The Brazilian government has decided to award its 54 World Cup-winning players or their survivors from 1958, 1962 and 1970 a bonus worth $49,100 and a pension worth $1,919 per month. The country's social security minister called the payments "an act of justice" as these individuals were crucial in the country’s development at the time.
According to Marcelo Neves, president of an association of former players and son of two-time World Cup winner Gilmar, 85 percent of the former World Cup winning players live middle to lower class existences. "This money could be the difference between life and death,” he said, adding that professional soccer did not pay back then what it pays today.
Of course, not everyone agrees. Atila Nunes, a radio personality, called the award “a tremendous slap in the face to all those Brazilians who have worked their whole lives and don't get that amount of money.” Nunes said that if anyone should be assisting former players it should be the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), and not ordinary taxpayers. Others questioned why only World Cup winners should receive the award and not other former professionals.