How much were players paid for the 2022 World Cup final?
England’s World Cup-winning right-back George Cohen recalled the scene shortly before Sir Alf Ramsey’s side claimed the ultimate prize in football in 1966.
“Bobby Moore, the captain,” Cohen remembered, “told us: ‘Lads, the good news is the Football Association are giving us £22,000 if we win the World Cup. The bad news is they mean £1,000 each.'”
In the subsequent half-century, the financial reward for winning the World Cup has sky-rocketed. Cohen would later insist: “I guess you can’t put a price on glory, can you?” But FIFA did their best with the fees handed out to 2022 finalists Argentina and France.
Here’s how much Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and their colleagues earned by reaching the World Cup final in Qatar.
What was the total prize money for the 2022 World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup was more closely associated with raw wealth than any of its predecessors. Held in one of the richest nations on the planet, FIFA president Gianni Infantino smugly declared that the winter tournament was “the best ever” World Cup. That was certainly the case from an economic standpoint; the international jamboree delivered more than $7.5bn (£5.7bn) in revenue – in excess of $1bn more than the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Set to that backdrop, the total prize fund of $440m (£335m) which FIFA split between the 32 competing nations seems minimal – in fact, it represents less than 6% of the total revenue.
How much were France’s players paid for reaching the 2022 World Cup final?
Despite Mbappe’s late heroics – matching the hat-trick that Sir Geoff Hurst bagged against West Germany for England alongside Cohen and co in 1966 – France lost arguably the greatest World Cup final of all time to Argentina.
As runners-up, the entire French federation was afforded a bulk sum of $30m (£23m). Just as they did upon their triumph in 2018, the playing staff were allotted 30% of the prize fund, which equates to roughly £265,000 per player.
Mbappe was at the heart of a storm surrounding image rights in the build-up to the tournament, with the Golden Boot winner unhappy that he was being associated with brands like KFC. The resolution of these talks saw players earn an extra £180,000 from the use of their likeness on their way to the final.
How much were Argentina’s players paid for winning the 2022 World Cup final?
Argentina received the largest reward in the history of World Cup football, claiming $42m (£32m) after ending a 36-year wait for victory. For comparison, Diego Maradona’s champions in 1986 earned $2.8m in total.
Assuming the AFA followed the precedent set by their French counterparts and handed out 30% of the total sum to their players, then Messi and his colleagues would have been entitled to £370,000 each. During the 2022/23 season, Messi earned more than £1m per week from his salary at Paris Saint-Germain.
However, as Cohen said, the glory of lifting the World Cup – especially after so many years of failure on the international stage for Messi – is incomparable to any sum FIFA could hand out.