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For the Love of the Game?

Dollars !Gordon Gecko once said that greed is good.  And some other guy once said that money talks. 

And even in the case of a national pride type of sporting event like the World Cup, athletes still want to be financially rewarded for their hard efforts. 

Playing for your country is nice and all, but to tell you truth these guys are hard at work and would like to be compensated for their devoted time and risk of injury. In fact several of the game’s best aging players are missing out on the event this summer due to either tiring of doing the international traveling thing or the fear of potentially ending their league career abruptly due to a devastating injury in a meaningless exhibition match leading up to the Cup. 

In other words some guys just don’t want to put in the tough four years of time for one month of potential glory.

But several athletes stick it out because of a variety of reasons: The obvious one being that it feels like the right thing to do regarding their football career and relationship to their birth nation.  Some do it for their family or friends, others for their old coaches or their beloved fans, but most superstars do it for the potential sponsorship deals and of course the shot at the ultimate football glory and heroism.

And in the modern day many of these squads have deals arranged with their respected nation’s collective bargaining agreement stating how much money the players on the team will be rewarded in bonuses depending on how well they do in the tournament.  The teams that are lucky enough to have such a clause rarely report how much the team will receive, so it is often unknown how much one can truly prosper from the event.

But Sportingintellegence, a UK based publication, recently reported an estimated bonus summary of what the United States players will likely receive following the World Cup.  According to the estimation if the United States completely choke and lose all three matches and don’t earn a single point in the process then the amount each player would receive would be at around $78,000.  The study claims that if the United States were to do the unthinkable and win the entire World Cup then the estimated bonus for each player would exceed $895,000.       

There is no word yet on what the players would buy with all that loot if they win the Cup, but my guess is probably a “new car, caviar, and a four star daydream” in the words of Pink Floyd’s Money.  However if I were to win the Cup my personal response would be, “I think I’ll buy me a football team.” 

And right now those are going for pretty cheap too.

But there will be more then honor and glory that the boys will be fighting for this summer.   So in other words money does in fact talk and greed is actually good.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pfala