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

Herrera: Ibrahimovic competitive drive insatiable in everything

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Ander Herrera is dishing the goods on his Manchester United teammates while on Spain duty this week, and was asked about Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swede is a fierce competitor on and off the pitch, which Herrera jokes is an ever-present challenge to personal patience.

[ MORE: Deulofeu laments early Messi talk ]

It almost seems like there’s a bit of envy that Ibrahimovic can charge into public comments the way Herrera goes into tackles.

From Marca:

“[Ibrahimovic] is a genius, he’s very intense because he wants to win everything, even football-tennis,” Herrera said to Radio MARCA.

“He assumes this role of doing or saying what he likes in front of the media because he does not care, he can say that he’ll score 30 goals or is the best because he can afford to.”

There’s certainly something to stature when it comes to saying what you feel (though on the other hand, being egotistical is rarely controversial. It’s not like Ibrahimovic is often railing on controversial soccer or social issues).

We’re sure there are plenty of players across all sports, casual and professional, who don’t understand hyper-competitive teammates, but we love a guy who doesn’t turn it down when it comes to on-the-field activities. Hopefully Ibrahimovic is the Jaromir Jagr of soccer.

Gerard Deulofeu calls early Messi comparisons “detrimental”

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Players often like to brush off speculation or criticism in the moment by claiming they don’t read stories written about themselves, but we all know better.

Former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu confirmed that sentiment by citing specific comparisons he remembers as a youth with Barcelona, citing stories that compared him to Lionel Messi. Now 23 years old, Deulofeu reflects on those early comparisons and wishes the media wasn’t so quick to jump to conclusions about his career.

“In the end, [the comparisons] were more detrimental than beneficial,” he told weekly magazine Forza Milan. “Normally I don’t read newspapers, but that headline I remember well. It created too much expectation among Barcelona fans. There’s only one Messi.”

With expectations high, Deulofeu made just six senior team appearances without a goal or assist before loan spells at Sevilla and Everton saw him out of the club permanently. His time at Goodison Park was up and down as well, with his ability to dazzle a crowd punctuated by long spells of invisibility, failing to earn himself a consistent starting role.

Deulofeu is now on loan from Everton at AC Milan, looking to revitalize his career. He has started every league game since arriving, and has picked up a goal and three assists in 11 matches. There is speculation he could end up in Milan on a permanent basis this summer, but he’s not focused on that right now.

“My future? It’ll be seen to,” Deulofeu said. “My sights are in the present, from experience I know it’s best to leave the past behind and focus on the present. We’ll see what happens in the future. For now, I just want to enjoy the good time that I‘m having at Milan.”

Barcelona plan Cruyff tribute at club’s training center

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) One year after his death, Barcelona says it will name the future stadium at its training center after Dutch great Johan Cruyff.

The new stadium at Barcelona’s training center just outside the Catalan city will be called “Johan Cruyff Stadium” in honor of the club’s former player and coach.

Barcelona says in a statement that “the most emblematic building in the facility where future Barca players are coached is to be named after somebody who played such a central role in fostering youth talent at the club.”

Barcelona also says it will commission a “commemorative sculpture” of Cruyff, who died of lung cancer on March 24 last year at age 68. The statue will be placed at Barcelona’s main Camp Nou stadium.

Cruyff is largely credited with launching Barcelona’s era of trophy success, both as a player and a coach.

As a player, Cruyff joined Barcelona midseason in 1973 and led the middle-of-the-table team to its first national title in a decade.

He later returned as a coach and guided Barcelona to four consecutive Spanish leagues from 1991-94 and the club’s first European Cup in 1992.

“I think the tributes are very warming,” said Cruyff’s son, Jordi Cruyff. “It sort of changes the sadness that we might feel as family to lose a father, a husband and a grandfather. It changes to a certain kind of pride to understand that he left something behind.”

MLS Snapshot: Defense optional — Crew SC outlast Timbers, 3-2

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The game in 100 words (or less): As far as teams who get out in the open field and score the lion’s share of their goals on the counter-attacking, there aren’t many MLS teams better than Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers. The two sides met Saturday night at MAPFRE Stadium, site of their MLS Cup 2015 clash, and lived up to their reputations. Of the five goals scored, two were notched on flat-out counters and two more came to pass through quick transitional movements. Portland (9 points) dropped their first points of the season, falling 3-2 to goals scored by Justin Meram, Ola Kamara and Niko Hansen, while Crew SC have back-to-back wins and find themselves level on points (7) with the New York Red Bulls with each side having played four games.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS (afternoon) roundup ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

4′ — Asprilla opens the scoring early on — 2017 Crew SC defending, same as 2016 Crew SC defending.

11′ — Meram fires home the rebound for 1-1 — One of Portland’s biggest weaknesses last season was their set-piece defending. Looks like not much has changed.

19′ — Higuain feeds Kamara for a 2-1 lead — The question mark that Portland will eventually have to answer is this: How much, if at all, have they improved defensively in the open field? Based on this Crew SC counter-attack, the answer might be “not much.”

45+3′ — Adi recovers to make it 2-2 — Everything Adi does these days (even the bad things, like this first touch) ends up being good.

84′ — Hansen cleans up at the back post for 3-2 — Jake Gleeson made a spectacular reaction save to deny Kamara his second goal of the game, but the rookie, making his MLS debut, was in the right place at the right time.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Wil Trapp

Goalscorers: Asprilla (4′), Meram (11′), Kamara (19′), Adi (45+3′), Hansen (84′)