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Sunday, July 11, 2010

World Cup Payouts

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports

JOHANNESBURG – The motivation for Spanish and Dutch players in Sunday’s World Cup final is obvious – national pride, global glory and the chance at an enduring legacy. To hold the golden trophy is something most have dreamed of since they first kicked a ball.

All of which doesn’t mean money (quite a bit of it) hasn’t been used to provide a bit of extra reward. The winning team’s soccer federation will receive about $31 million in prize money from FIFA.

The Spanish Football Association has promised to give each of its 23 players a bonus of 600,000 euros (or about $758,000 in U.S. dollars) if they can deliver victory, according to the Sunday Times. The Netherlands reportedly will hand out 300,000 euros (or about $380,000) for each player. Coaches and support staff get less.

It makes Sunday’s game perhaps the richest in history. The total prize money is 61 percent higher than that handed out by FIFA for the 2006 World Cup.

And it’s just the cap on a wealthy run for each team’s players. FIFA will pay the final’s losing organization around $2.4 million. It gave out prize money to the tune of $7.5 million for a team getting out of group play, $9 million for reaching the quarterfinals and $18 million for reaching the semifinals. Losing in the semifinals was worth $20 million.

FIFA makes billions on the World Cup in global television rights, merchandise and tickets, among other things. The prize money goes to each nation’s football associations to help cover costs. They, in turn, negotiate with their players (who are paid professionals with their club teams the rest of the year) for their participation.

Most nations hand out player bonuses with each victory in knockout stage play. Each Spanish player has already earned about $130,000 for just reaching the final, according to the Times.

The most lucrative payout potentially would have gone to the United States, where U.S. Soccer had set aside nearly $20 million in player bonuses should they have won the World Cup. The Americans were knocked out in the round of 16, so only a fraction of that money was handed out.

English players left South Africa with no bonus money. Their bonuses were set to kick in for the quarterfinals only, but they lost in the last 16.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Spain play on – for their country, their personal fulfillment and a rather fine payday.

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