Sepp Blatter

World Cup winners to receive $35 million in prize money, what did the US get?

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With the 2014 World Cup tournament almost over, now is a good time to have a look around and see how much money teams have won for their performances during the tournament.

That’s right, Sepp Blatter has got his checkbook out. Happy days.

As set out by FIFA back in December 2013 the winners, either Germany or Argentina, will receive $35 million in prize money from soccer’s world governing body. The total amount of prize money rose by a whopping 37 percent to $576 million for the 2014 tournament from the $420 million handed out during South Africa 2010.

[ RELATED: WC final set, Argentina-Germany ]

Even the runner up will bag $25 million, while Brazil and the Netherlands will battle it out in the third place match for a cool $22 million… the loser, and subsequent fourth place team, still get $20 million.

So, what about the USA? What did Jurgen Klinsmann’s men earn after their hard-fought journey to the round of 16?

$9 million.

Every team who got knocked out of the round of 16 made $9 million. As for those teams who made the quarterfinal stage, they each received $14 million. So, in theory, the U.S. were a Chris Wondolowski chance away from bagging an extra $5 million in prize money. Too soon?

$9 million isn’t bad though, right? Coupled with the $1.5 million FIFA gave all 32 nations for ‘preparation costs’ I’d say that the U.S. Soccer Federation certainly did okay out of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Plus, look at all the sponsorship deals the U.S. signed and everything else that comes with enhanced exposure after the record TV numbers.

However, here is where it gets interesting. The 16 nations who were knocked out at the group stages, how much do you think they got? The answer is $8 million.

So even if the U.S. felt like they made a monumental leap forward, prestige wise, in qualifying from the ‘group of death’ and making the knockout rounds, they only received $1 million more than Cameroon, Honduras or Australia who all finished bottom of their groups without a single point in the tournament.

Does that seem a little unfair? Perhaps. Regardless, if FIFA is dishing out prize money, it don’t see any teams complaining.

Anyway, here is the list in full as to how much money each team made from the 2014 World Cup. Do you think this is the fairest way of splitting up the humongous pot of money? Any other suggestions?

PRIZE MONEY WON AT 2014 WORLD CUP

1. TBD – $35 million

2. TBD – $25 million

3. TBD – $22 million

4. TBD – $20 million

5. Colombia – $14 million

6. Belgium – $14 million

7. France – $14 million

8. Costa Rica – $14 million

*** ELIMINATED AT ROUND OF 16 ***

9. Chile – $9 million

10. Mexico – $9 million

11. Switzerland – $9 million

12. Uruguay – $9 million

13. Greece – $9 million

14. Algeria – $9 million

15. USA – $9 million

16. Nigeria – $9 million

*** ELIMINATED IN GROUP STAGE ***

17. Ecuador – $8 million

18. Portugal – $8 million

19. Croatia – $8 million

20. Bosnia – $8 million

21. Ivory Coast – $8 million

22. Italy – $8 million

23. Spain – $8 million

24. Russia – $8 million

25. Ghana – $8 million

26. England – $8 million

27. South Korea – $8 million

28. Iran – $8 million

29. Japan – $8 million

30. Australia – $8 million

31. Honduras – $8 million

32. Cameroon – $8 million

Reports: Rafael Benitez to remain in charge at Newcastle United

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Rafael Benitez, manager of Newcastle United gives the thumbs up during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on May 15, 2016 in Newcastle, England.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
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Multiple reports in the UK claim that Rafael Benitez has agreed to stay in charge at Newcastle United.

Benitez, 53, took charge of the Magpies in March but camp up just short of keeping them in the Premier League in 2015-16 as they were relegated to the English Championship.

[ MORE: Mourinho in talks with United ]     

However, a report in The Guardian says he has agree to stay on and has a three-year deal at the club and the Daily Telegraph echoes those sentiments, adding that Benitez will be given full control of the transfer committee and decide who comes in and out of the club.

The reports suggest that Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend will all be sold this summer to help raise around $60 million which will fuel a spending spree to push them back to the top-flight at the first-time of asking.

[ MORE: Arsenal sign $45 million Xhaka ]

Benitez took charge of Newcastle’s final 10 games of the season and lost just three times, getting the fans on his side and the season ended with a 5-1 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur even though they’d already been relegated. Newcastle’s fans believe Benitez is the right man to lead them and gave him an outpouring of messages asking him to so.

It was believed Benitez was not going to stay if they were relegated but such has been the warmth of the fans and the lack of other options in the PL, Benitez seems to have made a massive U-turn after assurances were reportedly made to him by owner Mike Ashley about transfer budgets, a new scouting system and many other facets of the club.

The Spanish coach excelled in the final weeks of the season with Newcastle winning three of their final six games and going unbeaten in that stretch but it wasn’t enough to keep their sinking ship afloat after Steve McClaren‘s disastrous spell in charge of the club was cut short after just eight months in charge.

Benitez simple had too little time to save Newcastle but he did appear to get the best out of the players at his disposal in the short time he was in charge. With his initial contract said to have a break clause he could activate should the Magpies get relegated, the former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Napoli and Real Madrid manager has been spending some time away to think about his future.

It seems like he has decided to stay and lead Newcastle’s charge back to the Premier League. If that notion comes to fruition it will be music to the ears of fans of the Magpies.

Arsenal complete $45 million signing of Granit Xhaka

TURIN, ITALY - OCTOBER 21:  Granit Xhaka captain of VfL Borussia Monchengladbach wearing a 'No To Racism' arm band during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Juventus and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Juventus Arena on October 21, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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Arsenal has completed the third biggest transfer in their history as Granit Xhaka has joined from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee believed to be around $45 million.

[ MORE: Mourinho in talks with United ]    

Xhaka, 23, is a Swiss international midfielder and Arsene Wenger has been tracking the powerful box-to-box player for many years.

He will officially be an Arsenal player from July 1 and has signed a long-term deal at the club.

[ MORE: PL money table 2015-16

Speaking to the club website, Xhaka is delighted to have arrived at the Emirates Stadium and explained to Arsenal’s fans a little of what he’s about.

“I am very happy to be here. For me it is a dream come true,” Xhaka said. “I am a player who likes to play football and I am an aggressive player, maybe a leader. I’m only 23 but I was in Germany and captain of a good team.”

Wenger also revealed the extend of Arsenal’s scouting of the former Basel midfielder.

“Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience,” Wenger said. “We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad. We wish Granit a good Euro 2016 with Switzerland and look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal ahead of next season.”

Xhaka will slot straight into Arsenal’s central midfield area which now has considerable competition.

With Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny due to be his main competitor for playing time, the fact that Arsenal has shelled out nearly $50  million to land Xhaka tells you that he will likely be a starter. Then, the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla will all have to fight to get a spot alongside him in central midfield.

After Arsenal finished second in the 2015-16 PL table, something which disappointing fans with Leicester City winning the title by 10 points, Wenger has started his business early and has sealed the deal for Xhaka before he heads to the 2016 European Championships in France as a key member of Switzerland’s team.

Gunners fans will be licking their lips as Wenger has been backed in the transfer market and has added power and substance to central midfield. That’s something they’ve been crying out for now for many years.

Is Xhaka the missing piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal search for their first PL trophy in 13 years? Perhaps another striker and center back will persuade many that they will be the favorites to win the PL in 2016-17 but Xhaka’s arrival is a huge sign of their intent to kick on next season.

Manchester United said to be offering $12 million bonus to Zlatan Ibrahimovic

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint-Germain beats Eliaquim Mangala (20) and Joe Hart of Manchester City to score, but his goal is disallowed during the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg match between Manchester City FC and Paris Saint-Germain at the Etihad Stadium on April 12, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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The Premier League sometimes seems to deal in funny money, and it might take just that to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic across the English Channel.

The Swedish superstar, 34, is leaving Paris Saint-Germain this summer and is reportedly being targeted by several Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: LVG issues statement ]

With his old pal Jose Mourinho expected to take over at Manchester United, there’s been a natural batch of gossip linking the pair. Goal.com has claims of extraordinary dollar signs for the trophy-collecting Ibrahimovic.

Goal’s French site claims that Ibrahimovic would get close to a $12 million signing bonus to go with a huge weekly salary of approximately $363,000. Add that up, and you’re talking more than $560,000 a week.

The report spreads rumors of a $400,000-per-week offer from Major League Soccer for Zlatan, and that acquisition would certainly quell the minor storm caused by China’s acquisition of many big names.

We’ve always thought Ibrahimovic was more an Arsenal-style player, but imagine Mourinho running the Swede with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford? Bonkers.

Ajax hires Peter Bosz as new coach to replace Frank de Boer

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Peter Bosz manager of Vitesse looks on ahead of the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round 1st Leg match between Southampton and Vitesse at St Mary's Stadium on July 30, 2015 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
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AMSTERDAM (AP) Ajax has signed Peter Bosz as its new coach, replacing Frank de Boer who announced earlier this month he was leaving the club after nearly six years in which he won four Dutch league titles.

Bosz, a former player and technical director at Ajax’s arch rival Feyenoord, is leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv to join the Amsterdam club on a three-year contract.

[ MORE: USMNT-Ecuador preview | Klinsmann eyes semis ]

In a statement late Tuesday, Bosz says it is an honor to join Ajax. He says, “I am very ambitious and so is Ajax.”

Ajax director Edwin van der Sar says that in Bosz, Ajax has hired a coach “who can make our talented squad even better.”

Ajax finished second behind PSV Eindhoven in the top flight Eredivisie season that has just ended.