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Bellingham names four Real Madrid stars in his 2022 Team of the Year

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Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

At this point it is well-established that Real Madrid are seriously interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in the summer transfer window.

The 19-year-old midfield sensation has become the club’s primary transfer target ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, as they look to put a succession plan in place for Luka Modric.

Real Madrid are set to face stern competition in their pursuit of Bellingham, though, as the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City also want to sign him. Moreover, Dortmund are also making an attempt to keep him at the club by offering him a bumper new contract.

Amidst this, though, Bellingham might have dropped a hint about what his plans for the future are.

During an interaction with Borussia Dortmund’s official YouTube channel when he was asked to pick his Team of the Year for 2022, the 19-year-old selected as many as four players from Real Madrid.

Starting things off, Bellingham had no doubts about choosing Thibaut Courtois as his goalkeeper, as he said: “I went to the Champions League final and he was unbelievable, he was so good. Saved everything.”

The England international then went on to name Eder Militao as one of his centre-backs, saying: “I will have Militao in my TOTY. He was really good. Won the UCL.”

Veteran midfielder Modric was also an easy pick for Bellingham, but he had a tough time deciding between Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos, although he ultimately opted for the former.

“De Bruyne, Luka Modric are locked in. I would also have Valverde, he’s so good. Him or Kroos… it’s so tough,” Bellingham said.

Apart from the Real Madrid quartet of Courtois, Militao, Modric, and Valverde, PSG trio Achraf Hakimi, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi also made it to Bellingham’s Team of the Year. Manchester City trio Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Joao Cancelo were also named, as was Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

Bellingham’s contract with Dortmund runs until the summer of 2025 and the German giants could demand a fee as high as €150 million for him in the summer. Whether a move to Real Madrid materialises in the summer will be interesting to see.

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Real Madrid News

Revealed: The blueprint behind Real Madrid’s €1 Billion revenue ambition

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

As one of football’s biggest and most successful institutions, Real Madrid enjoy serious perks on the economic front. After all, they cater to a worldwide audience and thus see their remunerations come in from across borders.

The arrival of Kylian Mbappe will only serve to further grow Los Blancos’ fanbase, and with a generational squad set to dominate world football for the years to come, Florentino Perez sees a special marketing opportunity.

According to reports from SPORT, Real Madrid have thus set themselves a target to hit €1 billion in revenue and have drawn up a concrete plan for the same.

The player aspect

As a football institution, one of the most significant aspects of remuneration is the team’s direct winnings in terms of prize money. Having won the Champions League last season and with Mbappe coming in, the team is in safe hands.

Moreover, the average age of Real Madrid’s squad is just 27.1 years implies that the team has significant longevity with little change expected in personnel.

The second important aspect that the club hopes to count on is the crowd-pulling factor that such young players exert on the new generation.

Kylian Mbappe will be the face of Real Madrid’s marketing campaign. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid already boast 410.9 million followers on social media and have added 48.4 million just last year. Mbappe, who himself has 132 million followers across Instagram and X, will further amplify that number next season and add to the club’s followers.

It is thus clear that the Frenchman will become the face of the club and the centre for all marketing operations of Real Madrid plan.

The road to €1 billion is thus not complicated, although Perez must be wary that Mbappe is picky with the brands he endorses. Further, the distribution of image rights will be a major factor to finalise.

The new Bernabeu

Having undergone extensive renovation, the New Santiago Bernabeu will take over as the world’s highest-grossing football stadium next season and play a massive role in boosting Real Madrid’s collections. The partnership with Sixth Street and Legends will also be crucial.

Furthermore, the new venue will also serve as a massive economy generator through miscellaneous events. Apart from Taylor Swift, the club also has agreements with Karol G, Aitana, Lola Indigo and La Velada del Ano de Ibai Llanos for exclusive events.

Real Madrid plan to add extra revenue from exclusive events at Santiago Bernabeu. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Needless to say, such events will serve significantly to boost the income and near the elusive €1 billion mark.

Cost-cutting

The final, yet critical manoeuvre Perez plans is to cut the costs on the wage front with a salary reduction of €0% already being made in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. That was, in fact, one of the major reasons Real Madrid stayed on their feet in the pandemic.

Player sales is another element where the men in white have worked their plan, getting rid of the older players while their market value was still high and reinvesting the cash into younger talents who can serve for at least the next decade.

The club recorded north of €800 million in income last year and the €1 billion mark is not too far off. Needless to say, the coming year could thus be special for the men in white.

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