Casillas hits back in bonus row
Stars coy over reported £500,000 winners fee
By Danny Wright. Last Updated: June 7, 2010 4:37pm
Spain: Bonus controversy
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has defended the bonus payments players would receive should they win the World Cup this summer.
Reports in the Spanish media have suggested that Vicente del Bosque's team could potentially earn a 600,000euros (£500,000) windfall should they win the tournament.
The fee is believed to be the biggest amongst other leading nations vying for the trophy, with players from England (£390,000), France (£320,000) and Brazil (£150,000) set to earn much less if they triumph in South Africa.
The issue has sparked a thorny debate about the money paid to footballers, with the problem heightened by the global economic downturn.
Casillas - who is understood to have negotiated the deal with the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) alongside Xavi and Carlos Puyol - has hit back at the furore.
A spokeswomen from the RFEF refused to confirm the figure but the Spanish captain told reporters: "It's an issue that always comes up. You can comment and talk, especially at this time when everyone is suffering.
"And I include myself in that because I have family and friends and cousins and they are also hurting because of the crisis.
"Everyone sees it one way, as they want, but you shouldn't mix up one thing with the other."
The figure for the payments came from an unattributed source in the Spanish sports paper Marca, who claimed the figure was 510,000euros (£420,000) more than the fee Argentina's stars would receive for delivering glory.
Spain are preparing for a friendly against Poland in Murcia on Tuesday and team-mate Andres Iniesta was similarly coy about the speculation, instead referring reporters to his skipper's response.
When asked about the bonus, the midfielder said: "I think Iker answered well. We don't like non-soccer issues much but there you go.
"Everyone has their point of view and some think it's good and some think it's bad.
"It's not something we can defend much, everyone is free to give an opinion."