For superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this European Championship hasn’t exactly been worth it: out with Sweden after the EC group stage, there wasn’t much in it financially for the super striker, either. Even in the case of a title win, he would have only cashed 182,000 euros in rewards from the Swedish association.
That’s peanuts in comparison to his other income: His presumable new club, Manchester United, is said to be offering a 320,000 euro salary. Per week. Perhaps that’s why the polarizing superstar flirted with an outfitter switch during Euro 2016.
Of course, this EC is worth it all the same for its major stars, like Gareth Bale (Wales) or Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal). It’s an exhibition where, in the best case, a player can increase his market value. Or at least occupy center stage – even if for Bale it’s sometimes only about his haircut, and Ronaldo his garter belt-like compression stockings.
For World Cup hero Bastian Schweinsteiger, too, the appearance at Euro 2016 has already paid off. His goal during the opening match victory against the Ukraine showed fans and club bosses that the long-injured star still has it in him.
The captain of the German national team also achieved some things for his teammates during the player council’s negotiations with the German Football Association (DFB). Each of the 23 players would rake in 300,000 euros for the title win – that’s exactly as much as there was for the 2014 World Cup title, which is valued at a significantly higher importance. DFB President Reinhard Grindel describes this sum as “moderate and appropriate.”
With 300,000 euros per head, Germany finds itself nowhere near the top of the starting field. Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo, has negotiated just as much, and Spain, with superstar Andrés Iniesta, could cash in the record reward of 340,000 euros for a successful title defense.
Far ahead in the rewards table lies the EC’s secret favorite Belgium. According to the Flemish newspaper “Het Laatste Niuews,” an unbelievable 704,000 euros per person are said to be awarded to the team under Kevin de Bruyne in case of an EC triumph. In contrast, the alleged 67,000 euros for each Swiss player seem like a joke.
The UEFA has definitely shown itself to be accommodating in the matter: Each of the 24 teams will collect eight million euros as a one-time entry fee. For EC participants like Albania, Iceland, or Hungary, that’s a serious windfall.
Each tie in the group stage brought an additional 500,000 euros, and each win a slick million euros. There’s 1.5 million euros for the final 16, each quarter finalist gets 2.5 million euros, and four million euros beckon in the semifinals.
The finals loser can console themselves with five million extra euros, while the European champion will collect eight million and can reach a total of 27 million euros. Of course all of Germany is dreaming of a fourth title – and the players would only cash in that much in that case.
“The players are facing up to the principle of performance,” said national team manager Oliver Bierhoff after the negotiations in March. If the team is eliminated before the quarterfinals, they’ll get nothing. The quarterfinals would bring 50,000 euros, entry into the semifinals 100,000, and participation in the final match 150,000.
Incidentally, a finals defeat would be the most financially lucrative alternative for the DFB, who could then bring in a profit of four million euros: estimated earnings of 22 million euros would stand up against expenses of 18 million. Due to the higher rewards for players, the European Champion title would rake in less money.
But nothing’s better than the feeling of another title, a view shared by the DFB President Grindel: “The DFB itself would even make a profit if we get eliminated in the EC preliminaries. But, naturally, we want to nab the title.”