Georgia get $10M reward from billionaire after historic Euro feat

By Hong Duy   June 27, 2024 | 10:59 pm PT
Georgia get $10M reward from billionaire after historic Euro feat
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates after scoring for Georgia against Portugal in Euro on June 26, 2024. Photo by AFP
Georgia national football team were awarded $10.6 million by billionaire and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili after beating Portugal 2-0 to enter the round of 16 in their maiden Euro appearance.

Ivanishvili also promised a similar reward if Georgia continue to beat Spain in the round of 16 at RheinEnergie Stadium, Cologne, Germany on June 30.

The former PM is one of the richest people in Georgia. He served as Georgia's prime minister from October 2012 to November 2013. In 2023, Forbes estimated his fortune at $4.9 billion and ranked him the 544th richest person in the world.

Euro 2024 is the first time Georgia have qualified for a major tournament since declaring its independence in 1992. After losing the opening match 1-3 to Turkey, the team under coach Willy Sagnol shocked everyone by drawing 1-1 with the Czech Republic then beat Portugal 2-0 to enter the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Their 2-0 victory over Portugal is considered one of the biggest upsets in Euro history, when Georgia were 68 places lower than their opponent on FIFA ranking.

Star winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who scored with a cross-shot to give Georgia the lead in the 2nd minute, said after the match: "This is the most wonderful day of Georgian fans. Everyone is very happy as we just made history. No one believed that we could beat Portugal, but we just proved we are a strong team."

Georgia are entitled to about $14 million in bonuses this Euro. They got $10 million for participating in the group stage, an additional $1.08 million for a win, $540,000 for a draw and $1.62 million for reaching the round of 16. If Georgia defeat Spain, they will receive an additional $2.7 million.

Euro 2024 highlights: Georgia 2-0 Portugal

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