Argentina has won the 2022 FIFA World Cup, beating defending champion France. Find out more about the stunning defeat by Lionel Messi’s team, and the tournament’s prize money payouts.
At last, Argentina’s Lionel Messi is a World Cup champion.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar came to a close on Dec. 18, 2022, in a nail-biter showdown between reigning champs France and La Albiceleste—each looking to secure their third cup World Cup Win—with the latter coming out on top. Argentina won with a score of 4-2 in a penalty shootout after Messi scored twice in a 3-3 tie.
Messi, 35, has now cemented his first World Cup victory in a record 26th match and fifth tournament overall.
Argentina’s World Cup win marks the team’s first such title in 36 years and third overall. Soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died in 2020, last led the country’s national team to victory in 1986, marking their second triumph following their first World Cup win in 1978.
The final also saw rising superstar Kylian Mbappe, seeking a second World Cup win on behalf of France at just 23 years old, finished with three goals. He also emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with eight goals total.
All over the world, eyes were on soccer during the nearly monthlong tournament, during which Morocco become the first African nation to land a spot in the final four.
It was also full of shocking upsets as both Neymar-led Brazil and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal exited during the semifinals—with each potentially playing their last World Cup matches on behalf of their countries.
And for Ronaldo, this World Cup was full of contention—he exited his Premier League team Manchester United—as he was dropped from Portugal’s starting lineup for its Dec. 6 match against Switzerland. While his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat trick in their 6-1 victory, their journey ended just a game later as they fell 1-0 to Morocco in the quarterfinals.
Messi has signaled that the 2022 World Cup will likely be his last.
“There’s a lot of years until the next one and I don’t think I have it in me and finishing like this is best,” he told Argentina’s Televisión Pública Dec. 14 after his team’s 3-0 win over Croatia, the third-place winner.
He continued, “[I feel] a lot of happiness to be able to achieve this. To finish my World Cup career playing my last game in a final. Everything I’ve lived in this World Cup, what people experienced and how much the people back in Argentina are enjoying it all is very emotional.”
What is the prize money for the World Cup?
When looking at prize money for a World Cup, it must be noted that the total pot is divided up by each of the 32 teams competing.
That money is divided up dependent on performance and progress at the tournament; even teams that are knocked out in the group stage will receive a share.
For the 2022 World Cup, FIFA set the prize pot total at $44o million. That is the most that have ever been allocated for a World Cup.
How much prize money is given to the World Cup winners?
In plenty of global sporting tournaments, the winner receives the lion’s share of the total prize pot. But that isn’t the case with the World Cup.
In fact, the winners won’t even go home with 10 percent of the $440m.
The champions, Argentina were crowned on Sunday, December 18, 2022 — and they received $42m, which is $4m more than France were awarded for winning the 2018 World Cup.
That means there is still another $404m that has to be divided among the other 31 competing teams.
How is the World Cup prize money divided?
The runners-up national soccer teams received $30m.
For the beaten semi-finalists, the third-place play-off is often seen as a rather pointless fixture but those in charge will be aware that it is worth an extra $2m this year. The team that finishes third will be given $27m while there is a $25m prize for finishing fourth.
The four beaten quarter-finalists received $17m while $13m is given to the eight teams that lost in the last 16.
The 16 other nations that are unable to make it out of the group stage at the World Cup are given $9m, regardless of how many points they picked up in their three games.
Each nation has to decide how much of that money they hand out to the players and staff. That is usually a decision made ahead of the tournament with performance goals laid out for wins at each stage of the World Cup.
In 2018, Noel Le Graet, president of the France Football Federation (FFF), revealed that the players would receive a 30 percent share of the prize money.
France received $38m for beating Croatia in the final which means each player will have received more than $350,000 for the triumph in Russia.
What sad thing happened at Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup?
However, the 2022 World Cup also saw the tragic loss of Grant Wahl, the preeminent soccer journalist in the U.S., who died after suffering a ruptured aortic aneurysm while in Qatar. He was 49.
Following his death, his wife Dr. Celine Gounder penned a message to supporters on Wahl’s Substack, expressing gratitude at the notes of support from all over the globe—as everyone from fans to players to teams paid their respects to the late journalist.