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World Cup players compete for country, and bonus money

(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Playing in the World Cup is every soccer player’s dream. The pride of wearing your country’s colors in front of thousands of fans must be an enormously rewarding feeling. But money is also a strong incentive. Players are rewarded financially for making the 23-man roster, and can win hundreds of thousands of dollars the further they advance in the World Cup.

Players for the United States, Germany, England and Spain are among those expected to earn extra cash just for making it to group play. The U.S. players, for example, are guaranteed $76,000 from U.S. Soccer for making the final roster. This includes: $55,000 for earning a spot in the final 23; a minimum $1,500 per game for being in camp for the three pre-Cup friendlies against Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria; and $5,500 per game for being on the roster for the three World Cup group stage matches.

For Clint Dempsey, who is earning $6.7 million this season with the Seattle Sounders, $76,000 might not seem like much. However it’s a welcome bonus for a player such as American defender DeAndre Yedlin, who makes $92,000 in MLS with the Sounders.

Federations are also rewarded by FIFA based on how far the team goes. The World Cup-winning federation will receive $35 million, with the runner-up receiving $25 million. Even if eliminated in the group stage, a federation will still receive $8 million on top of the $1.5 million it receives for participating in the tournament. This money is then distributed by the federations as bonus payments to the players and staff that earned it.

According to ESPN, defending champion Spain will received the highest bonus pay of all the participating teams:

“The players and technical staff of the Spanish national side are to be handed bonuses totaling 720,000 euros apiece if La Roja retain the World Cup this summer.”

This €720,000 ($975,683) bonus represents a 20 percent increase from the paycheck Spain’s players received after winning the World Cup in 2010. Among the other announced bonuses, Brazil and Germany’s players will earn €330,000 ($447,218) and €300,000 ($406,542), respectively, if they finish as winners. If England wins the World Cup, its players will take home €433,000 ($586,804). As if the English team needed added incentive beyond being the ones to bring home the country’s first World Cup since 1966.

Figures were converted using XE.com Currency Convertor with rates as of 6/10/2014

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