Can $20 Million Bring the US a World Cup?
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. The 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 $20 million (£13.8m) will be shared among USA's 23-man squad, with each player would walk away with $895,000 (£617,332).
The report also explains 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 $31 million to the players.
However, if they fail to win, then US Soccer's FIFA prize earnings would be only $9 million ($8 million for being in the group stages and an additional $1 million preparation money), 20% or $1.8 million 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). 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 favorite Spain is a maximum of $731,000 (£500,000) per person, while Brazil are on $364,125 (£250,000) per man and Germany will give $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.