The World Cup is the highest stage on which a soccer player can perform. It is a great honor for most players to play for their country. But how much do soccer players make in the World Cup?
Soccer players are paid by their country's national soccer federation to participate in the World Cup. This is done on the principle of match fees and bonuses. The amount of the fees can be determined by each national soccer association. Fees can range from $1,500 to $35,000 per match.
As you can see, soccer players can make a lot of money by playing on their country's national team. How much each country pays its players, and how much prize money a country receives for winning the World Cup, you can find out in this article.
The first thing to note here is that soccer players don't get paid a traditional salary when playing for their country. Instead, each soccer federation pays its players in appearance fees and bonuses.
These fees often vary from country to country. The bonuses usually increase depending on how successful the team is during the World Cup.
The main reason for this is that most players will already be under contract to a club side.
For example, Lionel Messi will already be paid a salary by his club team - Paris Saint Germain. He will then receive additional bonuses and appearance fees for playing in the World Cup for Argentina.
These bonuses usually depend on how far that team progresses in the World Cup.
However, most countries will pay straight-up appearance fees regardless of how far the team gets.
How much does England pay its soccer players during the World Cup?
All of their players, which includes the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, are paid $2,600 per match.
However, the England players have reportedly donated these fees to charity since 2008.
This is perhaps not surprising when you consider that some of these players earn up to $458,000 per week with their club teams.
Some federations, however, do decide to pay their players a lot more.
How much does France pay its soccer players during the World Cup?
For example, the French Soccer Federation reportedly paid their star player - Kylian Mbappe, $22,260 per game during the last World Cup.
Like the English players, Mbappe donated this money to charity.
How much does Ghana pay its soccer players during the World Cup?
Another example on the complete opposite end of the scale is from the 2014 World Cup.
During this World Cup, Ghana players were receiving a fee of between $75,000 - $100,000 each for the tournament's entirety. Despite finishing bottom of their group, this worked out at roughly $25,000 - $33,000 per game for each player.
This is a monumental amount of money for players who may not get anywhere near the same salaries that some of their opposition players were receiving.
Especially when remembering those Ghana players were up against superstars such as Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and eventual winners - Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos from Germany.
How much does the U.S. pay its soccer players during the World Cup?
Looking at the U.S. National Team, we can once again look back to 2014 to see how the players were paid in that tournament.
The U.S. Soccer Federation paid each player a minimum of $76,000 for the tournament. $55,000 per player was earned to make it to the World Cup, with an additional $5,500 paid per appearance.
There was also a fee of $1,500 per game for the players who played in the U.S.'s three friendly matches leading up to the tournament.
Now we hopefully have a better understanding of how much a player is making per match.
But is there more money to be earned if that player's team goes far in the tournament?
Well, yes. In fact, most countries will include bonuses as an incentive for the team to go as far as possible.
Most federations will pay their players more in bonuses if they progress well in the tournament.
How much does Germany pay its soccer players during the World Cup?
Looking at the German Soccer Association, they begin handing out bonuses at the quarter-final stage.
Each player receives an $87,000 payment if they make it to the final eight teams. If Germany makes it to the semi-final, that bonus rises to $145,000 per player.
Once again, this isn't a blanket rule for all countries and is determined on a case-by-case basis by each country's federation.
Of course, every soccer player dreams of winning a World Cup. But what are the financial benefits of actually achieving this dream?
Once again, this massively varies from country to country.
Compared to what most top players earn monthly, these figures aren't even in the same ballpark.
It is reported that the England Soccer Association would pay the team just over $23 Million in bonuses if they were to win the World Cup.
This would work out as $1.1 million per player.
Looking at Germany once again, they look to pay their players a lot more.
If they were to win the World Cup, their players' bonus would be around $1 million each. This amount is actually still relatively low in comparison to other countries.
The 2010 World Cup winners, Spain, pay up to $1.5 million to each winning player.
Brazil is said to be one of the highest-paying nations, paying their superstars $2 million each if they were to win the tournament.
On the other hand, the information on how much the U.S. players make for winning the cup is harder to find out.
However, the U.S. women's team was eventually awarded $22 million for winning the 2015 World Cup. This fee was intended to match the men's team.
With that in mind, it's safe to work out that the U.S. team would earn around $900,000 - $956,000 if they went all the way.
However, with an inflated prize pot this year, and compared to other countries, this will actually likely be over $1 million per player.
To summarize how much each country pays their players for winning the World Cup:
|The Netherlands||$1 million|
|United States||$1 million +|
To the average Joe, this amount of money is staggering.
However, these bonus payments may only feel like a drop in the ocean to the winning players.
When you consider what some of these megastar soccer players earn every month with their club teams, these bonuses won't be life-changing to the biggest names in soccer.
Let's take Cristiano Ronaldo as an example. He is reportedly paid $70 million a year while also receiving around $55 million in endorsements.
When Ronaldo plays for Portugal, it's probably safe to say he's doing it for his country, not the paycheck.
So hopefully, we now have a good idea of how much money soccer players are making when they play in the World Cup.
But how much prize money is awarded to the winner of the World Cup?
The World Cup 2022 is already unlike any that has come before. Taking place in Qatar means that temperatures will be too high for the traditional summertime start.
This means a winter World Cup (for the northern hemisphere) will be taking place for the first time.
The total prize money is increasing by 29% from the previous tournament in 2018. The total prize fund is now a monumental $450 million. This will be spread across all 32 qualified teams depending on how well they do in the tournament.
A breakdown of the prize money for the 2022 World Cup:
|Participation (for all 32 qualified teams)||$2.5 million|
|Group stages (16 teams that get eliminated)||$8 million|
|Pre Quarterfinals (8 eliminated teams)||$12 million (each team)|
|Quarterfinals (4 eliminated teams)||$16 million (each team)|
|4th place||$22 million|
|3rd place||$26 million|
|2nd place||$32 million|
Qualifying for the World Cup is undoubtedly financially rewarding to many and maybe even life-changing to some of the smaller, less successful nations.
The prize pot for the upcoming Qatar World Cup is the biggest to date and is $50 million more than the $400 million awarded at the 2018 Russia World Cup.
This has been a continuous trend upwards as the prize money in 2014 was $358 million, and only $266 million dating back to 2006.
Given the amount of money in the game, this massive increase in prize money should not come as a surprise.
It's worth noting that the prize money is awarded to the winning country's soccer federation. How that money is then distributed is down to each individual organization.
As seen with countries like Ghana, Spain, and Brazil, some will choose to put most of the money towards player and coaching staff bonuses.
Other nations, such as Germany and England, may tend to reinvest in special facilities and training academies.
This may be because they know that the players are already paid a substantial amount by their club teams.
To summarize, the amount soccer players make in the World Cup varies from country to country.
Compared to most of the big superstars' money, the figures aren't exactly earth-shattering.
However, seeing how many players are happy to donate their fees to charity proves that most of these players participate for the honor of representing their countries rather than for the money.