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‘Did not seem fair’ – Legendary Italian midfielder reveals he was close to joining Real Madrid

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Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

With 13 years of magical football under his belt at Juventus, Claudio Marchisio is not only a legend of the Bianconeri but of Italian football as a whole.

Widely considered one of the greatest Italian midfielders of all time, he won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and reached two UEFA Champions League finals.

He was also an integral part of Cesare Prandelli’s star-studded Italian side that made it to the final of the 2012 European Championships.

Speaking to the media in a recent interview, the Italian legend commented on Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti and Vinicius Jr amongst other topics.

He began, interestingly, by revealing why and how he turned down the chance to sign for Los Blancos at a critical point in his career, as quoted by AS.

“I was very young. There was this possibility (of joining Madrid). I was in Serie B with [Fabio] Capello and Juventus and I had just reached the first team, the one of my dreams.”

“Honestly, it didn’t seem fair to start my career leaving at that time the club where I grew up and of which I was always a fan,” he added.

He then went on to recollect his favourite memory of playing against Real Madrid, picking the semifinal of the 2015 UEFA Champions League when Juventus downed Los Blancos.

“The final whistle of the 2015 semifinal. The Bernabéu was hellish, everyone wanted to go to the final against Barça and we took the pass.”

“The ball stood right in the corner of the stadium where our family and friends were. We all celebrate together and it is one of the most beautiful memories of my career,” he added.

Vinicius Jr has been in the news in recent days for his emotional breakdown during a press conference after repeatedly being quizzed only on racism. Commenting on the youngster’s battle for equality, he said,

“Unfortunately, changing the mentality of certain people is difficult. What happened to Vinicius happens in many stadiums and places. The sad paradox is that the same ones who insult, then support black players on their team.”

Finally, he was asked about Carlo Ancelotti and his ability to manage a dressing room of superstars, especially with Kylian Mbappe arriving next summer.

“I think he would be delighted [by Mbappe’s arrival] and that he would have no problem aligning all the talents of Madrid together. He already did it: look at his alignments from the past.”

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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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