus pay out €49.8m (£41.9m) in wages, with AC Milan next on €47.94m (£40.3m).
Further exploration shows that De Rossi's Roma team-mate, Marco Borriello, comes in among the top 10 earners in the league with €4m net, despite spending two years out of favour with the club. His salary comes in at almost twice that of free-scoring Lazio rival Miroslav Klose (€2.1m [£1.8m]) and more than Juventus duo Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal (both €3.5m [£2.9m]), Napoli's Marek Hamsik (€3m [£2.5m]) and AC Milan's Nigel de Jong (€3m [£2.5m]).
Some notably low earners include Juventus wonderkid Paul Pogba (€1m), Lazio's Italy regular Antonio Candreva (€0.9m), Napoli wing-back Juan Zuniga (€0.8m [0.7m]) and Fiorentina dribbling sensation Juan Cuadrado (€0.6m [£0.5m]).