Can $20m bring the USA a World Cup?

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England’s very first opponents in the World Cup, it seems, have an even bigger incentive than just the bragging rights to beat the Three Lions. It was revealed that USA will share the biggest bonus pot in world cup history, were they to beat the odds and lift the World Cup.

According to Sporting Intelligence, this bonus pot of around $20m (£13.8m) will be  shared among USA’s 23-man World Cup squad, which means each player would walk away with $895,000 (£617,332).

The report also goes on to explain that if USA were to win the world cup, US Soccer would pass on as much as 66.4% of the total FIFA prize earnings of $31m to the players, which comes to around $20.8m. However, if USA fail to win, then US Soccer’s FIFA prize earnings would be only $9m($8m for being in the group stages and an additional $1m preparation money), 20% or $1.8m of which it would pass on to the players.

Other than this massive bonus, there are other smaller incentives built into the US team’s bonus system. The squad would get $180,000 for each point they earn in the group stage, and a base bonus of $78,447 per person even if they were to lose in the group stages without earning a single point i.e. not winning/drawing a single match, or to put it even more bluntly even it they lost every match, they’d be richer by  $78,447. Ah well, you know how the saying goes, its not about losing or winning…

In contrast, England’s senior players Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry who recently negotiated their World Cup bonuses with the FA are not revealing the numbers. It is reported that the figure which is worked out on a game-by-game basis is around £450,000 per man if they win the World Cup. It does not include the match fees being donated to charity.

The Sporting Intelligence website reports that the bonus for world cup favourites Spain is a maximum of  $731,000 (£500,000) per person, while Brazil are on $364,125 (£250,000) per man with Germany giving $308,778 (£212,000) per player for ultimate victory.

The smashing bonuses might just be that little nudge that USA need to make England, who have their oldest ever World Cup squad in South Africa sweat in their first game.

Article first published as Will $20 Million Help the USA Win the World Cup? on Technorati.

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