World Cup pays really big!
Updated: 2006-06-20 16:20
One dazzling shot, one great save at the World Cup and a player can capture
the adoration of his nation and the respect of soccer fans worldwide.
Not to mention cold, hard cash and other goodies.
The World Cup is first a contest for soccer supremacy. But it's also a chance
for relative unknowns to make their fortune -- both now and down the line.
"Put themselves in the shop window," explains Trinidad
and Tobago's Stern John, a striker with a colorful career who hopes his play
will help him move on up.
England's John Terry makes a
clearance in front of team mate Rio Ferdinand (5) and Trinidad and
Tobago's Stern John (14) watch during their Group B World Cup 2006 soccer
match in Nuremberg June 15, 2006. [Reuters]
And then shop for a new car, or house. In some cases, even get to skip
The incentive is not just new contracts with better teams. National
federations also offer bonuses that add up fast, especially for players from
Angola players received a reported $50,000 apiece for reaching the World Cup.
Saudi Arabia has promised to shell out $27,000 to each player when its team wins
-- a promise that's cost it nothing so far. If Spain wins the final, its players
get about $683,000 each. The Americans could bank nearly $200,000 each if they
make it to the second round.
Sometimes, as in the case of tiny Togo, the bonus can cause more trouble than
it's worth. For most players, however, money is secondary.
"First you have to play and win for your country," said Ivory Coast
midfielder Gilles Yapi-Yapo, who plays professionally in France. "The other
things are details, but of course you always think, too, about whether you might
go to another club or improve your contract."