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Bellingham, Vinicius reveal their preferred picks for the Ballon d’Or

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Real Madrid gear up to face Borussia Dortmund in the finals of the UEFA Champions League this weekend, a number of their players interacted with the press today as part of the UEFA Open Media Day.

Jude Bellingham was one of the stars who answered questions from the media ahead of what will be an emotional game for him against his former club, in his homeland.

The England international has enjoyed a spectacular debut season at Real Madrid and is seen as a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or this season.

However, when asked about the Golden Orb, Bellingham tipped his Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr. as his pick to win the prestigious honour this year.

“For me, Vinicius is the best in the world. He creates magic out of nothing. He has everything to be the best,” said Bellingham, as quoted by The Athletic’s Guillermo Rai.

After all, Vinicius has also enjoyed a scintillating campaign and is one of the frontrunners to walk away with the Ballon d’Or, owing to his clutch performances for Real Madrid.

Who will win the 2024 Ballon d’Or? (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Brazilian also spoke to the media today and was asked about the Ballon d’Or. Interestingly, he went on to name Bellingham as his pick to win the Golden Ball.

“I would give the Ballon d’Or to Bellingham,” he said, as quoted by Carrusel.

When Bellingham was informed about Vinicius picking him as the favourite for the Ballon d’Or, the England international responded by saying:

“If that’s how he feels, then you can split it in two (laughs).”

The responses show the strong bond and camaraderie that the two superstars of Real Madrid share.

Both are contenders to lift the Golden Ball this year and a win in the Champions League, coupled with strong performances in the summer’s international tournaments, would further enhance their chances.

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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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