Have you ever wondered why there are so many people working towards becoming footballers? Here’s why; the FIFA World Cup, which is the biggest trophy in soccer, is worth US$400 million. Other soccer tournaments that make the major tournaments in the world worth almost as much and even more. When you take a look at the best football tournaments’ trophies and their worth, you’ll also want to become a footballer.
Remember, though, that like every reputable career, football is not easy. You have to work so hard to become one of the best in your locality. From there, you aim to be the best in your nation. Of course, you must be playing football in a popular league for your country to notice you. Remember also that you have to be one of the best -if not the best – in your club.
So you see, it takes a lot to ascend to the stage where you play football in one of the world’s best soccer tournaments. But does this mean that you can’t also dig from the large purse of the soccer game?
The answer is NO! Even though the World Cup is the most esteemable soccer tournament, other club side and even regional soccer tournaments have trophies that worth a lot. So, in this post, we will not only show you the best football tournaments in the world but also their trophies and worth.
Here are the top ten (10) major football tournaments and how much their trophies worth.
#10. Copa del Rey – Spain
The Copa del Rey is a Spanish cup for the club sides in Spain and it translates to “King’s Cup.” With Spain being a European nation, Copa del Rey is one of European football’s most prestigious cup competitions.
What makes Copa del Ray a very reputable trophy is its rich history. Before La Liga started in 1929, Copa del Rey was Spain’s national championship.
The competition for this big soccer trophy in Spain began in 1903. Real Madrid was the first club to win it but not the most club in Spain to lift the trophy. Barcelona has claimed the Copa del Rey thirty (30) times, whereas, Athletico Madrid is the current holder of the title.
The trophy, Cop del Rey, is made of silver and weighs 15 kg (33 lb). It is also 75 cm (30 in) tall. While 23 Spanish teams compete for this major soccer in Spain, the winner goes home with one million Euro.
Although several critics consider this amount a penny, winning the Copa del Rey qualifies you for the following season’s UEFA Europa League.
#9. FIFA Confederations Cup
The Confederations Cup has been in existence since 1992 where its name was Fahd Cup. However, this world soccer tournament rose to prominence in 2005 when FIFA established it as a vital forerunner to the World Cup. Continental champions convene at the country hosting the next world cup a year before the world cup to play this football tournament.
Qatar, which will be hosting the 2022 World Cup is supposed to host the 2021 Confederation’s cup, however, the weather would not permit it. The Confederations Cup is a vital part of the preparation for the FIFA World Cup. FIFA uses the success of the tournament to assess the host nation’s preparations for the World Cup tournament the following year.
Currently, Germany is the current holder of this international football tournament, even though Brazil has won it the most number of times.
The FIFA confederations share a pool fund of USD $20 million to all contestant of the tournament. However, the winner goes home with the cup and USD $4.1 million.
#8. The FA Cup – England
The Emirates FA Cup is officially the Football Association Challenge Cup. This is a major soccer tournament in England, not just for the prize money or history but for the wide opportunity to contest which it throws to football clubs in England. The soccer tournament is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system.
This football tournament started in July 1871, making it the oldest association football competition in the world. The FA Cup has no respect for any big English team, which makes it all the more exciting for viewers. Big clubs have fallen low for smaller clubs in this tournament. In the 2013 finals, Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic side beat Manchester City.
However, Arsenal has lifted this English football trophy the most number of times – thirteen (13) times. While Manchester United is the club that has appeared in the finals the most, Manchester City is the current FA Cup titleholder.
According to The FA, the football competition is worth the following to the qualified teams:
#7. Africa Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations is another of the football trophies with a high worth. This trophy is also the AFCON or Total Africa Cup of Nations. This Africa soccer tournament started in the continent in 1957, and since 1968, big Africa international sides contest for the trophy every two years.
Since the inception, Egypt is Africa’s most successful, winning the tournament seven (7) times. The beauty of this tournament is that African internationals from all over the world leave their club sides and return to represent their home country. This may cause some instability in their various clubs, but it shows how much the players cherish this trophy.
Confederation Africa Football (CAF) has awarded three different trophies ince the inception of the African Cup of Nations. The first AFCON throphy (the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy) was made of silver and Ghana holds it permanently as three times winner of the soccer tournament.
The second trophy was a cylindrical piece with the Olympic rings over a map of the continent engraved on it. This trophy is also the “Trophy of African Unity” or “African Unity Cup”. Cameroon permanently holds this trophy having won the Unity Cup three times.
The third trophy is a gold-plated cup designed and made in Italy. Although Cameroon was the first to win this new AFCON trophy which was revealed in 2001, Egypt has won the African tournament three (3) times. However, they hold a replica of the current AFCON trophy and not the original trophy.
According to Wikipedia, the prize money which the winner of the AFCON receives amounts to USD$4.5 million.
#6. UEFA Europa League
UEFA has been organizing the UEFA Europa League (UEL) since 1771. The UEL is one of the European tournament trophies with high worth. Where this European competition was formerly the UEFA Cup, it is now the UEFA Europa League. Also, just like there are second-tier leagues in major countries’ league, UEL is a second-tier European club competition, ranking below the UEFA Champions League.
Before UEFA Cup became UEFA Europa League in the 2009–10 season, a club could keep the original trophy for a year before returning it to UEFA. After the club returns the original trophy, UEFA gives them a four-fifths scale replica of the original trophy. However, if they win the trophy three consecutive times or five times overall, the club could retain the original trophy permanently.
This is not the rule since this European soccer tournament changed the name. UEFA keeps the tournament at all times.
The Europa League trophy was designed and crafted by Bertoni. It is a silver trophy on a yellow marble plinth that weighs 15 kg (33 lb).
Just like the UEFA Champions League the prize money participant clubs in the Europa receives is based on participation and results, and the value of their TV market. Meanwhile, Wikipedia lists the worth of the soccer tournament for each stage as follows:
#5. Copa Libertadores
The Copa Libertadores is to the South American what the Champions League is to the Europeans. Since 1960 the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has been organizing this competition annually. Being the top competition in South America, it is one of the trophies with high worth.
Also, while the competition is a South American competition, the final is broadcast in 135 countries across the globe.
The major soccer tournament receives its name in honor of the Libertadores (liberators) – the main leaders of the South American wars of independence. Therefore, it is the “Liberators of America Cup” in the English language.
When the Copa Libertadores started, only the champions of the South American leagues participated. However, in 1966, CONMEBOL allowed the runners-up of the South American leagues to participate. In 1998, they added Mexican teams to the soccer tournament, expanding participation from 20 to 32 teams. Presently, at least four clubs per country compete in this international club tournament. Meanwhile, six to seven clubs from Argentina and Brazil retains a spot in the competition.
The Copa Libertadores trophy was designed by goldsmith Alberto de Gasperi, an Italian-born immigrant to Peru. The trophy is designed in Camusso Jewelry in Lima. Alberto made the top of the laurel with sterling silver, with the exception of the football player at the top. That one is made of bronze with a silver coating.
Wikipedia gives the following as the prize money for the Copa Libertadores:
#4. Copa America
The Copa America, which began in 1916, used to be the South American Football Championship until 1975. It is the oldest existing continental football competition and one of the soccer competition trophies with very high worth. Like the Copa Libertadores, CONMEBOL organizes the Copa America.
This major soccer tournament in South America features sixteen (16) teams. However, since 1993, the team has been featuring twelve (12) teams. The switch to 16 teams began in 2016. These 16 teams comprise six (6) Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) teams and ten (10) CONMEBOL teams.
Normally you’ll refer to Brazil and Argentina as South American football’s “Big Two,” however, Uruguay has lifted the Copa America trophy fifteen (15) times.
A jewelry shop in Buenos Aires, “Casa Escasany”, sold the current Copa América trophy in 1916 from at a cost of 3,000 Swiss francs. However, the commemorative Copa América Centenario trophy of 2016 was designed by Epico Studios in the United States and manufactured by London Workshops of Thomas Lyte in England. It is 61 cm (24 in) tall with a weight of 7.1 kg (16 lb) and covered by 24-carat gold. It also engraved with the emblems of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.
CONMEBOL awarded $21.5 million for the just concluded 2019 Copa America. Also, they reserved an additional $6.5 million for the champions, while the second, third and fourth place earned $3.5, $3 and $2.5 million respectively.
#3. UEFA European Championship
The European Championship is also the Euro. It is the tournament that determines the champions in Europe. This European competition started in 1958 and has been running every four (4) years since 1960.
Teams around the continent first compete in a qualifier tournament before the main competition. All except the host nation. This is one soccer tournament that gets the whole of Europe burning with feverish excitement. And although Portugal won the first tournament which was held in France, Spain and Germany have lifted the Euro competition trophy three times each. However, Spain is the only European nation to lift the trophy consecutively.
Down the timeline of the competition, Euro has seen 14 tournaments to date and produced nine (9) different winners. Not only is the Euro popular in the European continent but also around the world. The Euro 2012 final got a global viewing audience of around 300 million. While the competition formerly ran with 16 teams contesting, it increased to 24 from 2014.
The Euro trophy is one of the trophies in the world with very high worth. UEFA named the original trophy the “Henri Delaunay Trophy” in honor of its first General Secretary who goes by the name. The trophy was made larger in 2008 so as not to be overshadowed by other UEFA trophies.
The Euro trophy is made of sterling silver and weighs 8 kilograms (18 lb). Additionally, it is 60 centimeters (24 in) tall.
The total prize money for the Euro tournament as at 2016 is €301 million, from the €194m which it was in Euro 2012. Additionally, the overall winners will earn their national association a maximum of €27m, while all participating nations earn a minimum of €8m.
#2. UEFA Champions League
Football lovers will tell you that there’s no soccer league like the UEFA Champions League and they won’t be wrong. The UEFA Champions League (ECL) is the most glamorous club competition in world football. Its trophy is among the trophies in the world with the highest worth.
This tournament brings together the greatest teams in the world, Europe to be precise. This captivating soccer tournament started in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup or the European Cup. The Competition gained a new name in 1992.
The UCL is a very competitive tournament. Twenty-two (22) different European clubs have lifted the trophy, twelve (12) of which have won it more than once. Liverpool is the current holder of the trophy while Real Madrid is the most successful club side in the competition. The Spanish side has lifted the competition thirteen (13) times.
UEFA has been awarding the current version of the UCL trophy since 1967. Also, teams who have won the UCL three times in a row or five times overall retains a full-size replica of the trophy. Six clubs – Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool, and Barcelona – have achieved this commendable feat.
Meanwhile, the current trophy is 74 cm (29 in) tall and made of silver, weighing 11 kg (24 lb). It was designed by Jörg Stadelmann, a jeweler from Bern, Switzerland.
Wikipedia provides the prize money for the 2018//19 UCL as follows:
#1. FIFA World Cup
Everyone knows that there is no greater competition in the world than the FIFA World Cup. It is the height of international football and its gold trophy is rated as the highest worth trophy.
Although you may see better highlights at the UCL or various club football, a player who hasn’t lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy does not feel a complete sense of fulfillment. Nothing matches the prestige of lifting the FIFA World Cup.
This international football tournament holds every four (4) years since 1930 and it involves 32 teams playing in the finals. While 211 teams of the world play a qualifier round to enter the finals, the host country gains automatic qualification.
The recently concluded 2018 Russia World Cup made it twenty-one (21) times the tournament has been played. Also, seventeen (17) countries have hosted the tournament. However, of the 21 countries of the world has played this competition, only eight (8) national teams have lifted the trophy. They are Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, France, Uruguay, England, and Spain.
Brazil has won the gold trophy the most number of times – 5 times – and are the only nation who have played in every World Cup tournament. However, France is the current Champions.
The current trophy is a replacement trophy and was commissioned by FIFA for the 1974 World Cup. FIFA received Fifty-three submissions from sculptors in seven countries. Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga was awarded the commission.
The trophy stands 36.5 centimeters (14.4 in) tall and is made of 5 kilograms (11 lb) of 18 carats (75%) gold, worth approximately US$161,000 in 2018, with a base 13 centimeters (5.1 in) in diameter containing two layers of malachite.
According to BBC, The 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia had a total fund of $400 million (£320m), with winners France taking home $38m (£30m).
Whether you play football for the sense of fulfillment or for the money, football is an important game. A lot of people from around the world watches the game and stake so much on it. This answers for the kind of money footballers make enjoying themselves, and the more reason almost everyone wants to be a footballer. To back this up, you have seen that the FIFA World Cup pools up to $400 million and even Copa del Rey provides up to € 1 million. There are several other club side leagues that provide more, but these top 10 have a higher reputation and rich history.
The various Wikipedia pages are linked in each of the sections where we cited them.