As if the kudos of winning football’s most prestigious competition and the convenience of never having to buy a drink again isn’t enough of an incentive, the Dutch football team have been promised an unusual bonus if they lift the World Cup in Rio next Sunday – a flight into space.
Should the Oranje see off Argentina in Wednesday’s semi-final and go on to beat hosts Brazil or Germany in the final, the 23 players and manager Louis van Gaal could journey more than 100km above the surface of the earth courtesy of space-tourism company Xcor Space Expeditions.
Previously known as Space Expedition Corps (SXC), the Dutch commercial space-flight company was bought by US-based Xcor Aerospace in June.
The diving header from Robin van Persie that put the three-times runners up on their way to beating Spain, and the ‘Flying Dutchman’ headlines that followed inspired the company to make the offer.
“We will literally try to take them to the next level - 103 km. The whole squad of 23 players and of course Louis van Gaal,” promised company co-founder Michel Mol.
Should the team win and accept Xcor Space Expeditions’ offer, they will be flying on the Xcor Lynx, a spaceship which is being assembled in California with a view to beginning commercial flights in 2015.
The company has already sold 250 tickets for its space flights, with seats available to the tune of $100,000 (£58,339).
“I expect the Dutch players to fly into space in the beginning of 2016 - just in time for having actual astronauts on the field during the European Championship 2016 in France,” said Mol.
Full training will be provided to the team and any players nervous of space flight won’t have to take the company up on its offer. Would you? Let us know below. (via Forbes)