More than $300 million in prize money will be given away by CONMEBOL to teams participating in this year's competitions

SEATTLE - Just a couple of days ago, CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez announced that CONMEBOL would see a revamp in the way they will reward teams participating in any of the confederation's competitions this year. Their staple tournament, Copa Libertadores, will now be the best-paid final in the world, offering up to $23 million to the eventual champion. This amount surpasses what UEFA currently pays out for the winner of the Champions League final ($21.8 million).

Domínguez made the announcement on March 18 via his X/Twitter account, revealing the breakdown for each tournament. "The money that soccer generates is reinvested into soccer," Domínguez said. Under this new format, the Copa Libertadores champion is expected to make $5 million more than what the previous champion, Fluminense, earned last year when they defeated Boca Juniors 2-1 at the Estadio Maracaná in 2023.

Alejandro Domínguez, CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL will set aside more than $400 million in prize money for clubs and national teams participating in any of their 2024 tournaments

Each team that participates in the Copa Libertadores group stages is expected to earn $1 million just for reaching this phase, with an extra $330,000 for each win in the group stages. The Round of 16 and Quarterfinals suffered an increase in their prize money too, now earning a quarter of a million dollars and $1.7 million respectively, to each team that makes it this far in the competition. Semifinalists are guaranteed $2.3 million while the runner-up of Copa Libertadores will take home $7 million.

In a strategy that is looking to close the gap between CONMEBOL and UEFA, the South American confederation is also committed to allocating money to the Copa Sudamericana, where the champion could earn $6 million for just winning the final.

Women's soccer is also expected to receive a piece of the pie, with a total of $3.6 million allocated to the Copa Libertadores Femenina, where the champion can expect to take home $2 million in prize money.

But not only clubs are expected to benefit from this initiative, national teams participating in this year's Copa América will also receive a substantial increase in their earnings. CONMEBOL has set aside $100 million in prize money for Copa América 2024, with $32 million assigned as guaranteed money for all 16 teams and $40 million in prize money.

In theory, this year's Copa Libertadores champion could make north of $30 million in prize money, without including any additional money for each win during the group stages. Although this is a huge improvement, it still falls short to what UEFA teams make when participating in the Champions League, the world's most prestigious tournament at the club level.

According to business expert Swiss Ramble on X/Twitter, Manchester City collected more than $142 million for winning the trophy last May. Even though these figures include money generated by their television rights, UEFA's prize money ($72 million for the winner) more than doubles the amount proposed by CONMEBOL to the eventual champion.

The Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana group stages are set to get underway in early April, and the new prize money will surely be an incentive for teams to do their best for a chance at a better payout.

As CONMEBOL try to close the gap with European teams in terms of money, this could also create a great disparity between CONMEBOL teams. Since 2009, only Atlético Nacional in 2016 has been able to interfere with the domination of Argentine and Brazilian teams in the competition. Entering 2024, Brazilian teams have won each of the last five editions.

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