For the 32 teams heading to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup – particularly their legions of fans – the primary focus is on the silverware on offer.
However, there is also a significant tangible benefit to success, with a huge amount of money on offer at the tournament and teams earning increasingly more through the tournament.
Let’s take a look at all the details of the prize pool this year and how it compares to years past – note that all figures are in US Dollars.
Total World Cup prize pool
As it has been at every World Cup for many decades, the total prize pool available in Qatar will be the largest it has ever been. This year, it will come in at a whopping $440 million, which is an increase of $40 million – or 10% – on what was available in 2018.
How much does the Qatar 2022 World Cup winner earn?
There are plenty of teams in with a chance of winning the 2022 World Cup – the top ranked betting sites according to BettingTop10 have listed Brazil as favourites, but with no shortage of teams snapping at their heels.
Whoever wins will be handsomely compensated, earing $42 million, four million more than what was on offer in 2018. Harking back to 2010, this number sat at $30 million, but prior to that it was substantially less and grew significantly at the first couple of World Cups of the century.
That $30 million which was available in 2010 was a 50% increase on the event prior, with the 2006 edition of the tournament seeing just (just being a relative term) $20 million available.
And that $20 million was an even bigger jump from the 2002 tournament, which saw only $8 million up for grabs – an increase of 250% from one World Cup to the next!
Of course, the further back in time we go, the lower the total prize pool. Way back in 1982, the total prize pool sat at $2.2 million, a drop in the ocean compared to the $42 million available today.
Earnings for each stage of progression
All 32 teams which qualified to compete in Qatar will receive a slice of the $42 million pie, but obviously the further a team advances, the bigger that slice.
Teams which fail to advance past the Group Stage – of which there will be 16 – will receive $9 million, small change compared to what’s on offer for the winners but still more than the winners of the 2002 edition of the event made.
Teams which make it to the Round of 16 will be guaranteed $13 million, and teams knocked out at that stage will receive that figure. Winning through to the quarterfinals will see teams pocket another $4 million, with the four teams losing at that stage going home $17 million richer.
After that, there’s a big jump, with the four semi-finalists all set to earn at least $25 million. Those who lose will fight it out in the third-place playoff which nobody wants to be a part of for $2 million, with the team finishing third going home with $27 million and the team finishing fourth getting $25 million.
The runner-up doesn’t get a whole lot more, at least in the context of how much is on offer; they’ll finish up with a very tidy $30 million, a big number but one which means that the final is essentially worth $12 million, with the winner, as mentioned, going home with $42 million.
Individual financial incentives
The way that the winnings are distributed will vary from team to team and not all specifics are readily available, but players obviously receive a decent chunk of it, and as a result they too will generally earn more money the further their team advances in the tournament.
Players, of course, also have individual base salaries, but each team will decide how to distribute funds to their team dependent on where they finish.
In 2006, for example, Germany pledged to give their players close to $400,000 apiece if they won – a pretty large sum considering the total given to the team for winning was $20 million that year.
This year, Socceroos players have also been pledged a certain amount, but unsurprisingly there’s isn’t based on winning given how unlikely World Cup betting odds suggest that outcome is.
Instead, it’s been reported that they’ll receive an extra $290,000 AUD – more than their base salaries for playing at the event – if they can make it through to the knockout stages.
Given the enormous popularity of soccer worldwide and the fact that the FIFA World Cup is its landmark tournament, it’s no surprise that there’s a great deal of money on offer. And, as outlined above, that number is only going up.
The $440 million on offer this year is the biggest sum in history. Still, assuming that the trajectory keeps going the way it has for at least the last 40 years, it’s also almost certain to be swamped by what’s available in the years to come, particularly with extra teams set to play at the tournament from 2026 onwards.