By Juan José Lahuerta
Madrid, May 6 (EFE).- Competing in the Uefa Champions League is about more than just prestige for Europe’s top clubs because behind the scenes it drums up huge quantities of money that are almost vital to their survival.
Real Madrid have earned 105.34 million euros (roughly $111.5M) this season in a European campaign that has seen them stage unlikely comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and, most recently, Manchester City in the semi-finals.
The last tranche of prize money, some 15.5 million euros for reaching the final, came thanks to a brace from Brazilian forward Rodrygo and an extra time penalty from Karim Benzema.
Only Liverpool, Real Madrid’s rivals in Paris on May 28, have financially outperformed the Spaniards this season with 115.80 million euros.
Both will now go head-to-head for the 4.5-million-euro prize money allocated to the Champions League winners and the bonus 3.5 million for the team that qualifies for the Uefa Super Cup.
Real Madrid and Liverpool are not the only ones to reap the economic rewards of playing in Europe.
This season, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla have secured a combined figure of 325.78 million euros.
SPLIT 32 WAYS
Uefa boosted its prize money for the 2021/22 campaign by 3.6%, up to just over 2 billion euros.
The European football body, presided over by Aleksander Ceferin, shares that pot out between the 32 Champions League teams for different achievements.
The first and most lucrative is the prize money for reaching the Champions League group stages, which stands at 15.6 million euros per club.
Then, every victory in the group stage drums up a further 2.8 million euros per club while a draw earns teams 930,000 euros.
Clubs that make it into the last-16 are awarded 9.6 million euros; the quarter-finals, 10.6 million and the semi-finals, 12.5 million.
Further financial incentives are given in relation to TV rights and performance as ranked by Uefa coefficients.
A FINANCIAL BOON FOR VILLARREAL
So far Real Madrid have earned the most out of the Spanish clubs in this season’s Champions League, taking in 105.34 million overall, split between 77.84 from the competition and 27.5 million linked to Uefa coefficients.
In second place is Villarreal, who reached the semifinal only to go down fighting against Liverpool.
The club, currently seventh in LaLiga, expects to take in some 84 million euros from the Champions League, pending a final total from TV rights.
Fellow Spanish competitors Atletico Madrid — felled by Man City in the quarters — took in a total of 63.27 million euros while Barcelona, who didn’t make it beyond the group stages, cashed in 38.67 from the Champions League and a further 2.9 for making the quarterfinals of the Europa League.