The World Cup will draw to a close on Sunday, with two different storylines waiting to unfold. A victory for Argentina would see Lionel Messi confirm that he is one of the best to ever grace a football pitch to many, whereas France winning back-to-back competitions would indicate that the student has surpassed the master, with Kylian Mbappe lifting silverware once again.
Given that the World Cup is the most prestigious competition in football, players certainly are not there for the money. However, lifting the trophy would be incredibly lucrative for players.
According to Football.London, each nation that qualified for the Qatar World Cup earned themselves a healthy £1.2million before a ball was even kicked in the Middle East. Though there was plenty more money to be earned by progressing into the knockout stages of the competition.
Each nation that managed to escape from the groups earned an additional £11m, with the likes of Senegal and Australia certainly set to reap the benefits from that injection of cash – as well as their players.
Success in the Round of 16 would see countries earn an extra £3m, and victory in the quarter-finals sees there be a significant boost in payments. Each semi-finalist is guaranteed a total sum of £21million at the very minimum, which will work wonders in Morocco – the first African side to progress into the final four.
The two sides that lost their semi-final clashes will battle it out for a further £2m in the third/fourth-placed playoff, set to take place on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium. An almighty £35m is on the line for the two finalists, meaning that the victor will return to their homeland with a total of £36.2m.
The second-placed side will leave with a silver medal and a total of £25m in additional funds, though whether that sum of money is capable of mending the broken hearts remains to be seen. Given that Messi is one of the world’s highest-earning players at Paris Saint-Germain, the match on Sunday means much more to the Argentine than money. The seven-time Ballon d’Or has announced that the final against France will be the last international match of his career.
He explained: “I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying. Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina. There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.”